Women's Volleyball Falls to USC in Five-Game Thriller
Nov. 13, 2004
WESTWOOD - In a five-game thriller of a match, the sixth-ranked USC women's volleyball team defeated UCLA 31-29, 30-28, 23-30, 21-30, 18-16 on Friday night in Pauley Pavilion. Both teams liberos had outstanding nights with UCLA's Chrissie Zartman having a career-high 36 digs and USC's Debora Seilhamer finishing with 45.
The Bruins dug themselves an early hole, falling behind 7-2 in game one before rallying to tie the score at 25-25. From that point, USC scored four straight points to reach match point, but the Bruins answered on a Nana Meriwether service ace and two USC attack errors that brought the score back to a tie at 29-29. Unfortunately, USC was able to use kills from Staci Venski and Bibiana Candelas to close out the opening game by a score of 31-29.
Game two saw the Bruins take an early lead of 7-3, but USC came back to tie at 22-22, from which point the teams battled to the finish. USC and UCLA were tied as late as 28-28 before an Alicia Robinson kill and a UCLA error gave the game to USC by a 30-28 margin. Heading to the locker rooms between games two and three, the teams and put together a dismal attack accuracy, with UCLA hitting .084 as a team to USC's .186 attack percentage.
USC started the third game with a lead, but UCLA came back to tie at 5-5 and took the lead from there, cruising to a 30-23 victory. UCLA hit .357 as a team in game three to USC's .171. Becky Green had an outstanding third game for the Bruins, recording seven kills and one error on nine attacks for a .667 attack percentage in the game
UCLA started game four on a hot streak, sprinting to a 10-3 lead before USC called its first timeout of the game. At that point, the Bruins were hitting .583 for the game with seven kills on 12 swings with no errors, while USC had two kills and three errors for a -.062 attack percentage on 16 swings. USC was never able to close the gap, as UCLA reached match point at 29-18 and closing out the game on a USC ball handling error at 30-21.
The small bit of momentum that the Women of Troy took into the start of game five helped them take an early 4-1 lead in the fifth and deciding game of the match. After UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski called his first timeout at that point, the raucous crowd of 1,994 fans in Pauley Pavilion helped the Bruins back to tie the game at 7-7 before the teams switched sides with USC leading 8-7.
From there, USC maintained a two-point lead to 11-9, but UCLA then used two Colby Lyman kills to tie the game at 11-11, forcing USC into a timeout. Out of the break, a UC attack error gave UCLA a brief lead before a Venski kill tied it up at 12-12. The teams traded points again to 13-13, and a Sarah Florian service error gave UCLA its first match point at 14-13, but a Keao Burdine kill re-tied the game and gave the women of Troy new life.
A Bibiana Candelas service error gave UCLA its second match point of the evening, but a Bruin attack error tied it at 15-15 beofre a Krystal McFarland kill gave the Bruins a third match point at 16-15, but a UCLA service error followed by a Bruin attack error and a Staci Venski kill kept USC's winning streak against the Bruins alive with n 18-16 game five victory.
For the match, Green led the Bruins with 20 kills and 21 points, with Brittany Ringel (16), Colby Lyman (13) and Nancy Barba (10) joining her with double-figure kills. Chrissie Zartman had a career-high 36 digs in the match as the Bruins out-dug USC by a 112-106 margin for the evening.
UCLA returns to action next weekend with its final two regular season home matches of the season. The Bruins will face Oregon State on Friday night at seven, followed by a Saturday night match against Oregon. Prior to the Oregon match, the Bruins will honor their five seniors: Brittany Ringel, Brynn Murphy, Krystal McFarland, Heather Cullen and Chrissie Zartman.