Win Over K-State Puts USC In Sweet 16
Dec. 3, 2004
LOS ANGELES - Thanks to dominating offensive attack featuring four players who hit above .500, the eighth-seeded USC women's volleyball team defeated No. 23 Kansas State, 3-0 (30-19, 30-25, 30-19), in the NCAA Second Round on Friday. The Women of Troy now advance to the NCAA Regionals in Louisville, Ky., Dec. 10-11.
With the win, the Trojans improve to 21-5 overall and extend their postseason win streak to 14. The Wildcats, who received an at-large NCAA Tournament bid, complete their season at 20-11.
USC's powerful offense was guided by senior outside hitter Keao Burdine. Burdine collected 19 kills and made only three errors in the match for a .533 attack percentage. She also added 11 digs, an ace and three blocks in the effort.
Fellow seniors Alicia Robinson and Emily Adams added 11 kills apiece and hit .588 and 500, respectively. Junior Bibiana Candelas was the fourth to notch an above-.500 effort with seven kills and no errors for a .538 mark.
The Women of Troy held Kansas State to a .178 attack effort in the sweep. The Trojans notched 63 kills, 48 digs and 11.0 blocks, while the Wildcats posted 40 kills, 36 digs and 3.0 blocks of their own.
USC seemed to be in trouble at the very start of the match as Kansas State kicked things off with consecutive service aces and forced a USC attack error for a quick 3-0 lead. The Wildcats pushed their lead to 6-2 before the Trojans began to fight back. After three tie scores, USC took its first lead at 9-8 and never turned back. The Women of Troy never trailed for the remainder of the match.
The Trojans next round opponent will not be determined until Saturday, Dec. 4. The remaining Louisville Regional teams play second-round matches on Saturday at sites including Lincoln, Neb., Columbia, Mo., and San Diego.
NCAA Second Round Postgame Quotes
Dec. 3, 2004 - Los Angeles, Calif.
USC Head Coach Mick Haley
'We prepared pretty hard for Kansas State and I think we did a good job. We asked the team to reduce their number of errors and increase their kills and I think it was pretty effective. I don't think I could have asked for anything better.'
'I think Alicia Robinson played one of her best matches. She played smart and stepped up. I was pretty happy with the game.'
'Kansas State is a hard team to get your rhythm against. They give you a whole spectrum to defend against. They change the pace and make it difficult to keep a tempo. I think we really controlled the tempo of the game.'
'We have been working really hard to get to this point and I hope we can continue on.'
USC Outside Hitter Keao Burdine
'It just felt right tonight. We got into a rhythm.'
On the benefit of having postseason experience...'It really feels the same as the last two years. We just try to keep going out there and playing the way we can.'
USC Outside Hitter Alicia Robinson
On the benefit of having postseason experience...
'Having experience helps us to relax a little. We can help those players are the team that are more nervous.'
Kansas State Head Coach Suzie Fritz
'I thought we played good volleyball. This was a hard team to defend but we did what we could.'
'We had a hard time going up against such a quick attack. It was hard to slow the game down and get into a rhythm. We couldn't touch enough balls. It is disappointing; we have been a good team with good defense all year.'
'To their credit they played very well. I think our team played the best we could have.'
'USC has the ability to set quickly at a very high pace and hit hard. We only have a six foot middle blocker in there and she did her best.'
On things the team could have done differently...
'I don't think I would have done anything differently. We had a good game plan coming in. Early on we were a little tentative and you can't be tentative against a team like this, you have to be aggressive. We had a good plan coming in but we couldn't execute it effectively.'
Kansas State Outside Hitter Vali Hejjas
'I saw USC play for the first time last year. They are a different team this year. They were beatable this year. It was a great challenge to play against them.'
'We are a better volleyball team now for what we have done. We have become more of a team and a better one.'
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