No. 7 USC Opens 2005 Season With 3-0 Victory Over Cal Poly

Aug. 27, 2005

LOS ANGELES -- Sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Diane Copenhagen (Mountain View/St. Francis HS) registered a team-high 14 kills Saturday as the No. 7 USC women's volleyball team defeated the Cal Poly Mustangs with a 3-0 (30-27, 30-26, 30-25) victory at the Lyon Center. It was the season opener for both teams.

Senior All-America middle blocker Bibiana Candelas had 11 kills and 12.5 points for USC (1-0) while senior outside hitter Staci Venski added 10 kills.

Cal Poly (0-1) provided a hard-fought match from the start as USC used a 7-4 rally to win the first game. Down 26-23, Copenhagen got the Women of Troy going with a kill, followed by another kill from Candelas. The Mustangs' Vanessa Gilliam missed on her attempt to tie the game at 26 apiece. Both teams traded points, but USC finished with three consecutive points to finish the game.

Gilliam led the Mustangs with 14 kills and 15.5 points.

The Women of Troy hit .316 for the match with a .371 percentage in game three while the Mustangs hit .202 for the match.

USC held a 27-17 lead in the third game before Cal Poly rattled off five straight points on the service of freshman Kylie Atherstone. The Women of Troy held off the late rally as Copenhagen closed out the match with a cross-court shot.

Freshman middle blocker/outside hitter Kelli Tennant had a strong debut for the Women of Troy with a team-high .455 percentage (6-1-11), two service aces and two block assists for a total of 9.0 points.

USC travels to the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic next week in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Women of Troy will face No. 5 Penn State on Wednesday (Aug. 31), host and No. 4 Hawai'i on Thursday (Sept. 1) and Western Michigan on Friday (Sept. 2).

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