No. 17 USC Defeats No. 22 UCLA, 3-1, In Pac-10 Action

Oct. 28, 2005

LOS ANGELES -- Senior Staci Venski had a career-high 23 kills Friday as the No. 17 USC Women of Troy completed a season sweep over the No. 22 UCLA Bruins with a 3-1 (37-35, 26-30, 30-22, 32-30) Pac-10 Conference victory. USC won its 11th straight match against UCLA and earned five points in the Lexus Gauntlet standings.

Venski had only one attacking error on 55 attempts for a team-high .400 hitting performance.

The Women of Troy improved to 11-7 overall and 7-3 in Pac-10 play while the Bruins fell to 11-8 on the season, 4-6 in conference. USC has been red-hot with its seventh victory in the last eight matches after a 4-6 start.

Both teams had four players who recorded double figures in the kill department. Sophomore Diane Copenhagen added 16 kills for the Women of Troy. Katie Carter led the Bruins with 19 kills while Kaitlin Sather helped with 16 kills, 13 digs and four service aces.

UCLA's Nancy Barba hit a team-high .619 (14-1-21) on the evening.

Game one of the match proved to be a battle, the longest game in USC history since rally scoring was instituted in 2001. The Women of Troy held game point at 29-26 before the Bruins rallied with three straight. Both teams combined 13 straight side outs after USC sophomore Katelyn Bishop recorded a kill at 36-35. Venski earned the game win with another kill for USC.

Sather's service ace capped a streak of five straight points as UCLA took a commanding 24-20 lead in the second game. A kill by Sather and service ace by Jade Machado wrapped up a 1-1 tie in the match for UCLA.

Bibiana Candelas broke a 2-2 tie in the third with a kill that started a 7-0 run for the Women of Troy. USC led at one point by a 16-7 margin and cruised to take the two games to one lead.

USC looked to take over the match with another early run in the fourth game, leading 17-8, but UCLA stormed back. A 14-5 run put the Bruins in the lead at 22-21. After a side out for both teams, Bishop's kill started a 4-0 run. USC had a match point at 29-26, but once again could not hold off a UCLA rally. A dual block from Nana Meriwether and Carter made it a 29-29 tie, but after a USC timeout, the Bruins served the ball into the net. Carter registered a kill to tie it at 30 apiece before a Copenhagen kill and UCLA attacking error gave the Women of Troy the victory.

USC travels to Oregon on Thursday (Nov. 3) and Oregon State on Friday (Nov. 4) with both matches starting at 7 p.m.

UCLA	35-30-22-30USC	37-26-30-32

Records: UCLA (11-8, 4-6), USC (11-7, 7-3)Kills: Katie Carter 19 (UCLA); Staci Venski 23 (USC)Team Attack: UCLA USC1 .344 .4192 .282 .2093 .143 .2894 .119 .224Totals .223 .293

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