No. 12 USC Wins NCAA First Round Match Against UC Santa Barbara

Dec. 2, 2005

LOS ANGELES --- Senior Bibiana Candelas had 18 kills and three solo blocks Friday as the No. 12 USC Women of Troy defeated the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, 3-1 (27-30, 30-22, 30-24, 30-22), in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament from the Lyon Center. USC faces Pepperdine in the second round after the Waves upset No. 22 BYU in four games (30-24, 28-30, 30-24, 30-28).

Candelas, who celebrated her 22nd birthday today, also hit .378 on the evening (18-1-45).

USC improves to 17-10 on the season while UC Santa Barbara finishes at 21-9. This was the first time in 17 matches this season that UCSB has lost a match after winning the first game. Conversely, USC was 1-6 after losing the first game before tonight's match.

Senior Staci Venski led USC with 21 kills on the evening with sophomore Diane Copenhagen chipping in 15 kills and 24 digs. Standout libero Debora Seilhamer had 27 kills in the match. Freshman Kelli Tennant hit a sparkling .529 (9-0-17) for the women of Troy

Janine Sandell led the Gauchos with 20 kills, but had 15 attacking errors for a .076 evening. UCSB's Megan Blackshire hit .433 (14-1-30) in the match while Bethany Johansen registered 16 kills and hit .370 (16-6-27).

USC outblocked UCSB by a 16.0 to 7.5 margin.

Tomorrow's second round match will start at 7:30 p.m. Fans are asked to arrive on campus as close to the start time as possible since there will be no available parking until the conclusion of the 1:30 p.m. USC-UCLA football game at the Coliseum.

2005 NCAA WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENTFirst Round - Los Angeles, Calif. - Lyon Center

UCSB 30-22-24-22USC 27-30-30-30

Records: UC Santa Barbara (21-9), USC (17-10)Kills: Janine Sandell 20 (UCSB), Staci Venski 21 (USC)

UCSB USC1 .245 .2292 .087 .3253 .096 .1734 .188 .400Match .156 .272

POST-MATCH QUOTESUCSB head coach Kathy Gregory

'We really played well in the first game...probably played one of our best games. We really controlled the first game, but we couldn't maintain and USC was really physical.'

'(USC's) Bibiana Candelas is unbelievable. She just doesn't make mistakes. Debora (Seilhamer) is fantastic and made it very difficult on us.'

'We just didn't get Janine (Sandell) involved as much as we should have tonight. We had just as many kills as they did in the match, but we just had too many errors.'

UCSB senior middle blocker Megan Blackshire

'I can't believe it's over. It was a good, hard-fought match, but I felt we competed tonight. I just wanted to win. It was my last game. I just gave everything I had.'

UCSB sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Bethany Johansen

'I really tried to motivate my teammates and play hard.'

USC head coach Mick Haley

'I thought it was an excellent match tonight with both teams slugging it out. At this time of the year, you come with everything you've got and you never quit. We are happy to come away with a win.'

'Our goal every year has been to get back to the NCAA Final Four, but every year is a completely different challenge.'

'This team could have quit this year, but they didn't. This team is not finished yet.'

USC senior outside hitter Staci Venski

'We came out fighting and we just stepped up to it in the second game.'

USC senior middle blocker Bibiana Candelas

'We knew Santa Barbara was a tough team and they showed it tonight, but we just made adjustments and came back.'

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