No. 14 USC Passes First Top 25 Test With 3-1 Win Over No. 24 Utah

Sept. 2, 2006

LOS ANGELES - Junior Diane Copenhagen (Saratoga/St. Francis HS) led No. 14 USC with 23 kills Saturday in the 3-1 victory (30-25, 30-21, 30-32, 30-24) over the No. 24 Utah Utes in day two action at the USC/LMU Classic. Copenhagen was one kill away from tying her personal career best.

Junior Asia Kaczor (Wroclaw, Poland/College of Southern Idaho) recorded 18 kills while sophomore Jessica Gysin (Los Gatos/St. Francis HS) earned the double-double with 14 kills and 10 digs.

Airial Salvo led the Utes with 17 kills and 21 digs.

USC (5-0) outhit Utah (2-2) by a .246 to .206 margin despite the Utes holding a 15.0 to 8.0 advantage in blocks. Utah middle blocker Emillie Toone led both sides with 12 block assists.

Freshman USC setter Taylor Carico (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) had a heavy workload with 62 assists, three kills, eight digs and two block assists. Senior All-America libero Debora Seilhamer (Ponce, Puerto Rico/Colegio Ponceno) posted 33 digs and has a 7.06 dpg average so far this season.

Utah opened the match with an aggressive attack, building an 11-6 lead. Seilhamer used a one-arm dig to key the Women of Troy's comeback to pull even at 14 apiece. Carico's second ball slam put USC ahead on the next point as Utah called its first timeout of the game. The Utes answered with a 5-1 run on two kills each by sophomore middle blocker Lori Baird and sophomore outside hitter Airial Salvo. USC fought back and later tied the game at 23-23 and took a 26-24 lead on the strength of two Copenhagen kills. On the ensuing point, Copenhagen won the joust on the net and a key dual block by Carico and Katelyn Bishop on Salvo helped earn the game victory for USC.

It was an even start in game two before USC junior Bethany Johansen keyed a mini streak of three points and a 12-8 advantage. Copenhagen started another run, followed by a backdoor kill from Bishop to push it to a 17-10 margin. Gysin and Copenhagen tallied several kills before a Utah attacking error and double hit call made it 25-16 in favor of the home team. After the second timeout, Utah reeled off four straight points, but USC answered the call with an important solo block from Copenhagen in the sequence to take the 2-0 lead in the match.

Down 7-6 in the third, the Women of Troy utilized an 8-1 run to take the lead. Utah, however, took advantage of several hitting errors by USC and climbed back into the game, trailing 18-15. Bishop was stuffed at the net with Utah cutting the deficit to one before four straight gave USC the 23-18 lead. Seilhamer's service ace made it 28-23, but the Utes did not go away and scored four straight with contributions by Salvo and Baird's service ace. USC held match point at 29-27 on Kaczor's kill, but Salvo's kill and service ace from Shannon Krug evened the game. A USC attacking error gave Utah the lead and a dual block from Toone and Whitney Webb sealed the third game for the Utes.

Copenhagen teamed with Kaczor in the fourth game as USC scored an 11-7 lead. The game went back and forth until Bishop contributed with a solo block and kill for the 24-19 advantage. A double hit call against the Utes made it 27-21 in favor of the Women of Troy en route to the four-game win.

This weekend's tournament concludes tomorrow with matches featuring Fresno State against Utah at 2 p.m. and USC against No. 11 Tennessee at 4 p.m. The USC-Tennessee match will be broadcast on a live video webcast on usctrojans.com.

UTAH 25-21-32-24USC 30-30-30-30

Records: Utah (2-2), USC (5-0)Kills: Airial Salvo 17 (Utah), Diane Copenhagen 23 (USC)

Team: UTAH USC1 .192 .3112 .278 .3493 .077 -.0244 .289 .341Totals .206 .246

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