No. 8 USC Rallies to Defeat No. 5 Washington
Nov. 16, 2007
LOS ANGELES - Behind a Pac-10 record 44 kills from Asia Kaczor, the No. 8 USC Trojans staged an amazing comeback against the No. 5 Washington Huskies, rallying from two games down to win 3-2 at the Galen Center on Friday night.
Trailing by two games, USC won games three and four before taking game five, 18-16, to improve to 22-4 overall and 11-4 in the Pac-10. Washington drops to 23-3 and 12-3 in the Pac-10. Game scores were 25-30, 29-31, 32-30, 30-27, 18-16.
In a battle of two of the nation's best outside hitters, Kaczor tallied 44 kills and Washington's Christal Morrison netted 30 kills, setting a new career-high. Both were All-America selections last year.
USC took control early in the final game, opening a 6-2 lead before Washington stormed back, eventually taking a 12-11 lead on kill by Morrison. A Trojans attack error put UW up 13-12, but USC scored two straight points to regain the lead at 14-13.
Becky Perry tied it back up for Washington on a kill, USC regained the lead on a kill by Diane Copenhagen and then Perry tied it once again, at 15-15. Attack errors by Morrison for the Huskies and by Kaczor for USC kept it tied, 16-16, before the Trojans scored the final two points.
Kaczor put USC up by one when she set the Pac-10 record with her 44th kill of the night, and then she teamed up with Bethany Johansen to block an attack by Morrison, giving the Trojans the win.
After the first two games it appeared that the Huskies were on their way to a sweep in front of the 1,081 fans in attendance. Washington took game one, 30-25, and then rallied late for a 31-29 game two win.
USC outhit the Huskies in game one, .220 to .205, but Washington benefited from six USC service errors on their way to winning, 30-25. Alesha Deesing scored the first point of the game on a kill and had four of the Huskies first 10 kills. Washington took its biggest lead at 19-12 on an ace by Stevie Mussie and the Trojans never really threatened again.
In the second game, Washington trailed 9-8 before a kill by Deesing and three straight by Morrison gave the Huskies a 12-9 lead. Washington ran its lead to 15-11 but the Trojans rallied to tie the game at 19-19 and eventually take a 22-21 lead on a kill by Kaczor. A kill by Perry tied it back up at 24-24 before USC took the game to match point at 29-26.
Washington wasn't done though, rattling off five straight points for the 31-29 win and silencing the Trojan faithful in attendance. A kill by Morrison, sandwiched between a Trojans service error and an attack error by Copenhagen tied it at 29-29. A Mussie kill gave the Huskies the lead and another attack error by Copenhagen gave Washington the win.
The loss puts the Huskies one-and-a-half games back of Stanford in the Pac-10 Championship race, The Cardinal, who swept Arizona State tonight, are 14-2 in the Pac-10.
The Huskies had a handful of players put up great numbers. In addition to Morrison's new career-high 30 kills, she tallied 14 digs for her 11th double-double of the year. She had 77 attacks on the night, setting a UW season-high and a new career-high. Deesing set a new season-high in kills with 13 and also tied her career-high in blocks with 11.
Jessica Swarbrick also set a season-high in kills for the Huskies, notching 14 while hitting .400 to lead the UW. Tamari Miyashiro set a career-high with 38 digs and Jenna Hagglund set a career-high with 75 assists, falling three short of the Washington school record set by Courtney Thompson in 2004. Miyashiro was two off the UW record of 40 digs by Candace Lee, also set in 2004.
Megan McAfee added a career-best 14 digs for the UW, Hagglund and Mussie added nine digs each, and Hagglund had a career-high eight blocks. The Huskies finished with 19.5 team blocks, a season-best.
USC also received 13 kills from Jessica Gysin and Taylor Carico, with Carico hitting a match-best .722 from her setter position. Copenhagen added 11 kills, Carico finished with 69 assists and Alli Hillgren led USC with 26 digs.
The two teams finished with almost identical hitting percentages, USC at .254 and the Huskies at .250. The Trojans had 90 kills to Washington's 83, and both teams had 30 attack errors.
Washington plays again tomorrow night, this time at No. 10 UCLA, who won 3-0 over Washington State tonight. The Huskies swept the Bruins in Seattle back on Oct. 18. Match-time is set for 7 p.m.
NOTES: USC leads the all-time series 33-14 ... the Trojans extended their home match winning streak to 22 straight ... Washington last won in Los Angeles in 2005 ... the Huskies had season-highs in kills (83), attacks (212), assists (81) and digs (96) ... Morrison finished with 33.5 points, a new career-high ... Morrison needs 26 more kills to become the Huskies all-time career leader in that category. Morrison, with 1,770 kills, trails Sonja Tomasevic (2002-05), who had 1,795 career kills.