No. 7 USC Earns First Win With 3-1 Decision Over Oklahoma
Sept. 4, 2008
LOS ANGELES - Freshman Alex Jupiter (Hermosa Beach/Redondo Union HS) recorded a season-high 19 kills Thursday as the No. 7 USC Trojans earned their first win of the season with a 3-1 victory (25-27, 25-20, 25-16, 25-22) over the Oklahoma Sooners at the Galen Center. The match was the first of six to start the 2008 Holiday Inn LA City Center Trojan Invitational.
Jupiter hit .389 for the match (19-5-36), adding five digs and a solo block for a 20 point evening. Junior outside hitter Jessica Gysin (Los Gatos/St. Francis HS) added 16 kills while sophomore outside hitter Kimmee Roleder (Pasadena/Pasadena HS) had 14 kills. Junior All-America setter Taylor Carico (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) had her best match of the season with 53 assists and 16 digs.
Francie Ekwerekwu led Oklahoma (1-3) with 14 kills and three block assists. Sophomore middle blocker Chrissy Disarro posted nine kills and 11 blocks in the match (five solo, six assisted) while freshman setter Brianne Barker recorded 32 assists, six kills, nine digs and five block assists.
Two kills from Roleder and a solo block and service ace from Gysin gave USC the early 5-1 lead in set one. Two errors by the Women of Troy keyed a 7-1 run by the visiting Sooners as Bridget Laplante's kill gave OU the lead at 11-10. Three straight points capped by Jackie Fotu's kill gave the Sooners a three-point lead, 14-11. Roleder helped the Trojans back with another kill to tie it at 18-18. Barker and Disarro stuffed a Trojan attempt for a 20-18 margin. Jupiter became the Trojans' offense as back-to-back kills later tied it at 22-22. Fotu recorded the go-ahead point, but Jupiter added two more in a row as USC held set point, 24-23. Ekwerekwu staved off the set and Caitlin Higgins made it a 25-24 OU lead. Jupiter tied it at 25-25, but gave OU set point with a service ace. Barker and Ekwerekwu then combined to stuff Gysin on the left side as the Sooners took set one.
Roleder got USC out to another quick start in set two with two kills and the 6-1 lead. The Sooners quietly chipped away down 14-8. Disarro put down two straight and teamed with Fotu for a block as Oklahoma scored five straight to get within one. USC was called for a rotation error as OU took a 16-15 lead. Lauren Williams terminated on an overpass and followed with the solo block as the Women of Troy retook the lead at 17-16. At 19-18 with USC ahead, Roleder and Jupiter recorded two kills for a three-point lead. Zoe Garrett then recorded a kill and a solo block for the 23-19 advantage and Gysin tied the match with two straight kills.
Both teams battled early in set three as USC got to a 9-7 lead. Ekwerekwu and Laplante tied it at nine apiece and Disarro chalked up another solo block later as the set was tied at 12-12. USC would take charge as Williams started a streak of six straight points. Garrett later went back-to-back again as the Women of Troy held court, 22-15, and she would give USC the 2-1 match lead with a service ace. USC forced Oklahoma to hit negative .059 in the third set.
The fourth set started in similar fashion as set three as both teams batted to a 9-8 lead in favor of the host Trojans. A Sooner error led the way for a 6-2 USC run as Roleder made it a 15-10 lead. Jupiter started three straight for the Women of Troy as Williams and Carico teamed up again on a block for the 18-11 margin in favor of USC. Two USC errors cut the lead to four, but the Trojans pushed it back to six on Carico and Garrett's block at 21-15. Ekwerekwu put two away as the Sooners reeled off four straight, trailing 21-19. After USC's timeout, Gysin's attempt forced a four-hit call against OU to stop the streak. Both teams traded points, but Gysin spanked the ball from the right side for match point. Jupiter finished the match with her final kill for the Trojans.
The Holiday Inn LA City Center Trojan Invitational continues tomorrow with three matches, starting with No. 21 San Diego and Hofstra at 10 a.m. San Diego will play again at 5 p.m. against Oklahoma with USC hosting Hofstra at 7 p.m. The tournament will conclude on Saturday (Sept. 6) with Oklahoma and Hofstra at 4 p.m. with USC and San Diego playing at 6:30 p.m. Both USC matches will be broadcast live on usctrojans.com, courtesy of TrojanTV All-Access.
Notes: USC extended its home winning streak to 27 matches, three shy of the school record...the Women of Troy are 27-1 all-time at the Galen Center...freshman Alex Jupiter has recorded double-digit kills in all three matches this season (17 vs. No. 4 Texas and 12 vs. No. 7 Nebraska last weekend)...Taylor Carico was four digs shy of her career best...both Jessica Gysin and Kimmee Roleder recorded season-highs for kills.
OU 27-20-16-22USC 25-25-25-25
Records: USC (1-2), Oklahoma (1-3)Kills: Alex Jupiter 19 (USC), Francie Ekwerekwu 14 (OU)
Team: OU USC1 .375 .2892 .077 .3063 -.059 .2064 .159 .188Match .134 .244