No. 15 USC Sweeps Portland, 3-0
Sept. 18, 2009
LOS ANGELES -- Freshman Katie Fuller (Olivenhain/La Costa Canyon HS) led with a team-high 10 kills Friday as the No. 15 USC Women of Troy swept the Portland Pilots, 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 25-13), in a non-conference match at the Galen Center. Fuller hit .471 in the match (10-2-17) for the Trojans.
Sophomore middle blocker Lauren Williams had nine kills and hit .438 (9-2-16) with five block assists while sophomore outside hitter Alex Jupiter had eight kills with nine digs and a career-high seven blocks (two solo, five assisted). Senior libero Alli Hillgren had a season-high 20 digs for USC (10-1).
Maria Clemens led Portland (2-10) with nine kills and nine digs.
'So far, I have been very pleased with the effort,' said USC head coach Mick Haley. 'This team plays really hard. We are going to continue to get better. We should not be looking at our win-loss record, but rather what we are doing on our side of the net.'
Geena Urango went back-to-back kills to spark a 6-1 run for the Trojans in the first set for the 9-5 lead. Fuller's kill made it 14-8 in favor of the Women of Troy. An attack error by the Pilots gave USC the 21-14 advantage, but Portland used its own 6-1 spurt to get to within two at 22-20. Jupiter and Zoe Garrett stuffed the next Portland attempt and Williams later gave USC the 1-0 lead in the match.
After falling behind 4-1 in the second set, USC used a 7-2 run to take the lead on a run capped by back-to-back blocks. A USC hitting error tied it at 8-8, but the Trojans reeled off six straight points with the finisher coming on a Jupiter solo block. USC recorded two straight errors after that, but rolled a lucky seven to take the 21-10 lead. Portland had 12 errors in set two against only five kills for a negative .206 clip as USC led two sets to none.
More errors aided an early lead in the final set for USC with a 9-4 score. A 7-1 run, including two kills by Fuller, led the way as USC registered its ninth 3-0 sweep of the season.
USC will play Fresno State in a 7 p.m. match tomorrow at the Galen Center, preceded by Portland and Fresno State in an 11 a.m. match. The USC-Fresno State match will be broadcast through a live video webcast on usctrojans.com.
Notes: USC missed two starters in tonight's match: Jessica Gysin (hamstring, day-to-day) and Kimmee Roleder (flu)...Roleder is expected to see action tomorrow night while Gysin should be able to play next weekend as USC opens Pac-10 Conference play...tonight was the first-ever meeting between USC and Portland in women's volleyball...since hitting .167 in the season-opening loss at Michigan State, USC has hit .282 or better in its last 10 matches.
UP 22-15-13USC 25-25-25
Records: USC (10-1), Portland (2-10)Kills: Katie Fuller 10 (USC), Maria Clemens 9 (UP)
Team: UP USC1 .154 .2732 -.206 .1213 -.030 .353Match -.019 .250
USC head coach Mick Haley post-match quotes
'There are a lot of things that we have to do to play well in the Pac-10 Conference (starting next week). We have to take care of things on our side of the net. We have to serve well and keep passing well. If our blocking keeps getting better, then our defense will improve. If we can get all of those three items together, then our offense will get better.'
'I think Katie was nervous at the start of tonight's match because she knew she was in the starting lineup. Usually, when I bring her off the bench, she is not nervous because she is so excited to be able to play. She knew blocking was the key for her instead of the hitting aspect. She focused so much on the blocking that she was able to really unload on the hitting. It made her quite free with the hitting.'
'I think it was critical tonight because to get this kind of experience when starters are hurt and still be successful, it's important for our team's self-confidence.'