No. 13 USC Pulls Out A Five-Set Thriller Over No. 9 Cal

Oct. 2, 2009

LOS ANGELES -- Senior All-America outside hitter Jessica Gysin (Los Gatos/St. Francis HS) had a career-high 21 kills Friday as the No. 13 USC Women of Troy beat the No. 9 California Golden Bears, 3-2 (22-25, 29-27, 25-19, 16-25, 22-20), in a Pac-10 Conference match at the Galen Center. Junior outside hitter Kimmee Roleder (Pasadena/Pasadena HS) tied a career high with 18 kills, including a team-leading six kills in the deciding set.

Sophomore setter Kendall Bateman (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) had a career-high 61 assists, adding 10 digs for the Trojans (13-2, 2-1) while sophomore Alex Jupiter had 19 kills and 14 digs. Mindi Wiley led the Golden Bears (8-4, 1-1) with 21 kills, hitting .459 (21-4-37) in the match with seven block assists. Hana Cutura had 19 kills, 11 digs and six blocks (one solo, five assists) for Cal while junior setter Carli Lloyd had 59 assists with three kills, eight digs and six blocks (one solo, five assists).

'I think we didn't play really well, but I thought we fought through it and still came out with the win,' said USC head coach Mick Haley. 'We had some moments of brilliance where we executed very well and times where we committed a lot of errors. We stayed in there, fought and competed.'

Jupiter served USC to a 4-0 lead in the first set, capping the run with a service ace. Cutura's backrow kill started a run of three as Wiley went back-to-back for a 4-3 USC lead. Gysin's roll shot helped with a 5-1 run as USC took the 9-4 lead. After trailing 15-8, the Golden Bears answered with a 7-2 run with Wiley responsible for three of the kills to put the score at 17-15 in favor of the Trojans. Wiley and Cutura's block tied it at 18-18 and a 4-2 run put the Golden Bears ahead at 22-20. Gysin delivered from the back row and Roleder tied it at 22-22. Wiley came back to put Cal ahead for good as back-to-back blocks on Jupiter gave set one to the Golden Bears.

USC took an 8-7 lead in the fourth set before rattling off four straight after Gysin used a solo block and kill to make it a 12-7 advantage. Cal cut into the lead and eventually tied it at 17-17 after two straight errors by the Trojans. Roleder and Cal's Tarah Murrey had two kills each, but Gysin's kill made it a 21-19 Trojan lead. Correy Johnson, who had 15 kills and hit .379 (15-4-29) with nine block assists, aided Cutura on a stuff to tie it at 21-21. Cal made it four straight points on a USC error and a Lloyd/Johnson block, leading 23-21. Gysin came back with a kill and Lauren Williams, who tied a career best with eight blocks, solo blocked Murray's backrow attempt for a 23-23 score. Both teams traded points to force extra play as Murray's attack error gave USC the 26-25 lead. Another Cal block and kill by Wiley put the Golden Bears at set point to take a possible 2-0 lead in the match, but Jupiter tied it with another kill. Cal recorded a hitting error and Jupiter evened the match with the kill.

The Trojans cruised to a 10-5 lead in the third set, but five straight points from the Golden Bears tied it at 10-10. On Bateman's serve, Jupiter figured for three kills out of four points as an 8-2 run put the host Women of Troy ahead at 17-12. Johnson hit the trifecta with three straight kills as Cal pulled within two at 18-16. Roleder started USC's own streak with five straight points as Jupiter sealed the set with USC hitting .560 in the third.

Cal kept USC off-kilter in the fourth set, jumping out to a 5-1 lead and not looking back. Cutura used two more kills and a block with Kat Brown as the Golden Bears held a comfortable 16-10 lead. A streak of five straight points put it away for Cal, hitting a match-high .355 in the set to force the match into a fifth set.

In the fifth set, the Golden Bears took the 4-1 lead as USC took its first timeout. Williams hit the overpass for a 5-4 Cal advantage, but a 3-1 run put the Golden Bears ahead, 8-5, at the switch. USC added two points, but an error made it 9-7 for Cal as USC burned its final timeout. Jupiter made it 10-8 for Cal, but a USC service error put the Golden Bears ahead by three. Jupiter came back again for the Trojans with a kill and a Cal hitting error cut the lead to one, 11-10. After Cal called a timeout, Jupiter promptly served up an ace to tie it and another Cal error put USC ahead, 12-11. Cutura added two kills, but Roleder and Gysin gave match point to USC at 14-13. Freshman Erin Yoder served into the net to tie it at 14-14, but her defense would later help the Women of Troy. After a USC error, the Women of Troy would stave off three match points by Cal as Jupiter tied it at 17-17. Roleder recorded the kill to put Cal on the defensive as it was the Golden Bears' turn to hold off three match points by the Women of Troy with Cutura's kill tying it at 20-20. Lloyd was called for the foot fault on her serve and Cutura's attempt on the next play went into the net as USC rallied for the five-set victory.

USC hosts No. 11 Stanford, who earned a 3-1 victory tonight at No. 14 UCLA, in a 7 p.m. match on Saturday (Oct. 3). The match will be tape delayed by FOX Sports Net with Paul Sunderland and Karch Kiraly calling the action. The match also will be delayed for broadcast on usctrojans.com.

Notes: With 20 digs tonight, senior libero Alli Hillgren moved into eighth place on USC's career list, passing Antoinette Polk (1997-2000)...Hillgren now has 1,169 career digs and needs 72 digs to tie Keao Burdine (2001-04) for seventh place...Alex Jupiter recorded her team-leading fourth double-double of the season tonight...Lauren Williams tied her career high of eight blocks, also set against Cal last season at the Galen Center (10/25/08)...Jessica Gysin passed her career mark of 20 kills set against Washington (9/29/06)...Kimmee Roleder recorded 18 kills (career high) for the third time in her Trojan career...USC has won seven of the last eight meetings against Cal...this was USC's first win in three matches after posting a lower hitting percentage than its opponent...USC is now 3-1 this season against ranked teams...the Trojans posted 17 kills in the final set.

CAL	  25-27-19-25-20USC	  22-29-25-16-22

Records: USC (13-2, 2-1), California (8-4, 1-1)Kills: Jessica Gysin 21 (USC), Mindi Wiley (CAL)

Team: CAL USC1 .190 .0832 .128 .1273 .222 .5604 .355 .0005 .219 .234Match .213 .177

USC head coach Mick Haley post-match quotes

'I was trying to get Alex (Jupiter) to simplify things. She was thinking about too many things. I said `let's just look at things in order.' It just looked like we were jumping and just trying to be physical instead of looking at what was going on. You have to be calm because Jessica (Gysin) is our senior and she got frustrated there and tried to use her athleticism to win the game and I said the same thing to her. We want to get better, so hopefully, we can use tonight to get better. This will help us to prepare for Stanford tomorrow.'

'We are just trying to get better every day. We are trying to fight and execute in the matches and still come out with wins, but stay to our system.'

'I thought you started to see maturity tonight from our younger players and the only way you do that is to go through these situations. As hard as it is to struggle through that, if we would have lost, we would have felt terrible. Right now, it's a great thing for our team to have fought back, Alex in particular. I was really proud of Jessica, who had to play one full match under duress and everyone knew she was going to get the ball and she still careered as far as kills. There are just a lot of nice things. Kimmee finished very well offensively for us. Kendall really came back well. I thought we had some great efforts. Erin (Yoder) could have crashed after her service error, but she came back and made dig after dig after dig and how good is that for a freshman.'

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