Women's Volleyball Advances to Final Four With Waves' Sweep!
Dec. 13, 2002
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - With a 3-0 victory over ninth-seeded Pepperdine on Friday night, the top-seeded USC women's volleyball team advances to the 2002 NCAA Final Four for the fifth time in program history and first time since 2000. The Women of Troy posted another dominating offensive performance tonight as they eased past the Waves 30-24, 30-20, 30-17.
USC improves to 29-1 this season as it prepares to face the winner of the Florida-Washington State East Regional in the NCAA Semifinals on Thursday, Dec. 19, in New Orleans, La. Pepperdine ends its season with a 26-7 overall record.
'I'm proud of my team for what I thought was a pretty dominating effort tonight,' said USC head coach Mick Haley, who will also be making his fifth trip to the Final Four. 'I am very pleased, but as much as we are excited to be going to the Final Four, our goal all year has been to win the last game of the season.'
With 10 kills, seven digs, three service aces and a career high six blocks, junior April Ross was named the regional tournament MVP. Middle blockers Katie Olsovsky and Emily Adams also received all-tournament accolades. Adams hit .615 in the match, while committing no errors and posting six blocks. Olsosvky collected nine kills, hit .467 and added four blocks in the effort.
With outstanding performances of their own, sophomore outside hitterAlicia Robinson led the team with 11 kills, setter Toni Anderson posted 27 assists and libero Nicole Davis led with nine digs. The Women of Troy hit .389 in the three-game match, limiting Pepperdine to a mere .137 hitting percentage.
Pepperdine was led by all-tournament selection Katie Wilkins, who had a team-best 15 kills.
'We were hoping to put forth a better showing tonight but USC played a tremendous match and deserves to move on,' said Pepperdine head coach Nina Matthies. 'USC made some plays early on to take the lead and put us back on our heels and we were never really able to recover.'
The Women of Troy jumped out to significant leads at the start of games one and two to establish early control of the match. USC never trailed in the first two games of the match. In fact, until they fell behind 1-0 in the third game, they had not been behind in either of their two West Regional matches.
In its two matches at the NCAA West Regional, a win over Michigan State to go along with the victory over Pepperdine, the Trojans hit an amazing .419 and never had more than five errors in any of the six games.
2002 West Regional Most Valuable Player
April Ross -- USC