Women Of Troy Advance To National Championship With 3-1 Win Over Florida

Dec. 19, 2002

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- USC and Stanford will meet for a third time this season on Saturday, Dec. 21, but this time, the Pac-10 foes will be playing for a national championship.

The top-ranked and No. 1-seeded Women of Troy overcame a 1-0 game deficit to down Florida 3-1 (24-30, 30-25, 30-26, 30-24) in Thursday night's second semifinal of the 2002 Division I Women's Volleyball Championship in New Orleans.

Keao Burdine led USC with 16 kills, while Nicole Davis logged 13 digs to lead four Women in Troy with 10 or more. Emily Adams talled a .476 hitting percentage for the match. Adams and senior Lauren Killian both posted career highs with 10 and eight blocks, respectively.

Florida's Aury Cruz registered 19 kills and 16 digs in a losing effort.

USC is making its first title game appearance since 1982 and is trying for its first championship since '81.

The Gators got off to a hot start in game one and didn't allow USC to get any closer than four after opening up a 10-3 lead. Florida held the Women of Troy to a dismal .024 hitting percentage and cruised to a 30-24 win, ending the Trojans' streak of consecutive games won at 30.

USC fell behind 5-2 early in the second game before taking command. The Women of Troy stretched their lead to 15-7 before Florida rallied to within two points at 18-16. USC led by as many as seven later - 27-20 - before evening up the match with a 30-25 win.

USC staged a 7-2 run to pull away from the Gators in game three. The Women of Troy finished with a 30-26 win, thanks to a .372 to .146 advantage in hitting percentage.

Game four saw the Trojans jump out to a 16-8 advantage before a gutsy Gator comeback closed the gap to 17-15. The Women of Troy then powered to a 30-24 win to clinch a spot in the final. The Gators logged a hitting percentage of -.058 for the final frame.

Tonight's matchup was the second of the season for the two schools. USC swept Florida 3-0 on Sept. 6.

Saturday's championship match will be played at 12:30 p.m. PST and aired live on ESPN2.

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