Women's Volleyball Washes Out No. 8 Waves

Sept. 3, 2003

LOS ANGELES - Following a banner dropping ceremony in celebration of last year's national championship, the No. 1-ranked USC women's volleyball team (6-0) capped off Tuesday evening with a 3-0 (30-26, 30-18, 30-19) victory over No. 8 Pepperdine at the Lyon Center. In front of 840, the Women of Troy notched their fourth victory of the season over a top 10 opponent.

The Waves gave the Women of Troy their biggest challenge yet. Pepperdine took the first lead in game one and climbed its way to a four-point advantage, 25-21, by distributing attacks to all sides of the court. Though never far behind, the Trojans began to battle back and forced the Waves to take a timeout at 25-24. Down by two, 26-24, USC managed to turned the tables quickly. The Trojans took advantage of four Pepperdine errors and kills by Keao Burdine and April Ross to score six consecutive points and win the opening game, 30-26.

Stunned by the outcome of game one, Pepperdine was unable to regroup in the second game. The Women of Troy out-hit the Waves .400 to .135 and took a 2-0 advantage in the match with a 30-18 win in game two.

USC and Pepperdine alternated points to reach an 11-11 tie to start game three. The Waves even took a two-point lead at 16-14 before the Women of Troy began to take over. With Burdine at the service line, USC tied the game at 16-16 and scored seven consecutive points to gain a 22-16 advantage. There was no turning back at that point as the Trojans rolled to a 30-19 win for the match.

Sophomore Bibiana Candelas had an impressive outing, accounting for eight (a career high) of the team's 12 total blocks. Candelas also hit .385 with seven kills for 12.5 points. Ross led with 13.5 points in the match and Burdine led with 11 total kills. Junior Alicia Robinson was error-free, posting a .462 attack percentage thanks to six kills off of 13 attacks.

USC will hit the road next week to compete at the McDonald's/Texas A&M Invitational, Sept. 11-12, in College Station, Texas.

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