Volleyball Advances To NCAA Regionals With LMU Sweep

Dec. 6, 2003

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LOS ANGELES - Four players contributed double digit scoring as the No. 1-ranked USC women's volleyball team defeated 15th-ranked Loyola Marymount, 3-0 (30-16, 30-22, 30-16), in the NCAA Second Round played at the Lyon Center on Saturday night.

With the win, the Women of Troy advance to the regional semifinal at Lincoln, Neb., and will face 24th-ranked and 16th-seeded Texas A&M on Friday, Dec. 12, at 4:30 p.m. CST.

Loyola Marymount concludes its season with a 26-7 overall record. The Trojans improve to 31-0, keeping their 43-match win streak alive. USC is now just one win shy of tying the NCAA record for consecutive matches won (Penn State holds the current record with 44 straight wins in 1990).

Bibiana Candelas, April Ross, Katie Olsovsky and Emily Adams all posted doubles figures in the three-game match. Candelas led with 15.5 points thanks to five blocks and 13 kills, in addition to hitting at a .500 clip. Ross had 14.5 points, a match-best 14 kills, 13 digs and a .520 attack effort. Adams and Olsovsky each had an identical 12 points, nine kills and five blocks.

The Lions' Dina DeBernardi and Nicole Oehlman were the only two LMU players to hit above .200 in the match. DeBernardi led with a team-high nine kills and .348 attack percentage, while Oehlman posted a .300 hitting percentage and four kills. Both players scored 10.5 points in the outing.

USC's size and depth was just too much for Loyola Marymount to combat. The Women of Troy out-hit (.431 to .126), out-blocked (12.5 to 5.5) and out-dug (54 to 35) the Lions, as they easily swept LMU in front of 1,213 at the Lyon Center.

'I've been a coach for 14 years and that is by far the best team I have ever played against,' said LMU head coach Steve Stratos. 'They're well-coached, they're huge and I wish them the best. We had a great season and I'm proud of our athletes.'

'That was an extremely fine job by our team tonight against a very good team,' said USC head coach Mick Haley. 'We are excited for the next round and looking forward playing Texas A&M in front of the great crowd Nebraska will attract.'

If USC advances to the regional final, the Trojans will face the winner of a UCLA -Nebraska semifinal.

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