Women of Troy Set NCAA Record, Advance To Final Four

Dec. 13, 2003

Lincoln, Neb. - Senior April Ross led with 19 kills as the top-seeded USC women's volleyball team defeated crosstown rival UCLA, 3-1 (24-30, 30-26, 30-17, 30-17), on Saturday night at the NU Coliseum to win the NCAA Central Regional. The Women of Troy now advance to the Final Four in Dallas, Texas.

With the victory, USC broke the NCAA record for consecutive wins, which was previously held by Penn State (Aug. 31, 1990, through Dec. 7, 1990). The Women of Troy, who improved to 33-0 on the season, have won 45 straight contests dating back to Nov. 2, 2002, when they lost in five games to Stanford at home. USC has also won 34 consecutive matches on the road and will face the winner of the Long Beach West Regional between Washington and Minnesota.

Ross was one of four Trojans to record 10 or more kills, as Emily Adams tallied 14 on a .357 hitting percentage, while Keao Burdine and Katie Olsovsky chipped in 13 and 11, respectively. Burdine was selected as the Regional's Most Outstanding Player and was one of four USC players named to the all-tournament team, which also included Ross, Adams and Bibiana Candelas.

Brittany Ringel paced UCLA with 17 kills, as the eighth-ranked Bruins finished the season with a 24-9 record. Ringel was joined by setter Krystal McFarland and libero Chrissie Zartman on the all-tournament teams.

In game one, the score was tied at 15 before UCLA ripped off a 5-0 run that included kills by Ringel and Brynn Murphy, who had 10 kills in the loss. USC closed the gap to 20-17 with a kill by Burdine, but a service error gave the ball back to the Bruins. UCLA led by at least four the rest of the way and eventually took a 30-24 win on a kill by Ringel. The Bruins hit .343 in game one and out-blocked the Women of Troy, 6-2. USC committed five service errors and hit just .167.

USC rebounded with a 30-26 win in game two. With the game tied at 25, the Women of Troy scored five of the last six points and wrapped up the victory on a kill by Ross. Adams got loose for six kills in game two and hit .455 to pace USC in the set. UCLA lost outside hitter Colby Lyman to an ankle injury near the end of game two, forcing the Bruins to shuffle their lineup for the final two games.

A 4-1 rally to start game three put the Women of Troy back in the swing of things. USC stretched its lead to as much as 10 points and maintained the advantage before rolling to the final 13-point victory, 30-17.

The Women of Troy remained in control the rest of the way, racing to a 12-0 lead to start the final game. The scoring spree included five kills by Ross, who collected nine kills and hit .692 in the final set. USC eventually completed the match on a kill by Olsovsky for the 30-17 win.

NCAA Central Regional All-Tournament Team
Keao Burdine, USC - Most Outstanding Player
Emily Adams, USC
April Ross, USC
Bibiana Candelas, USC
Brittany Ringel, UCLA
Chrissie Zartman, UCLA
Krystal McFarland, UCLA

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