Women Of Troy Advance To National Championship

Dec. 18, 2003

DALLAS (AP) -- Keao Burdine had 13 kills and 10 digs as defending champion USC defeated Minnesota 30-27, 30-28 and 30-20 Thursday night to advance to the finals of the NCAA women's volleyball championships. The Women of Troy will face either Hawai'i or Florida on Saturday, Dec. 20, at 2:30 p.m. CST.

USC (34-0) struggled to win the first two games of the match and had to score the final three points of the second game after Minnesota led most of the way. Burdine scored the game's final point on a kill from the left side. It was one of her six kills in the game.

The Women of Troy won the first game despite blowing an early eight-point lead. USC had opened up a 19-11 lead, but the Gophers went on a 12-3 run, scoring seven straight points off the serve of setter Lindsey Taatjes to go ahead 23-22. USC rallied to score eight of the game's final 13 points and won 30-28 on a kill by April Ross.

The Gophers took a quick 5-0 lead to start game three, but USC went on an 18-4 run to take control of the game and finish off Minnesota.

Ross and Bibiana Candelas each had 11 kills for the Women of Troy. Ross added seven digs and Toni Anderson led USC with 38 assists.

Cassie Busse led all players in the match with 23 kills for Minnesota (26-11) while also registering 12 digs, Erin Martin also added 11 kills for the Gophers.

The USC-Minnesota semifinal match will be tape delayed by ESPN2 at 10 p.m. CST.

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