Volleyball Gets Past American, 3-0, In Tourney Opener

Sept. 10, 2004

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The top-ranked USC women's volleyball team (5-0) managed to hold off an American (2-2) rally in games two and three to beat the Eagles 3-0 (30-6, 30-26, 30-27) in the first round of the State Farm Illini Classic on Friday, Sept. 10. The Women of Troy will face the winner of the Miami (Ohio)-Illinois match-up in the championship round on Saturday.

American, who was held to a USC opponent record-tying low six points in the opening game, fought back to challenge the Trojans point-for-point in the following sets.

After a 30-6 defeat in game one, the Eagles played with confidence in game two and took advantage of USC's rotating lineup. The Women of Troy, who started the game with a 7-0 lead, relinquished the advantage while trying to incorporate more players on the court. American came back from two nine-point deficits at 18-9 and 20-11, and pulled within three points on three occasions.

The Eagles took their first lead of the match at the start game three and led by as many as two points various times throughout the set. By taking advantage of nine USC serving, passing and hitting errors, the Eagles led as late as 25-24. Knotted at 27-27, the Trojans finally put together a three-point streak to garner the 30-27 win.

The Women of Troy held the Eagles to a -.167 attack percentage in game one, while posting a .737 mark of their own. USC committed no hitting errors (14-0-19) and only one service error in the game. For the match, the Trojans hit at a .506 clip, while American rebounded for a .253 final mark.

USC's Keao Burdine and Alicia Robinson led with 14 and 12 kills, respectively. Burdine also matched her career high with four service aces. Bibiana Candelas led with four blocks.

With the win, USC extends its NCAA-record win streak to 52 consecutive victories.

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