Trojans Beat Bruins In Thrilling Five-Game Match

Nov. 12, 2004

Box Score

WESTWOOD, Calif. - In front of 1,994 fans at Pauley Pavilion, the sixth-ranked USC women's volleyball team defeated No. 16 UCLA in a thrilling five-game match that saw the Bruins rally from being down 2-0 before falling 3-2. The Women of Troy, led by the defensive efforts of libero Debora Seilhamer, beat the Bruins 31-29, 30-28, 23-30, 21-30 and 18-16.

With the win, USC improves to 16-4 overall and 11-3 in the Pac-10, while UCLA falls to 15-9 overall and 8-6 in conference play. The victory also gives the Trojans all 10 points awarded in women's volleyball for the 2004-05 Lexus Gauntlet. USC and UCLA are now tied 12.5-12.5 in this year's competition.

For seniors Emily Adams, Keao Burdine and Alicia Robinson, the victory capped a nine-match win streak against the Bruins. They become the first class in program history to complete their four-year careers without suffering a loss to the crosstown rival.

It was outstanding defensive play that kept both teams in the match with Seilhamer leading the way for USC. The first-year starter collected a USC match record 45 digs on the night. The mark ranks second on the Pac-10 all-time list and falls just one dig shy of the NCAA Top 10 in the five game category.

The Women of Troy completed the match with a total of 106 digs, while the Bruins finished with 112. The outstanding defense on both sides of the net also resulted in a season-low .172 attack percentage for USC and .196 hitting mark for UCLA.

The Bruins knotted the score as late as 29-29 in the opener before consecutive kills by Staci Venski and Bibiana Candelas finished off the first game at 31-29. The Women of Troy then trailed for much of game two until catching up at 22-22. The two teams alternated points for the remainder of the game, resulting in five additional tie scores. A UCLA error and a kill by freshman Sarah Florian gave USC the win and a 2-0 advantage heading into the break.

Games three and four were a much different story for the Women of Troy. USC never gained momentum in either game, falling 30-23 and 30-21 and allowing the Bruins to tie the match score.

The Trojans opened with a 4-1 lead to start game five, but the Bruins fought back to knot the score at 7-7. The teams battled back-and-forth, reaching eight tie scores. The Women of Troy committed five attack and service errors down the stretch that could have cost them the game, but in the end it was UCLA's errors that proved most costly. Ahead 16-15, the Bruins committed a service error and an attack error to put the Women of Troy out in front, and with the advantage USC completed the victory on a kill by Venski.

The Women of Troy return to the Lyon Center this week for the final two home games of the regular season. USC hosts Oregon and Oregon State on Friday, Nov. 19, and Saturday, Nov. 20, at 7 and 6 p.m., respectively. Saturday's match will be Senior Night for Adams, Burdine and Robinson.