Cougars Stun No. 6 USC 3-2

Nov. 27, 2004

Box Score

PULLMAN, Wash. -- In the final match of the season, the Washington State volleyball team upset No. 6 Southern California 34-32, 30-25, 18-30, 22-30, 17-15, Saturday night at Bohler Gym.

USC (19-5 overall, 14-4 Pac-10) came into Pullman off a five-game upset win over No. 3 Washington at Seattle Friday night, and making a strong run at a third consecutive national championship.

WSU (5-26, 2-16) won only it's second match of the conference season but sent seniors Alison Billingsley and Stacey Holbrook out with a flair.

'It's a cliché but people won't remember how you start but they will remember how you finish so this was a great, great moment for our athletes,' first year Cougar Head Coach Brian Heffernan said. 'There have been small victories during the year but this was a great victory tonight, to have a win over a great USC team. It was a great team effort and our athletes really rallied around the seniors.'

Washington State's Jennifer Todd led four Cougars with double-figure kills, landing 21 kills and a career-high 11 blocks. Kelly Rosin added 18 kills and 12 digs and Jen Barcus had 14 kills and six blocks. Freshman Kristin Kelley, moved from the right side to the left side, had a career-high 17 kills. Freshman setter Nicole Martin had 65 assists and six blocks. Holbrook contributed 21 digs and moved into a tie for fourth on WSU's all-time single season digs list with 395 digs this year.

'We had a reason to be out there, a desire to play well for our seniors,' Todd said. 'We didn't want to end our season with a loss and we had nothing to lose. They're ranked, they're going to the tournament. Let's spoil it.'

'We played with heart,' Holbrook said.

USC was led by the 35 kills of Keao Burdine while Bibiana Candelas was flawless until the final play of the match with 16 kills in 28 attacks for .536 hitting percentage. Candelas also had a team-high eight blocks. Debora Siljegovic led the Women of Troy with 20 digs. Setters Allison Dillon (40 assists) and Kimi Freeburg (35 assists) split the duties as usual.

In the fifth game, USC was ahead 11-7 when WSU grabbed three quick points with a kill from Barcus followed by an ace served by Megan Camp. After Southern California took a timeout, Jessie Camp's kill closed the gap to one point, 11-10. After a Staci Venski kill for USC, Rosin and Jessie Camp landed kills to tie up the game at 12. Alicia Robinson laced back-to-back kills and USC was at match point. Cougars came out of a Heffernan timeout and Todd landed her own set of kills to tie the game at 14. Burdine got her 35th kill of the night but Todd would not be stopped, with a kill and a block to put WSU in the driver's seat at 16-15. After a USC timeout, Kelley blocked Candelas for the 17-15 win.

WSU out-blocked the Trojans 17 to 12 and the Cougars hit .251 for the match, including a .458 fifth game. USC hit .288 for the match.

Washington State (5-26, 2-16)		34	30	18	22	17No. 6 Southern California (19-5, 14-4)	32	25	30	30	15STATISTICS:KILLS - WSU 76 (Todd 21), USC 92 (Burdine 35)HITTING PERCENTAGE - WSU .251, USC .288ASSISTS - WSU 70 (Martin 65), USC 89 (Dillon 40)DIGS - WSU 71 (Holbrook 21), USC 89 (Seilhamer 20)BLOCKS - WSU 17 (Todd 11), USC 12 (Candelas 8)SERVICE ACES - WSU 5 (M. Camp 2), USC 5 (Candelas, Burdine, Robinson, Dillon, Seilhamer 1 each)Attendance:  327.