No. 9 USC Hangs Ten With Exciting 3-2 Win At No. 20 Pepperdine

Sept. 14, 2006

MALIBU, Calif. - Junior Diane Copenhagen (Saratoga/St. Francis HS) led with 19 digs Thursday as the No. 9 USC Women of Troy improved to 10-0 on the season with a 3-2 win against the No. 20 Pepperdine Waves (30-20, 30-24, 24-30, 23-30, 15-12) in a match televised live by ESPNU. The Women of Troy had to fight off a stingy Waves squad after USC won the first two games of the match.

Freshman Taylor Carico (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) was brilliant in the fifth game, accounting for two kills and two block assists. The talented setter for USC had seven kills against no errors for a .500 night (7-0-14) with 49 assists, nine digs, one service ace and three block assists.

Junior Asia Kaczor (Wroclaw, Poland/College of Southern Idaho) added 16 kills while junior Bethany Johansen (San Jose/UC Santa Barbara) had 10 kills and a team-high .350 hitting match (10-3-20).

'We have people who have never been in that position at this level,' said USC head coach Mick Haley. 'It was the first time we were put under pressure. We didn't respond in games three and four, but we came back and cut down our mistakes in that final game.'

Sophia Milo led the Waves with 20 kills and a monstrous .581 night (20-2-31).

Senior All-America libero Debora Seilhamer (Ponce, Puerto Rico) had 23 digs on the evening and passed Nancy Hillman (1985-88) for second place on USC's all-time list for digs. Seilhamer now has 1,548 digs in her career and needs only 154 digs to tie Katie Haller (1990-93) for the school record.

USC opened the match with a 9-4 run, thanks to four straight points as Kaczor added a service ace in the mix. The Waves used a 6-2 run to cut the deficit to 15-11, but the Women of Troy maintained the edge. Copenhagen used a back row kill to key an 8-3 stretch, forcing Pepperdine to call its second timeout with a USC 25-16 lead. Kaczor added the exclamation point off the right side for a WOT 1-0 lead in the match. Pepperdine had 11 errors in the first game, hitting -.023.

Down 5-3 in the second game, Pepperdine used four straight points to take the 7-5 lead after Milo spiked the overpass. Both teams battled back and forth throughout the remainder of the game. Two service errors by Pepperdine tied the game at 20-20, but Milo added back-to-back kills for the 22-20 advantage. USC would answer as the Women of Troy reeled off seven straight points to take command. After hitting over .400 in the early part of the game, three late attack errors hurt the Waves as Johansen fired home the game-winner.

In game three, USC got to 10 first before Pepperdine crawled its way back with a 5-2 run and a 12-11 deficit. Pepperdine's Cassi Chamberlin used a kill and assisted on a block to tie the game at 14 apiece before the Waves served into the net and a 15-14 USC slim lead at the media timeout. Kayla Walker sparked a 5-1 return for the Waves as Pepperdine edged ahead, 19-16. Carico dumped a kill followed by two Gysin kills to tie the game at 19-19, but a service error and attack error put the host Waves back in front, 23-21. Copenhagen tied it with two straight kills, but Pepperdine used three straight points with a Chamberlin kill to make it 26-23. Rubenstein stuffed a Johansen attempt as the Waves took the third game. Pepperdine had 21 kills in the game against just two errors for a .392 clip (22-2-51).

The Waves came out firing again in the fourth game, blocking their way to a 9-5 advantage as USC used its first timeout. Pepperdine had to burn a timeout later after a 6-1 USC streak tied the game at 12-12, but edged ahead after the break at 19-17. At 20-20, a USC service error and a double hit call gave Pepperdine a slight 22-20 lead into the latter part of the game. Two key blocks by the Waves gave the spark needed as the home team closed out with the 10-3 stretch to force the fifth game.

Copenhagen and Gysin made it 2-0 for USC in the deciding game, but Rachel Lumsden tied it at 3-3 followed by a dual block by Milo and Fiers. A Milo kill and USC attack error put the Waves ahead, 6-4, as the Women of Troy used their first timeout. Out of the break, Carico sparked a brief three-point streak with a second ball slam as Pepperdine called time, down 7-6. Another Carico 'SBS' switched the sides at 8-6 before Chamberlin made it a one-point deficit with another kill. Johansen again used the slide kill followed by a key back row putdown by Kaczor for the 10-7 lead. Another point for USC and the block from Carico and Johansen put USC ahead, 12-8. Down 13-9, the Waves came back again on kills from Chamberlin and Milo, but Kaczor followed with a shot down the left side for match point. Milo answered with another kill for the Waves but the Bishop/Kaczor stuff clinched the match for USC.

USC will host No. 14 Purdue tomorrow night in a 7 p.m. match at the Lyon Center. Tomorrow night's match will be broadcast with a live video webcast on

USC	30-30-24-23-15PEP	20-24-30-30-12

Records: USC (10-0), Pepperdine (4-5)Kills: Diane Copenhagen 19 (USC), Sophia Milo 20 (Pepperdine)

Team: USC PEP1 .387 -.0232 .265 .2133 .245 .3924 .061 .2115 .250 .107Totals .240 .192

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