Volleyball Battles Hard, But Falls To #4 USC

Oct. 6, 2006

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Sun Devils were not intimidated by the fourth ranked Women of Troy on Friday night, but USC was able to escape Wells Fargo Arena with a 3-2 victory. Arizona State drops to 9-6 with the loss, 1-3 in the Pac-10.

ASU came out hot in game one, using a 6-0 run to go up 21-16. The Women of Troy mounted a comeback, but a key block by Nicole Morton and Marina Mercer ended that notion, helping the Devils to a 30-25 game one win.

USC started game two with a 4-1 run, but ASU quickly evened things up. USC would use their height to earn the advantage however, holding on for a 30-22 win in game two to even things up at 1-1.

Game three was an evenly played game, with both squads battling hard. USC jumped to a 18-12 lead, but the Devils would score the next six to tie it up at 18. USC would score the next three however, and would maintain that lead all the way to a 30-25 win.

The Women of Troy looked like they would cruise to a game four win, but Brad Saindon's team would not go away. Trailing 7-5, the Devils stormed back to take a lead at 13-11. They stretched it to 23-16 after a huge block by Colette Meek and Margie Giordano, then finished off USC with some key kills by Nina Reeves and Staci Smith. The Sun Devils would take game four 30-25, forcing a decisive game five.

The payoff game was a mirror-image of the entire match, as both teams battled back and forth. USC pulled ahead 7-5, but ASU came back to tie things at ten and again at 13. Ultimately, the #4 Women of Troy were too much for ASU, as they took game five 15-13 and the match 3-2

Staci Smith and Nina Reeves led the way for the Devils recording 18 kills apiece. Nicole Morton was right behind them, turning in 17 kills of her own. Marina Mercer was solid at the setter position, recording 56 assists. Sydney Donahue had 24 digs and Nicole Morton also added seven blocks in the loss.

It doesn't get any easier for ASU, as they welcome #3 UCLA to Wells Fargo Arena tomorrow night, their fourth straight match against a team ranked in the Top 10. The match with the Bruins will begin at 7 pm.

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