Huskies Take Down No. 5 USC In Four Games

Oct. 26, 2006

SEATTLE-- The sixth-ranked University of Washington volleyball team defeated fifth-ranked USC Thursday night, 3-1, in front of 1,897 fans at Bank of America Arena. The victory lifts the Huskies to an 18-3 record overall and 8-2 mark in the Pac-10 as they pick up their 26th consecutive home win. The Women of Troy dip to 18-3 overall and 7-3 in the Pac-10.

Washington used a balanced attack with four Huskies recording double-figure kills. Stevie Mussie led the way with 18 kills, followed by Christal Morrison (17), Jessica Swarbrick (16) and Alesha Deesing (13).

Senior All-American Courtney Thompson paced the offense with 64 assists as the Huskies out-hit USC .298-.156.

Four Huskies also picked up double-figure digs, including Morrison who dug 21 balls for her 10th double-double of the season and her eighth in the last nine matches. Thompson also had a strong performance on defense with 15 digs, while libero Tamari Miyashiro added 13 digs and Mussie chipped in 10.

The match was evenly played throughout most of the night with 28 tie scores. Washington held advantages in hitting percentage and kills (71-61), while the teams were even in service aces (2-2), service errors (9-9), digs (74-74) and blocks (12-12).

The Huskies raced out of the gates in game one, taking a four-point lead at 14-10 after back-to-back kills by Janine Sandell to trigger a USC timeout. The Huskies kept the pressure on, scoring 10 of the final 12 points of the game to take the first set, 30-18.

Washington out-hit the Women of Troy .413-.043 in the game as UW made just one error on 41 swings and USC made 10 errors on 46 attacks. Husky middle blockers Deesing and Swarbrick were perfect with a combined nine kills on nine swings. Mussie also added five kills in the set.

Game two had 12 ties and Washington did not take the lead until 21-20 after a Swarbrick kill and Deesing and Mussie block. USC called a timeout but the Huskies never relengquished the lead. Washington scored three of the next four points to go up 24-21 and force another Women of Troy timeout but the Huskies rolled to the 30-25 win to take a two game lead headed into the break.

Washington out-hit USC .273-.191 in the set and was led by Morrison with seven kills.

Game three had 10 ties as late as 17-17, before USC battled back to take the four-point lead at 24-20 to force a Washington timeout. The Huskies used back-to-back Morrison kills and a block by Sandell and Swarbrick to pull within one point at 27-26, but the Women of Troy used a kill by Diane Copenhagen and block by Gysin and Bethany Johansen to take the game, 30-27.

USC out-hit the Huskies .260-.196 in game three as Copenhagen and Morrison led the attacks with seven kills apiece.

Washington never trailed in game four, building a four-point lead at 18-14 after a Deesing kill, Mussie block and a USC hitting error. The Women of Troy called a timeout but could not slow the Dawgs as they rolled to the 30-21 victory. Deesing recorded Washington's final three points with a block and two kills.

UW out-hit USC .333-.116 in game four and was led by Mussie with six kills and Swarbrick with five.

The Huskies return to action Friday when they host fourth-ranked and Pac-10 leader UCLA at 7 p.m. The match will be televised on FSN and will air on a tape-delayed basis on Saturday at 7 p.m. Washington is one match out of first place in the conference behind the Bruins and Stanford.

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