NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament: Washington and USC advance to Elite 8
Of the eight remaining teams in the 2015 NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament, two will hail from the Conference of Champions. During an action-packed night around the country on Friday, the top-seeded USC and No. 5 Washington squads advanced to their respective regional finals while No. 14 UCLA bowed out in the Sweet 16.
(1) USC beats (16) Creighton, 3-1
Creighton might have had an upset on the mind after claiming a 27-25 victory in the opening set of Friday's match in San Diego. But the Women of Troy showed why they are regarded as the top seed in the tournament, winning the final three sets by the respective margins of 25-16, 25-16, 25-18.
[Highlights: USC finishes off Creighton to advance to Elite 8]
Perhaps it's no surprise that Player of the Year candidate Samantha Bricio led all players with 23 kills on the evening. Teammate Alicia Ogoms also added 12 kills on 18 shots (.611 hit percentage) and nine blocks.
Up next for USC is a Saturday matchup (8 p.m. PT on ESPNU) with No. 9 Kansas in the Elite Eight.
(5) Washington beats (12) Ohio State, 3-2
The Buckeyes carried the momentum into Friday night's fifth set in Lexington, Ky., but the Huskies emerged victorious. Ohio State bullied its way to a 25-12 victory in the fourth set to knot the score at 2 heading into the final set, but Washington responded with a commanding 15-8 win in the fifth to claim the victory.
[Highlights: UW defeats Ohio State to advance to Elite 8]
Washington dropped the first set, 25-23, but answered with 25-20 and 25-18 wins in the second and third sets, respectively. Lianna Sybeldon led the offensive attack with 14 kills and added six blocks while Courtney Schwan had a team-high 15 digs for the Dawgs.
With the win, UW is set up for a Saturday matchup against No. 4 Nebraska at 1 p.m. PT on ESPNU for a chance to reach NCAA volleyball's Final Four.
(14) UCLA loses to (3) Texas, 3-1
The Bruins started out hot by winning a tightly-contested first set, 25-23, to put a damper on a fired up home crowd in Austin, Texas. But the Longhorns pulled out a 25-22 victory in the second set to even the score before dominating the third set, 25-10, to carry momentum into the fourth. UCLA had no answer for Texas' power in the final round of action, as the Bruins suffered a 25-20 loss in the fourth set to wrap up their season.
[Highlights: UCLA suffers season-ending loss to Texas in Sweet 16]
UCLA finished the season with a 25-8 record while being bounced out of the Sweet 16 for the second straight year. The Bruins bid adieu to seniors Karly Drolson, Maddy Klineman, Rachel Inouye and Michaela Leonard.