USC Women's Volleyball Exacts Revenge on No. 15 UCLA in Five-Set Finish
LOS ANGELES – The USC women's volleyball team (4-8, 4-8 Pac-12) took down crosstown rival No. 15-ranked UCLA (12-6, 12-6) in five sets (27-25, 25-23, 14-25, 21-25, 15-11) at Pauley Pavilion on Sunday evening, March 21.
- Sr. OH Brooke Botkin locked up her 25th-career double-double by leading the Trojans with a season-high 23 kills (6e, 68att) on .250 hitting and 19 digs to go with three blocks.
- Jr. OH Brooklyn Schirmer matched her career high with 16 kills (6e) and hit .233 on a career-high 43 swings. Schirmer also logged her first-career double-double with 11 digs and added a service ace.
- Sr. MB Candice Denny put up 11 kills (3e, 20att) and hit .400 with six blocks (one solo) and had a service ace.
- So. OPP Emilia Weske scored eight kills (3e, 25att, .200) to go with four blocks, four digs, and a service ace.
- So. MB Aleksandra Gryka contributed seven kills (4e, 15att, .200) with seven blocks (one solo).
- Jr. setter Raquel Lázaro dished out 56 assists and finished with 13 digs for her fifth double-double of the season and the 37th of her career. Lázaro also had four blocks, a kill, and a service ace.
- Defensively, So. libero Sophia Theriot put up 13 digs and recorded three assists.
- For UCLA, Mac May led with 25 kills (8e, 5att, .304) and elan McCall had 24 kills (4e, 49att, .408). Both had double-doubles. May finished with 12 digs and McCall had 19. Zoe Fleck led all players with 23 digs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Trojans claimed the first two sets by two-point margins and used an impressive 8-1 run to close out the first after trailing the Bruins, 24-19. USC erased set point five times and then claimed the 27-25 win.
- USC turned the tables on UCLA in the second when it went on a 7-3 burst to claim a 15-11 advantage. Botkin had six kills and Schirmer added five as the Trojans hit .417 in the frame to go with three blocks. USC seized set point at 24-21, but UCLA survived two before Botkin collected her sixth kill to end a 25-23 win.
- The Bruins capitalized on every USC error in the third and held the Trojans to a negative .086 hitting percentage. UCLA hit .464 and had six kills from May and three from McCall in a 25-14 win. The Bruins raced out to a 5-1 lead in the fourth, but USC went ahead by two points at 9-7 and 11-9. UCLA broke the seventh tie of the frame with a 3-0 run to lead, 20-17, and kept the Trojans at bay to wrap up a 25-21 win to force set five.
- USC hit error free and scored 12.0 points in the fifth set. Botkin had four of the Trojans' nine kills (0e, 21att, .429) and had all three of her blocks in the final set. UCLA got six more kills from May and three from McCall, but it wasn't enough as USC went ahead by four, 8-4, and then led by four again at 11-7. The Bruins closed within two points at 12-10 and 13-11, but Botkin's kill and her block with Gryka ended the match on the Trojans' 15-11 win.
- USC heads to Tucson, Ariz., for a pair of matches against Arizona (9-9, 9-9 Pac-12) at McKale Center next week. The teams meet at 6 p.m. PT on Friday (March 26) and then at noon PT on Sunday (March 28) with both meetings scheduled to be streamed live by Arizona Athletics.
- USC improved to 60-56 all-time against UCLA and ended a three-match losing streak to the Bruins. The Trojans also improved to 25-24 as the road team against their crosstown rivals and have won six of the last 10 at Pauley Pavilion.
- The Trojans played their fifth five-set match of the 2020-21 season and got their first win a five-set contest.
- Against UCLA, the Women of Troy improved to 21-13 all-time in five-set matches and to 12-7 when the match is played in Westwood.
- All-time, USC improved to 141-94 in five-set matches and to 62-47 when they play five away from home.
This season (2020-21), the Pac-12 plays a 22-match Conference-only schedule as its 2020 season, which began on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. All volleyball competitions will be conducted in accordance with the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee health and safety recommendations and guidelines available at Pac-12.com/health.
For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule and results, please visit USCTrojans.com/WVB. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow @USCWomensVolley on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.