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Arizona Falls in a Five-Set Heartbreaker on Friday

Mar 26, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Arizona fell in a five-set heartbreaker on Friday night in McKale, falling to USC 30-28, 22-25, 15-25, 25-19, 13-15 for its first home loss since January.

The Wildcats had 69 kills, 16 more than USC's 53, but 12 service errors and 37 attack errors plagued the Wildcats in the loss.

Offensively, the Wildcats were led by Sofia Maldonado Diaz (17 kills) and Paige Whipple (16 kills). Zyonna Fellows turned in a career-high with 14 kills and three blocks. Jaelyn Hodge also finished in double digits with 10 kills in the match.

Arizona out-dug USC 71-64 in the match, with four Wildcats posting double-digit digs in the match. UA was led by Kamaile Hiapo's 20 digs, her second 20-plus dig match this season and seventh of her career. Malina Kalei Ua posted a career-most 13 digs. Both Emery Herman (54 assists, 11 digs) and Paige Whipple (16 kills, 10 digs) had double-doubles in the loss.

The Wildcats got off to a strong start, winning a marathon of a first set, 30-28 before the Trojans fought back with wins in the second (25-22) and third (25-15) sets. Arizona responded with a 25-19 win in the fourth to send the match to a fifth set, where USC narrowly outlived the Cats, winning 15-13 to clinch the match. UA fell to 0-3 in five-set matches this season.

Arizona fell to 9-10 (9-10 Pac-12) on the season with the loss, while USC improved to 5-8 (5-8 Pac-12). The teams meet again on Sunday at 12 p.m. MST.