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USC Women's Volleyball Fights Off Cats for Five-Set Road Win

Mar 26, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. – The USC women's volleyball team (5-8, 5-8 Pac-12) won its second consecutive five-set match (28-30, 25-22, 25-15, 19-25, 15-13) by defeating Arizona (9-10, 9-10) at McKale Center on Friday, March 26.

  • Sr. OH Brooke Botkin logged her 26th-career double-double (eighth of the season) by leading the Trojans with 16 kills (6e, 44att) on .227 hitting to go with 10 digs, three blocks, two assists, and a service ace.
  • Jr. OH Brooklyn Schirmer posted her second-career double-double with 10 kills and 13 digs to go with two service aces.
  • Sr. MB Candice Denny scored eight kills (3e, 17att) and hit .294 against her former team with four blocks and two aces. 
  • So. MB Aleksandra Gryka had nine kills (2e, 20att) with a .350 hitting percentage and led the Trojans with six blocks.
  • Gr. setter Sarah Nelson picked up her first double-double as a Trojan with 39 assists and 13 digs with a block and two kills.
  • For Arizona, four players had double-digit kills led by Sofia Maldonado Diaz's 17 (11e, 37att, .162). Paige Whipple had 16 kills (10e, 51att, .118), Zyonna Fellows had 14 (5e, 27att, .333) and Jaelyn Hodge had 10 (7e, 31att, .097). Emery Herman had 56 assists with 12 digs for the double-double and Kamaile Hiapo led all players with 20 digs.


  • The Trojans led by as many as five points and had four set-point rallies before Arizona completed the comeback to get a 30-28 win in the first set. The Wildcats hit .231 with 22 kills in the opening frame.
  • USC posted a .364 hitting percentage in the second set (10k, 2e, 22att) with two service aces and used a big 10-1 run to close out a 25-22 victory when it looked like Arizona was about to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
  • The Women of Troy came out and controlled the third set to take a 2-1 lead. USC doubled up Arizona at 20-10 and led by as many as 11 points several times. The Wildcats hit just .029 in the third set.
  • A 16-all tie in the fourth set was broken when the Cats used a 4-1 run to put the Trojans on the ropes. USC scored two more, but Arizona pushed the match to a fifth set on a 25-19 win.
  • The score was tied nine times in the final frame, but the Trojans hung tough and led by two at 9-7 and then flipped the scoreboard for a 12-11 lead on a big block from Botkin and Gryka. Botkin and Schirmer scored kills to give USC match point before the Wildcats hit long to end things.


  • USC remains in Tucson to face the Wildcats a second time on Sunday (March 28) with first serve at McKale Center set for noon PT. The match will be streamed live by Arizona Athletics.


  • USC improved to 67-22 all-time against Arizona and to 26-16 as the road team. It was the Trojans' fifth straight victory over the Wildcats; a streak that began in 2017.
  • The Trojans played their sixth five-set match of the 2020-21 season and improved to 2-4 in those contests.
  • USC goes to 10-8 in five-set matches with the Wildcats (4-6 on the road).
  • All-time, USC improved to 142-94 in five-set matches and to 63-47 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
For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule and results, please visit Fans of the Women of Troy can follow @USCWomensVolley on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.