No. 5 USC Men’s Volleyball Falls to No. 7 Pepperdine in Five Sets
MALIBU,Calif.—Jaylen Jasper and Jacob Steele both had 16 kills (.533 and .471, respectively) and Spencer Wickens added 15 kills (.306) as the No. 7 Pepperdine men's volleyball team upset the No. 5 Trojans, 23-25, 25-17, 28-26, 24-26,15-13 on Wednesday night (Feb. 23) at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.
USC, fell to 10-3 on the season while the Waves improved to 7-4.
Sam Kobrine led the Trojans with 20 kills (.244), 8 digs, 5 blocks and 1 assist. Simon Gallas added 16 kills (.160), 4 digs, 1 ace and 1 block for Troy. Serving plagued the Trojans tonight as the team recorded 21 missed serves and just 3 aces.
USC hit .287 on the night, almost even to Pepperdine's .288.
The Trojans took a 12-10 lead in the first set, but the Waves fought back to jump ahead 14-13. Browning then went on to score two kills for USC, and Hall put up a gorgeous out of system set to Frassrand in the middle for kill as the Trojans scored three points in a row to jump ahead 16-14. The score once again tied up at 18-18, but Hall continued to feed his hot hand in Gallas and USC went on to win the set 25-23. The Trojans outscored Pepperdine 18 to 10 in kills in the first set and hit .424.
Pepperdine came back swinging the in the second set and took an early 10-14 lead. USC battled, but couldn't regain the lead. The Waves outscored the Trojans 15 to 11 in kills and won the second set 25-17 to tie up the match at 1-1 overall.
The third set was a battle on both sides of the net. The two teams exchanged points back and forth throughout the entire set. USC took a 22-20 lead after blocking the Waves two times in a row. Pepperdine scored three in a row to regain the lead at 23-22. After going to extra points, the Waves made the final push to win the set 28-26 to take a 2-1 overall lead in the match.
The fourth set remained neck and neck early until the Trojans took a 17-13 lead. USC continued to stay ahead, but when the Trojans reached set point at 24-21, the Waves scored three points in a row to tie it up at 24-24. USC won the next two points (which included head coach Jeff Nygaard winning a challenge on the final point) to win the set 26-24.
USC held the momentum going into the fifth set and took a 9-7 lead. Pepperdine won four straight points to jump ahead 11-9. The Trojans tied up the score at 12-12 and again at 13-13, but Pepperdine took the last two points to win the set and the match.
Up next, USC returns home to the Galen Center for a rematch against the Waves. The Trojans take on Pepperdine again on Friday (Feb. 25) at 7 p.m. PT.