No. 5 USC Defeats No. 7 Pepperdine 3-1 at the Galen Center
LOS ANGELES—Simon Gallas had 28 kills while hitting .578 to help the No. 5 USC men's volleyball team defeat No. 7 Pepperdine 3-1 (22-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-20) on Friday (Feb. 25) at the Galen Center.
The Trojans improve to 11-3 overall on the season and 1-1 in the MPSF. The Waves fall to 7-5 overall and 2-2 in the MPSF.
In addition to his 28 kills, Gallas recorded 6 digs, 4 blocks and 1 ace and collected 31.5 points on the night. Sam Kobrine added 13 kills, hitting .323, and tallied 4 assists, 2 blocks and 1 dig. Setter Chris Hall ran an impressive offense and was able to maximize on the efficiency out of the middle as Lucas Frassrand hit .818 and Liam Schroeder hit .636. Libero Cole Paxson recorded 12 digs on the night.
For Pepperdine, Spencer Wickens collected 22 kills hitting .465, while Jacob Steele added 15 kills hitting .206.
As a team, USC hit .459 compared to Pepperdine's .333.
The Waves jumped to an early 14-10 lead to start the match, but the Trojans continued to be resilient and fight to stay in the set. After closing the gap at 22-24, USC lost the final point and Pepperdine took the first set.
The Trojans came out on fire to start the second set. Like they have shown throughout this season, this team has the ability to adjust, and they took a 4-1 lead forcing Pepperdine to call an early timeout. The Trojans continued to lead the set with big plays from Gallas and Kobrine. The Waves fought back to trail by two at 24-22, but Kobrine closed out the set with a kill, and the Trojans evened out the match at 1-1 overall.
The Trojans continued their momentum from winning set two into set three. After USC scored five points in a row, four from Gallas and one from Browning, the Trojans jumped ahead 8-4 early in the set. The Waves closed in by one point at 18-17, but USC didn't back down. They pushed points and closed out the third set with a massive triple block, winning 25-19 and taking a 2-1 overall lead in the match.
The energy in the Galen Center continued to be electric throughout the entire match. Gallas continued to be unstoppable in the fourth set as he had been through the previous three. USC took a 15-11 lead and never let up. The Trojans closed out the set 25-20 to win the fourth set and the match.
Up next, USC will challenge No. 13 BYU. The Trojans face off against the Cougars on Friday (March 4) at 7 p.m. PT and Saturday (March 5) at 7 p.m. PT, both at the Galen Center.