No. 11 Southern California Upsets No. 4 UCLA
Los Angeles, Calif. - Juan Figueroa had 15 kills, C.J. Schellenberg added 12 kills and Murphy Troy had 11 kills as the No. 11-ranked USC men's volleyball team posted an upset sweep at No. 4 UCLA, 30-24, 30-24, 30-24, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match on Wednesday (Feb. 6).
Coming on the heels of the Trojans' 5-game win over the Bruins in the Galen Center last month, this is the first time since 1991 that USC defeated UCLA twice in a row. It also was USC's second consecutive win over the Bruins in Pauley Pavilion, a feat that last occurred in 1990.
USC, which upped its overall record to 6-6 and its MPSF mark to 5-4, has now beaten the Bruins in 4 of the teams' last 6 meetings. Second-year Trojan head coach Bill Ferguson is now 3-1 against legendary UCLA coach Al Scates, whose Bruins fell to 8-4 overall and 5-3 in the MPSF.
USC hit .352 in the match to UCLA's .116 and outblocked the Bruins, 16.0 to 7.0. The Trojans also had more digs, 25 to 18.
Figueroa hit .435 and added 4 blocks and 4 digs. Schellenberg hit .381 with 4 digs and Troy hit at a .364 clip while also getting 5 blocks and 2 aces. Jimmy Killian had a match-high 7 blocks along with 5 digs and 40 assists, while Hunter Current added 6 blocks and Andrew Vernon had 5 blocks. Luke Morris had a match-best 10 digs.
For UCLA, Ryan Ratelle posted 12 kills, Garrett Muagututia added 9 kills and D.J. Stromath had 8 kills.
The first game was tied at 9-9 before USC went on a 5-0 run. UCLA was within a point at 23-22, but the Trojans went 4-0 to regain control, closing the game with 3 consecutive combination blocks (Current was involved in all of them). The Bruins hit just .029 in the game.
UCLA got out to a 7-4 lead in the second game, but USC had another 5-0 run to get back into the game. Then, with the game tied at 16-16, the Trojans went on a 4-0 spurt and were never threatened the rest of the way as UCLA hit just .097 in the game.
In the final game, USC went on a 3-0 binge to break from a 10-10 tie and never surrendered the lead while hitting .484.
Trojan wins in Pauley Pavilion and 3-game sweeps over the Bruins are rare. Last year marked USC's first victory at UCLA since 2000 and its first 3-game sweep over the Bruins anywhere since 1991.
The win gave USC the remaining 2.5 points toward the sport's 5 points in the Lexus Gauntlet competition, a trophy awarded annually to the school with the most successful athletic year against the other. USC currently leads this season's competition, 40-10.
USC next goes to No. 8 UC Irvine for an MPSF match on Friday (Feb. 8) at 7 p.m.
Article courtesy of Southern California athletics.