No. 12 Southern Cal Celebrate Block Party with 3-1 Win Over No. 15 San Diego

12/5/2008

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Junior outside hitter Jessica Gysin (Los Gatos/St. Francis HS) and sophomore middle blocker Zoe Garrett (Laguna Beach/Laguna Beach HS) had 13 kills each as the USC Women of Troy (ranked No. 12 in the nation by Bison/AVCA) defeated the San Diego Toreros (ranked No. 15 by Bison/AVCA), 3-1 (21-25, 25-12, 25-19, 26-24), in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament.

Garrett tied season highs for kills and blocks (nine), which also tied her personal career bests. She also hit a season-high .478 (13-2-23), adding three digs and one assist, in front of 1,329 at the Galen Center. USC improved to 7-0 all-time against San Diego.

Freshman setter Kendall Bateman (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) made her first collegiate start, recording a season-high 25 assists with 10 digs and four block assists. Sophomore middle blocker Audrey Eichler (Pacific Palisades/Harvard-Westlake HS/Boston College) also saw her first significant action of the season, recording four kills and six blocks.

The Women of Troy (17-11) used 16 blocks on the evening to stop San Diego's offense and force the Toreros (23-5) into committing 36 hitting errors.

Ali Troost, who did not play in the Sept. 6 match against USC at the Galen Center, led the Toreros with 13 kills, nine digs and four assists while Amy DeGroot and Torey Ellick had 11 kills each. San Diego setter Jessica Nyrop had 45 assists to go with three kills and 13 digs.

USC had a new look in the first set with Bateman and Eichler in the lineup as the Trojans pushed their way to a 7-3 lead. Troost's kill brought the Toreros within one at 8-7. Gysin then served five straight points, including back-to-back aces for the 13-7 advantage. San Diego came back as three straight USC errors were followed by a Breanne Ogden ace for the 15-14 lead in favor of the host Trojans. After Gysin kept USC ahead at 19-18, DeGroots kill sparked five straight points as USD took the lead as Ashton Basch and Troost carried the Toreros to the win in the first set.

Eichler and Roleder's block set the tone in the second set for USC as the Women of Troy reeled off nine straight points to take a 10-2 lead. Four Trojan blocks provided the key as the team would finish the set with nine total blocks. Garrett went back-to-back as USC extended its margin to 11 points at 17-6. Alex Jupiter put back-to-back terminations down for USC as Gysin won the joust to even the match.

In the third, USC built an 8-4 lead before USD cut it to two at 12-10. Alli Hillgren's ace capped three straight points for the five-point lead. Jupiter later won another joust as the Trojans maintained their lead at 18-13. Troost recorded two more kills, but Jupiter responded with a block and a kill as Gysin again would put the set winner down for the 2-1 USC match lead.

Three straight errors by San Diego put USC on top, 3-0, in the fourth, before the Toreros came back with a 7-1 run and the 7-4 lead. USC used Ellick extensively in the fourth set as she put down two kills for the 10-6 advantage. Both teams traded points as the Toreros stayed ahead by four, 15-11. Garrett and Carico's "310" kill chopped the deficit to one, but San Diego again edged out to the three-point lead at 19-16 as the Trojans burned their final timeout of the set. Carico and Eichler stuffed another San Diego attempt as a mini 3-1 run brought the Trojans back to within one again at 20-19. Eichler and Roleder tied the set with another block. After a USC attack error, the Trojans streaked to match point with four straight for a 24-21. San Diego fought back as Ellick hit two straight, followed by Nyrop's kill to tie it at 24-24. Roleder and Garrett used USC's final block of the evening to put them back on match point before San Diego's attempt sailed long to give the Trojans the win.

USC will play No. 7 seed Hawai'i in a second-round match tomorrow at 6 p.m. Hawai'i swept Belmont, 3-0 (25-19, 25-11, 25-16), in first-round action earlier today. Kanani Danielson led the Rainbow Wahine with eight kills, hitting .368 (8-1-19), with five digs, one ace and one block assist.

Article courtesy of Southern California athletics.

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