No. 5 Southern California Stages Dramatic Comeback to Defeat No. 4 Stanford

4/25/2009

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STANFORD, Calif. - Down two games to none on the road, the No. 7-ranked USC men's volleyball team staged a dramatic comeback to defeat No. 4 Stanford, 20-30, 27-30, 30-27, 30-24, 15-11, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation quarterfinal match on Saturday (April 25) in Palo Alto.

The Trojans, seeded fifth in the MPSF tourney, improved to 18-10 overall. It was the first time since 2000 that USC won a first round match in the MPSF tournament.

USC now advances to the MPSF semifinals, where it will face top-seeded UC Irvine--the nation's No.1-ranked team--on Thursday (April 30) in Irvine. Also advancing to the MPSF semis are No. 2 Cal State Northridge and No.3 Pepperdine. The Trojans have gone 0-2 this season against all 3 of the other semfinalists.

Fourth-seeded Stanford, which fell for the third time in 3 meetings with USC in 2009, finished its season with a 21-11 mark.

USC outhit the Cardinal, .367 to .322, and the Trojans hit over .400 in each of the last 3 sets (.405, .500 and .500). The Trojans also had more digs, 54 to 48. However, Stanford outblocked USC (12.5 to 7) and served 7 aces.

Murphy Troy had a match-high 28 kills for USC while hitting .380 and had 7 digs, while Tony Ciarelli added 21 kills and 8 digs, Tri Bourne had 16 kills while hitting. 400, Austin Zahn had 11 kills while hitting .529, Hunter Current had 6 blocks, Riley McKibbin had 16 digs and Luke Morris--USC's career digs leader--added 15 digs.

For Stanford, Evan Romero had 21 kills (hitting .348), 7 digs and 4 aces, Brad Lawson added 15 kills and 7 blocks, Spencer McLachlin had 12 kills and 15 digs and Erik Shoji had 15 digs.

In 2009, USC has posted its most overall (18) and MPSF (13) victories since 2000. The Trojans are making a third straight MPSF tourney appearance for the first time since doing so from 1999 to 2001.

Article courtesy of Southern California athletics.

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