Nov. 9, 2008
PULLMAN, Wash. -- The 10th-ranked USC volleyball team overcame a motivated Washington State team Sunday afternoon to defeat the Cougars 25-19, 25-22, 25-21, on Marcia Saneholtz Court before a crowd of 553 fans at Bohler Gym.
USC's Jessica Gysin and Alex Jupiter combined for 25 kills to move the Women of Troy to a record of 14-8 overall, 7-6 in Pacific-10 Conference action. Taylor Carico had 43 assists and Alli Hillgren led the match with 15 digs. Gysin and Zoe Garrett each had three blocks, and Gysin, Garrett and Kimmee Roleder each contributed a pair of aces. USC hit .304 for the match.
WSU, 7-17 overall and 0-13 in the Pac-10, was led by sophomore Brittany Tillman's career-high 15 kills. Tillman hit .458 for the match and added three blocks. Senior transfer Emily Rooney had six kills and hit .500. Freshman Meagan Ganzer added six kills and three blocks. Renee Bordelon had 31 assists and the lone Cougar ace. Kelly Hyder had 13 digs. Brittany Johnson added three blocks. WSU hit .240, the best team hitting percentage in its 13 Pac-10 matches.
USC rattled off five straight points early in the first set to take at 9-3 lead and after the teams traded points, WSU had a four-point run to come with two at 10-8. The Cougars could not lace multiple points together until late in the set when Albright and Rooney landed kills but WSU gave up a pair. USC's Zoe Garrett committed her second service error of the set and the Cougs put up two more with Johnson's tip and a kill from Ganzer, to put the score at 23-19. The visitors ended the set with a kill and an attack error by WSU to take the 25-19 win.
The Women of Troy sprinted out to a 13-8 lead in the second set when the Cougs scored four straight. Coming off a timeout, USC out-scored WSU seven to four to move ahead 20-16. Ganzer and Tillman each scored kills, teamed up on a block and then Ganzer had a solo block to knot up the set at 20, forcing USC to call another timeout. After trading points, Garrett landed a kill and an ace to put the visitors up 23-21 and the Cougars took a timeout. Tillman laced her 11th kill of the day but Roleder and Gysin had the final points of the set for a USC 25-22 win. The Cougars hit .367 in this set after managing only .081 in the opener.
The third set saw a total of 11 ties and Washington State had the lead twice. With USC ahead 14-13, WSU tallied three consecutive points with kills from Albright and Ganzer and an attack error by Jupiter, for a 16-14 lead. USC countered with pair of scores and the teams tied again at 17-each. Rooney and Tillman landed kills to place the Cougars in the lead, 19-17. The teams traded points and WSU still led, 20-18. Two kills from Gysin knotted the set again and forced WSU to take a timeout. USC's Geena Urango and Gysin added two more kills and the Cougs took their final timeout. Back-to-back attack errors by Tillman strengthened the USC lead to 24-20. An attack error by Gysin gave WSU its final point but the USC junior found revenge in landing the final kill. USC wins 25-21.
"I think our effort showed a little bit more tonight then we did on Friday night," WSU Head Coach Andrew Palileo said. "We hustled down some great swings by USC and we put them in play. I think we executed, especially in set three, the game plan of using our middles and attacking their middles because they were not able to stop Tilly or Emily and so I thought Renee did a good job from that standpoint. We put our self in position to win two sets today, compared to Friday where we didn't do that at all. So our goal as coaches and players is to put our players in a position to win as many times as we can so they learn how to execute in those times."
Washington State travels to Eugene and Corvallis for Friday and Sunday matches next weekend against No. 8 Oregon (20-5, 8-4) and Oregon State (14-11, 3-9).