Nov. 14, 2009
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The No. 25 Washington State volleyball team suffered a disappointing loss at No. 17 USC Saturday night as the Trojans (17-9, 6-8) had five players in double-figure kills to win the match at the Galen Center with set scores of 24-26, 25-18, 28-26, and 25-16.
Washington State falls to 16-10 overall, 5-10 in Pacific-10 Conference action and has not won a match since Oct. 23 when the Cougs upset No. 4 Washington in Pullman.
USC's Lauren Williams led the match with 19 kills and had no errors in 34 attacks for a .559 hitting percentage. Alex Jupiter added 14 more kills as Kendall Bateman had 60 assists. Jupiter and Alli Hillgren combined for 31 digs. Audrey Eichler had five blocks. USC hit .265 for the match.
Meagan Ganzer led the Cougars with 14 kills while WSU's middle blockers, Cassie Robbins and Brittany Tillman, combined for 24 kills with Robbins hitting .571 and Tillman hitting .300 forth match. Tillman led the match with seven blocks. Robbins and Ganzer each added four blocks. Oceana Bush led the match with 24 digs and Jackie Albright added 14 digs. WSU hit .200 for the match and out-blocked USC 11 to 9.
"We had our chances tonight and we gave ourselves opportunities, like I thought we would. I thought we played similar to the way we played last night and I thought we would handle things a little bit better. This was a tough one," WSU Head Coach Andrew Palileo said.
USC took an early five-point lead in the first set but the Cougars battled back with a five-point run to take an 19-17 lead. After trading pairs of points, WSU went ahead 21-19. The teams traded scores and timeouts. WSU had the 22-20 advantage when a Cougar attack error and a kill from Williams tied the set at 22. Ganzer and Roleder traded attacks to keep the score knotted. Robbins' attack took the Cougs to serving for set but Gysin's kill stopped that, and tied the set at 24. Gysin's next attack was not successful and Tillman landed a big kill to give WSU the 26-24 win. The Cougars hit .323 with Ganzer and Tillman both landing four kills and Tillman hitting .800 in the set. USC hit .184 and was led by Gysin's five kills.
Obviously taking umbrage to the first set loss, USC came on strong in the second set, roaring out to an 18-7 lead. WSU tallied five consecutive points to close the gap to six. USC answered with a run of four points to take a 22-12 lead. After trading scores, the Cougs found some life on the court with three consecutive points but a block by Williams and Roelder placed USC with the serve for set at 24-16. A kill from Robbins and a block by Ganzer gave WSU 18 points. Audrey Eichler's attack ended the set in USC's favor, 25-18.
The third set was a tight one with seven ties up to 17 points. WSU took the 24-21 lead but USC tagged three straight points to tie the set at 24. Tillman's attack placed the Cougs in control again, up 25-24 but Gysin tied it up at 25. Ganzer's kill was again a lifesaver for WSU but Roleder answered and the score was tied at 26. Back-to-back kills from Jupiter gave the home team the 28-26 win.
The Cougars and Trojans were tied at nine early in the fourth set when USC went on a 15 to 5 scoring run. WSU managed to lace two points together but USC took the win 25-16, and the match, 3-1, avenging an earlier loss to WSU in Pullman.
The Cougars will host Eastern Washington University Tuesday in 7 p.m. match at Bohler Gym. The Cougars play at No. 4 Washington Saturday, Nov. 21, in Seattle.