Dec. 4, 2010

Courtesy of USC Athletics

LOS ANGELES - Junior All-America outside hitter Alex Jupiter (Paris, France/Redondo Union) recorded a match-high 23 kills Saturday as the No. 6 seed USC Women of Troy defeated the San Diego Toreros, 3-1 (25-15, 25-20, 22-25, 31-29), in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament at the Galen Center. USC advances to the Dayton Regional to face Indiana in regional semifinal action on Friday (Dec. 10) after the Hoosiers upset No. 11 seed Tennessee earlier today.

USC has now won 13 of its last 14 matches with a November 7 loss at Stanford being the team's only loss since October 15.

Jupiter hit .362 for the match (23-2-58) with six digs and two blocks while Pac-10 Conference Freshman of the Year Falyn Fonoimoana had her fourth double-double of the season with 15 kills and 12 digs to go with four blocks. Junior setter Kendall Bateman guided the Women of Troy (26-4) with 55 assists and five digs as USC hit .338 for the match.

USC got strong production from middle blockers Lauren Williams and Alexis Olgard. Williams hit .562 (10-1-16) on 10 kills with five blocks while Olgard was one off on her personal bests with 11 kills and eight blocks. Freshman libero Natalie Hagglund had 21 digs for the Trojans.

San Diego (24-6) saw something to build on for the future, thanks to freshmen Chloe Ferrari and Katie Hoekman. Ferrari led the Toreros with 16 kills on a .312 night while Hoekman hit .476 (13-2-21) with 13 kills and two solo blocks. Seniors Amy DeGroot and Ali Troost had double-doubles but USC held them to a .103 and .128 hitting percentage, respectively. DeGroot had 12 kills with 18 digs while Troost chipped in 13 kills and 10 digs. Kelsi Myers posted 53 assists and 10 digs for USD.

Even though San Diego held a 74-59 margin in digs, it was USC's blocking game that made a difference as the Women of Troy out-blocked USD by a 13-4 advantage.

Trailing 6-3 in the first set, Olgard started five straight points as USC took the lead at 8-6. Troost went crosscourt from the back row to tie it at 9-9 for the Toreros. A USD service error then started a thunderous run for the Trojans as the 13-1 streak put the set away. USC had three straight blocks as part of the run, but DeGroot scored three straight points in a mini comeback with USC ahead, 23-15. Olgard got her fourth kill of the set as USD's 11th hitting error of the set gave USC the 1-0 match lead.

Williams tied the score at 9-9 in the second set as two more blocks started an 8-1 run as the Women of Troy raced to the 16-10 advantage. San Diego responded with a 5-1 run as Amber Tatsch used an ace to get the Toreros within two at 17-15. Williams and Fonoimoana teamed up for a block to give USC a four-point lead, 21-17. Carrie Baird gave another ace for USC at 23-20 before Fonoimoana and Jupiter went back-to-back for the second set win.

USD scored three straight in the third set to lead 14-13. The Trojans answered with three straight of their own as Katie Fuller's ace made it 16-14. Hoekman put the Toreros back in front with two kills as Ashton Basch made it a 20-18 lead for USD. Ferrari kept the pressure on with two kills as the Toreros sent the match into a fourth set as USD forced USC to hit a match-low .231 for the set (14-5-39).

The fourth set proved to be the most exciting one of the match. Neither team got ahead by more than two points until the score was 15-15. Williams started the 5-1 run as Hagglund's service ace put USC in front by four, 20-16. The senior-laded Toreros bounced back with the 6-2 run to tie it at 22-22. Jupiter nailed a kill, but Olgard's service error tied it at 23-23. Williams gave the first match point to USC with a kill, but DeGroot sent the match into extra play. Troost made it 26-26 as Jupiter delivered from the back row for USC up 27-26. Ferrari tied it, but a USC hitting error put it back in the Trojans' favor. Ferrari and Jupiter traded points again, but another USC serving error notched the scoreboard at 29-29. Jupiter gave USC its seventh match point of the set and it was Fuller that delivered the knockout blow on the right side as the Women of Troy earned the victory.