USC 3, San Diego 1

Â

Â

Led by Bibiana Candelas' 16 kills, The University of Southern California Women of Troy defeated the San Diego Toreros in NCAA volleyball Sweet 16 action to move onto the finals of the Louisville region.

Southern California took an early advantage taking a 10-5 lead after reeling of four straight points. After USC extended its lead to 10 at 16-6, the Toreros battled badk to within one on three occasions, but USC finished off the game on 4-0 run.

USC again popped out to an early advantage in the second game, and continued to maintain a lead. It was 19-11 before San Diego took their first timeout. Following the timeout, USC reeled off four straight points in the middle of an 8-0 run to take its largest lead of 11, 23-12. San Diego would get no closer than nine the rest of the game.

San Diego used a 5-0 run early in the third game to take their first lead of the match at 12-10 before USC called timeout. The Women of Troy battled back to tie the game at 15, but the Toreros were able to maintain a comfortable lead from that point on.

Southern California used a 5-0 run to open up an eight point lead early in game four. USC used another 5-0 run to break open the game. Leading 22-9 at that point, they never looked back.

USC improves to 22-5 on the year, while San Diego finishes its season at 24-5.

San Diego Quotes

Coach Jennifer Petrie

"I thought USC played a very tough match tonight. They are very tough competitors and a well-rounded team. I thought they did an excellent job this evening. I'm very proud of my girls I thought they played well. It's been a very rewarding season for us. My seniors especially have taken this team to new heights, have set new goals for us and have raised the level of our program.

On senior Devon Forster
I think Devon played excellent tonight. I've looked at the stats and she was the kill leader for both teams. She has been for the past four years one of our go-to hitters and she did a great job tonight putting the ball away deserves a lot of recognition for her accomplishments. She broke a lot of records in our program and she's come a long way.

On the key to the game
I think their middle did a very nice job tonight. We hard time slowing them down offensively. They had a lot of size. Too many times we let them go on runs of points. If we could have just tried to stick with them and tried to get side outs at key times, maybe it would have been a different story at the end of the game.

Kristen Hurst
We started out slowly. During the games we had too many streaks of errors and it was hard for us to catch up in the games we lost.

Jackie Bernardin
I think when the game got going and we were behind, we realized what we had to do instead of starting at the very beginning of each match.

Devon Forster
We started off a little weak. We didn't really start playing our game until we were well into the game and we started feeling out how the game was going. And started to really able to play with them.

On whether they were intimidated by the fact that USC is two-time defending national champion:

Forster
Every year is a different year so I don't think we were looking at what they did in the past. They weren't ranked much higher than we were, so we were pretty much even at that point. Obviously they had a lot of height advantage, but I don't know that we were that intimidated.

Hurst
I think we went into the game feeling that we could win it. I think we really believed it. I don't think our team played our best game and this was the result.

USC Quotes

Coach Mick Haley

'I was very proud of our team tonight. I think we did extremely well with what we tried to do. I think San Diego is a very good team. We had some mismatches in some areas that I thought really helped us."

"The biggest thing for us was reducing our errors. If we don't give the opponents a lot of points, we're pretty tough to deal with. San Diego didn't get a lot of second chances tonight except in game three when we had nine hitting errors. That's just something that happens. They played inspired in the third game and you have to give them credit for that. But I think when if finally came down to the wire, our overall balance just kind of wore them down.

Emily Adams on six of team's 14 blocks being in the fourth game "I think we were able to get into a rhythm. They had been making certain shots and we took those away. I think we also tried to go into the game pretend we were two down."

-- Courtesy Louisville