USC Sweeps Oklahoma In First Round Of NCAA Tournament
Dec. 5, 2009
LOS ANGELES - Sophomore outside hitter Alex Jupiter (Hermosa Beach/Redondo Union HS) recorded 23 kills Friday as the No. 15-ranked USC Women of Troy swept the Oklahoma Sooners, 3-0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-20), in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament at the Galen Center. Sophomore middle blocker Lauren Williams had 10 kills without an error for a .714 night (10-0-14) and two blocks.
USC improved to 22-9 on the season, winning its seventh-straight match while Oklahoma finishes the season with an 18-12 record.
Sophomore setter Kendall Bateman (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS), who entered the match as the nation's leading setter for assists per set (12.51), recorded 49 assists (16.33 aps) with 12 digs and three blocks assists for the Women of Troy. Senior All-American Jessica Gysin recorded a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs.
Suzy Boulavsky and Francie Ekwerekwu led Oklahoma with 10 kills each. Brianne Barker had 31 assists with two kills and four digs while Sarah Freudenrich had eight kills and two block assists for a .353 performance (8-2-17) while Maria Fernanda finished with 20 digs.
The Sooners put a scare into the Trojans with a 7-0 run to start the first set. Jupiter recorded her first kill to stop the slide and a key five-point streak helped USC to rally and tie it at 11-11. Caitlin Higgins gave OU a two-point lead at 15-13. Both teams kept trading points with neither team building a two-point advantage, pushing it to a 20-20 score. Gysin tallied a kill, followed by a Higgins hitting error for the 22-20 score in favor of USC. Geena Urango later recorded the service ace as Gysin completed the rally with a kill to end the first set.
Oklahoma led out early again in the second set, building a 6-2 lead. USC would fight back and caught up with the Sooners at 20-20. Barker's kill tied it at 22-22 with Jupiter and Ekwerekwu trading kills for the 23-23 score. Williams gave set point to the Trojans, but Jupiter's service error tied it again. Williams and Kimmee Roleder stuffed Bridget Laplante on a key attempt and Ekwerekwu's following attempt went wide as USC took the 2-0 lead in the match.
The visiting Sooners again put the pressure on in the third, keeping the lead late at 18-15. Audrey Eichler's kill started a six-pack for the Trojans, who amassed the 21-18 advantage. Urango again hit a service ace late and Jupiter closed out the sweep for the Trojans.
USC will face Hawai'i (29-2) in an NCAA second-round match tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Pacific. The game is being broadcast live through a video webcast on usctrojans.com, as well as a televised broadcast (Hawaii only) by KFVE-TV.