LOS ANGELES — Sophomore middle blocker Alexis Olgard had a team-high 11 kills Friday as USC opened the 2011 NCAA tournament with a 3-0 sweep (25-13, 25-13, 25-18) of Yale at the Galen Center. Olgard had no errors while hitting .647 (11-0-17) with three blocks in the first-ever meeting in women’s volleyball between the two schools.
Senior All-American middle blocker Lauren Williams added to a strong middle attack by the Trojans (26-4) with 10 kills. Katie Fuller had seven kills while hitting .500 (7-0-14) and tied a career high with four service aces. Senior All-America setter Kendall Bateman had 35 assists as the Women of Troy hit .350 as a team. USC had just one hitting error in each of the first two sets.
Bridget Hearst led Yale (18-12) with seven kills while Mollie Rogers had six kills and nine digs. Kendall Polan posted 19 assists and nine digs for the Bulldogs.
The Trojans were able to score four consecutive points on Erin Yoder’s serve in the first set to take the 9-4 lead. USC, ranked No. 1 in the nation in the latest AVCA poll, pushed its advantage to 12 points with a 12-5 run as the team would hit .414 in the set. The second set would mirror the first one as the Women of Troy once again hit .414 in the set. After jumping out to an 11-3 lead, the Trojans would push the margin to a 12-point advantage at 21-9. Freshman Emily Young sent the teams into the intermission with a kill.
After the break, Yale came out with some fire as the Bulldogs started with a 6-1 run. Sara Shaw’s serve brought the Trojans back into the lead at 9-7. At 12-12, Williams’ kill would help USC to break away and hold onto the lead for the remainder of the match. Olgard recoreded kills in back-to-back attempts for the 22-15 score and Alex Jupiter, who only recorded 25 swings on the night and had 17 digs in the match, finished off the sweep.