NCAA women's volleyball: USC's Mick Haley captures 900th victory
LOS ANGELES -- The No. 1-ranked USC women's volleyball team (19-0, 7-0 Pac-12) defeated No. 10 Arizona State (15-3, 4-3) in four sets (25-15, 25-21, 23-25, 25-23) at Galen Center on Friday, Oct. 16, to bring head coach Mick Haley his 900th career NCAA Division I victory (378 at USC, 522 at Texas). The Women of Troy remained undefeated and matched the 19-0 start set by Haley's 2002 NCAA championship squad. Only one other Haley-coached USC team has had a better start to its season. The 2003 NCAA champion Trojans started (and finished) the year at 35-0.
Senior outside hitter Samantha Bricio powered the Trojan offense once again with 29.0 points. She finished with 24 kills (6e, 56att) and hit .321 to go with 11 digs, four service aces, and two blocks. Bricio notched her eighth double-double of the season (48th career) and served at least three aces in the same match for the 36th time in her career.
Freshman outside hitter Alyse Ford scored a career-high 15.5 points on 13 kills to go with three blocks (two solo). Sophomore opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie had 11 kills (1e, 28att) and hit .357. USC's middle blockers combined for 13 kills. Senior Alicia Ogoms had seven (4e, 15att, .200) to go with three blocks and junior Elise Ruddins had six (2e, 12att, .333) to go with two blocks.
The Trojans accounted for 60 assists with 37 from freshman setter Baylee Johnson and 14 from junior setter Alice Pizzasegola. On defense, junior libero Taylor Whittingham had a season-high 26 digs and freshman Victoria Garrick finished with 11 digs. Despite finishing with eight blocks, the Trojans were out-blocked (14.5) for just the third time this season and had their streak of eight matches in double digits snapped.
For the Sun Devils, Whitney Follette led with 13 kills (5e, 34att, .235) while BreElle Bailey finished with nine kills (3e, 31att, .194). Cassidy Pickrell had nine kills (3e, 23att, .261) and picked up 12 digs. Halle Harker had 21 digs. Two Devils finished with six blocks apiece (Andi Lowrance and Mercedes Binns) and three different ASU players had two aces.
The Trojans ran away with the first set to win, 25-15. Abercrombie and Ford each had four kills in the opening frame to power USC's offense to a .273 hitting rate. The Sun Devils scored on three of the first four rallies, but USC went on a 5-0 run to lead, 6-3, on a service ace from Bricio. ASU got only as close as four points, 16-12, before the Trojans turned on the jets down the stretch. Pizzasegola served the Women of Troy to a 7-0 run for set point at 24-12, but the Devils fought off three before a service error sealed USC's win.
USC never trailed in the second set, but was forced into five ties before it could complete a 25-21 win for the 2-0 lead in the match. Bricio came alive in set two and scored seven kills while Abercrombie added four more without an error. The final tie of the set came at 11-all before the Trojans reeled off a 4-0 run on kills from Abercrombie, Ford, and Bricio. The Devils fought to get within three at 18-15, but USC got another kill from Bricio and used an ASU error to go up by five, 21-16, before it closed out the win.
The Sun Devils turned things around in the third and claimed a 25-23 win to push the match to a fourth set. Follette and Pickrell each scored five kills to help ASU to its victory. Despite leading several times, four lead changes and six tie scores got away from the Women of Troy. USC got three straight kills from Bricio to tie the score one last time at 21-all, but the Devils grabbed set point on a kill by Bailey. Back-to-back hitting errors ended the set with the Devils on top.
The Trojans went wire-to-wire and led the Devils through the fourth set to get a 25-23 win, but were given a heavy challenge down the stretch. USC came out of the gates and grabbed a 7-1 lead, but ASU had other plans and patiently climbed to within a point at 12-11, but Bricio scored one of her seven fourth-set kills to help the Trojans begin a 5-0 run that put USC up, 17-11. Ford went for a drive and came back with three straight kills to set the Trojans up at match point, 24-17, but the Devils earned their sixth block of the set to start a comeback the got them within a point at 24-23. The Trojans got the final block of the night as Johnson went up to stuff Pickrell to seal with victory.
Up next, the Trojans face No. 14 Arizona (13-6, 3-4 Pac-12) on Sunday, Oct. 18 (11 a.m. PT) at the Galen Center. The Wildcats fell to UCLA, 3-0, earlier today. The USC-Arizona matchup is Family Funday Sunday, which features $1 tickets for kids 12 and under (walk-up ONLY), $1 nachos, and $1 small sodas. The first 500 fans through the door receive a special 22x17 autograph cheer card and the Trojans will host a special post-match autograph session in the Hall of Fame. Visit GetTrojanTix.com/Funday to purchase your tickets.
To purchase season or single-match tickets for USC home matches, visit GetTrojanTix.com or call (213) 740-GOSC. For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit USCTrojans.com and follow @USCWomensVolley on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope.
USC improved to 64-13-1 in all-time matches against Arizona State.
The win was USC head coach Mick Haley's 900th-career NCAA Division I victory. He has 378 at USC and 522 as the head coach at Texas. He is one of only three active head coaches to reach that milestone (Russ Rose, Penn State; Dave Shoji, Hawai'i).
The Trojans improved to 89-8 all-time when ranked No. 1 in the AVCA poll.
The Women of Troy reached the 19-0 mark to start a season for the third time under the direction of Haley and matched the start of the 2002 squad. Only one Haley USC teams had a longer streak to start its season: the 2003 NCAA champion Trojans started (and finished) 35-0.
USC won its 10th match at Galen Center to reach double digits in wins in the building for the eighth time in 10 seasons since the arena opened in 2006.
Senior OH Samantha Bricio logged 24 kills to give her 1,753 in her career. She is now just 46 kills from tying USC's second all-time leader: Jennifer Kessy (1,799; 1995-98). Alex Jupiter (1,918; 2008-11) is the program's record holder.
Bricio tallied 11 digs (with 24 kills) for her eighth double-double of the season; the 48th of her career.
Bricio had four aces against the Sun Devils to mark the 36th time in her career that she has had three or more aces in the same match.
Freshman OH Alyse Ford logged a new career mark with 15.5 points (13 kills, two solo blocks, one block assist).
Three Trojans reached double-digit digs led by junior libero Taylor Whittingham who registered a season high with 26. Freshman Victoria Garrick had 11 digs and Bricio had 11.