USC topples No. 1 California
Trojans sweep Golden Bears for first win vs. No. 1 since 2004
LOS ANGELES -- Senior All-America outside hitter Alex Jupiter recorded a match-high 16 kills Friday as No. 12 USC handed No. 1 California its first loss of the season with a 3-0 sweep (25-23, 25-20, 25-22) in Pac-12 Conference action.
USC improved to 8-3 overall with a 3-1 mark in conference play while Cal, which had lost only one set all season before Friday, fell to 13-1 on the season and 3-1 in conference.
The win was USC’s first win against a top-ranked opponent since the 2004 NCAA Regional in Louisville, Ky., when the Women of Troy defeated No. 1 Nebraska in five sets during the regional final. USC defeated Cal for the seventh consecutive year at home with the last loss coming in 2004 (3-0 loss).
Jupiter had eight digs and season-high four blocks (two solo) and hit .343 (16-4-35) while junior outside hitter Katie Fuller added 10 kills, seven digs and two blocks. Senior All-America setter Kendall Bateman had 42 assists (14.00 aps) with seven digs and two blocks while sophomore libero Natalie Hagglund registered 19 digs (6.33 dps).
The Women of Troy received a strong effort from their middles, senior All-American Lauren Williams and freshman Hannah Schraer with 18 combined kills (nine kills each) with no errors. Schraer hit .600 (9-0-15) while Williams tied a season high with four blocks.
Tarah Murrey led Cal with 14 kills and 15 digs while Shannon Hawari hit .360 (12-3-25) on 12 kills for the Golden Bears. Elly Barrett had 33 assists with three kills and eight digs while Robin Rostratter added 20 assists.
Three kills from Jupiter helped USC get to an 11-7 advantage in the first set. Murrey used two kills and teamed up with Brown on a block as a 5-1 run tied the set at 12-12. Schraer put two down in the middle with the Golden Bears scoring consecutive points to tie it at 14-14. Two Cal hitting errors led to three consecutive points for the Women of Troy, but USC returned the favor with two errors before Schraer and Williams provided more from the middle as USC retook the lead 20-18.
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After Shannon Hawari terminated, Williams added a kill followed by Shaw’s kill on the overpass for a 23-20 USC score. Correy Johnson and Brown blocked, followed by a kill from Johnson on set point before Shaw finished the set with a kill for the Trojans.
Cal took the momentum in the second set with a 5-2 lead with two serving errors by the Trojans. Jupiter hammered a kill from back row, which started a 5-1 run as the Women of Troy. Brown brought down a kill for the Golden Bears to tie it at 9-9, but Fuller hit back-to-back kills with Shaw adding an ace for the 14-11 USC advantage. Fuller’s kill made it four consecutive points as USC pushed its lead to six at 18-12. A back row attack against the Trojans made it 20-15 before Fuller added two more kills with USC opening up an eight-point cushion 23-15. Schraer closed out the 2-0 lead in the match for USC as the Women of Troy hit .405 in the second set.
Murrey gave Cal a 13-12 lead in the third set as the Golden Bears looked to avoid the sweep. Schraer won a joust to start three consecutive points for USC but two Cal blocks put them back in the lead at 17-16 before Bateman used a solo block to put the Trojans ahead 18-17. Murrey delivered again from the back row as Cal led by two 20-18. A USC timeout helped the host team as Jupiter and Williams recorded two blocks with the Trojans retaking the lead 21-20. Barrett snuck a kill in the middle to tie it at 21-21, but Williams started the late 4-1 run before a Cal service error gave match point to USC.