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Volleyball falls to USC in gritty 3-1 loss

October 17, 2008

In an incredibly gritty and back-and-forth match the ASU Women’s Volleyball team fell Friday night in Tempe to the 11th-ranked USC Women of Troy 25-13, 18-25, 25-23 and 25-22. The Sun Devils are now 10-9 overall and 1-5 in conference play as USC improves to 10-5 and 3-3 in the Pac.

Set one saw the Sun Devils caught off-balance as USC came out to play swinging .375 and putting away 14 kills with an 84% sideout percentage as ASU struggled with control with eight costly attack errors in a 25-13 loss.

ASU came full throttle back in the second set though with 13 kills of their own, while forcing 11 USC errors as Marina Mercer tossed the rock for 11 assists to guide the offense as the Sun Devils collected an 83% sideout percentage to route the Women of Troy in set two 25-18.

The third set turned into a vicious fracas with ten tie scores and three lead changes telling the tale as the Sun Devils and Women of Troy locked horns, both swinging over .300 in an offensive showcase which saw USC just edge ASU 18 to 13 kills in a nail-biting 25-23 loss that changed the tide of the game.

In the match’s final set, the USC Women of Troy looked posed to take off running with the win, but ASU wouldn’t quit, making them work for every point as ASU rattled off a 8-2 scoring rally to come back from a 10-17 deficit to pull it to 18-19, shaking USC’s nerves. After two time-outs to recoup from ASU’s attack, the Women of Troy righted the ship to finish off the match in a tough 25-22 win.

“I thought we competed well, we stayed on task for a long period of time. USC is a great and experienced team, we just needed to be a little bit better tonight and fell just short of that” expressed Head Coach Jason Watson post match on Friday.

The Sun Devils will hit the court again tomorrow night as they continue Pac-10 play, hosting the tenth-ranked UCLA Bruins at 7 p.m. in ASU’s Wells Fargo Arena.