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USC Men's Volleyball on 15-Game Win Streak

Sara Ramsey |
April 12, 2012 | 12:25 p.m. PDT

Associate Sports Editor


Senior captain Steven Shandrick has 155 kills this season.
Senior captain Steven Shandrick has 155 kills this season.
If timing is everything, then the USC men’s volleyball team is doing everything right. 

The Trojans are cruising on a 15-game win streak as they head into the last two games of the regular season. The No. 1-ranked squad has made easy prey of their opponents, sweeping 13 of their? 15 games.

“We are practicing hard and we are peaking at the right time,” redshirt sophomore Tanner Jansen said. “We are really focusing on what we need to do for every match, preparing.”

“This has been a good run,” USC coach Bill Ferguson added.

That preparation has led to the team’s longest win streak since the 1990-1991 season’s record 30-game streak. The Trojans have also won 12 consecutive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation matches, their longest streak since netting 18 straight league wins in 1991-1992.

“We are taking things as they come at us and I think that’s the way our guys are wired,” Ferguson said about the team’s attitude towards their streak. 

The Trojans are poised to head into the NCAA championships with not only the No.1 ranking, but also home-court advantage. The tournament, at Galen Center, will be hosted by USC for the first time, bringing together the top four teams in the country. UC Irvine, UCLA and BYU are currently ranked second, third and forth, respectively. Ohio State, the defending champion, is currently ranked 10th.

“Everyone is just focusing on the task at hand,” Ferguson said. “The captains do a really good job leading our team and keeping every one focused. They go to work.”

Tony Ciarelli has worked his way to the top of the leaderboard with 146 career aces, bettering former USC All-American Murphy Troy’s 143. He also tallied a match-high 20 kills Saturday night against UC Irvine, bringing his season total to 319. Henry Cassiday had a match-best 12 digs against the Anteaters, raising his season total to 170.

The Trojans are confident that their level of play can keep their streak alive and get them exactly what they have been working so hard for—a national championship.

“If we do what we need to do, we can beat anyone in front of us,” Jansen said.

USC will take on Long Beach State tonight at 7 p.m. in Long Beach, Calif. and finish out its season on March 14 at Cal State Northridge at 7 p.m.

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