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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

USC Women's Volleyball Falls To Florida

Jodee Sullivan |
September 13, 2014 | 2:31 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

(Neon Tommy)
(Neon Tommy)
Coming off a tough night with a loss to Texas A&M, the USC Women’s Volleyball team was looking to pull out a win against the Florida Gators, but was shutout by the SEC squad, 3-0 (23, 23, 22).

The intensity level was high and energy was flowing through the Galen Center Thursday night. Brittany Abercrombie, freshman outside hitter, started the night off with a huge kill from the right side. Samantha Bricio, junior outside hitter, brought the Women of Troy within one point of the Gators at 9-10 with a monstrous kill.

While the Women of Troy had some great offensive moments to start the game, they accumulated too many errors and trailed 11-15 entering the first timeout. During the timeout, the energy remained alive in the Galen Center. Music blasted in the speakers and fans both young and old were enjoying the game.

As the first set continued on, both teams showed off their offensive strengthens, yet with some grand plays from junior middle blocker Alicia Ogoms, freshman middle blocker Jordan Dunn, and Bricio, the Trojans took control of the lead at 21-19. Florida continued to fight back and USC took a timeout while trailing 22-23. At the end of the first set, the Gators pulled ahead and won 25-23.

Heading into the second set, the Women of Troy were motived and dedicated. They started out playing with more cohesiveness than the previous set. Matching the Trojans, the fans and Trojan Band kept the spirit high throughout the arena. A strategic tip by freshman outside hitter Lauryn Gillis caught the Gators off guard and put the Trojans up 7-3. Bricio recorded another kill to keep the Trojans just ahead 9-8. A couple rallies later, Dunn came up big again with another kill. Ogoms completely stuffed the Gators with a huge block from the middle to keep the Women of Troy up 14-11. Heading into a timeout with the lead, the Trojan fans’ cheers created a lively atmosphere throughout the gym.

Slowly, the Gators began to make a come back. Continually plagued by errors, the Women of Troy saw their lead begin to decrease. Even with some great serves by Bricio, the Trojans were unable to take their lead to the end and they lost 25-23 once again.

(Neon Tommy)
(Neon Tommy)
During the break between sets, the Trojan Band kept the spirit alive and the fans energized. On the screens above center court, a quick video segment played which displayed the Women of Troy choosing between glass half-empty and glass half-full. The majority of them chose half full; it’s always good to see feelings of optimism from Trojan athletes. Even though they were down two sets, the Trojans charged into the third set. Bricio again showcased her raw power by recording two early kills. She also recorded the team’s first ace of the night with a jump serve to keep the Trojans up 8-6. The play from both sides continued to grow in intensity as the set progressed.

In the third set, there were six lead changes—the most of the night. Following a massive block from Dunn, the Women of Troy headed into a timeout up 18-17. The energy continued to escalate as the set drew near the end. After a long rally, senior setter Hayley Crone set it short just over the net to bring the score to 22-20 and send the Gators into a timeout. Some great offensive players from the Gators mixed with some miscues from the Trojans ended with Florida winning the third set 25-22.  

Following another loss, head coach Mike Haley said that he hates to lose, but as a team “we must go through this to get better.” Haley pointed out that they gave 10 points per set to the Gators. “It’s simple arithmetic,” Haley explained. Even in the face of the loss, he remained optimistic, saying “if we reduce errors, we’ll be good at the end of the year.” Haley noted that his team needed to set, serve, and pass better if they wished to improve. 

“Everything is correctable,” he said, “it is all an opportunity.”

On the outcome of the game, Crone commented, “I don’t think Florida beat us, we beat ourselves.” Crone continued to remark about how she sees her team improving on the number of errors they commit and that she’s “excited for Sunday’s practice” and couldn’t wait to get back out there.

Bricio added, “We weren’t focused,” when asked about her thoughts on the night’s game.

Dunn, who had her first start, said she was “happy to get out there.” When asked about her play, she mentioned that she kept intensity and “[fought] the whole way through.”

The Women of Troy—with their glass-half-full optimism—look forward to their next match against Wisconsin on the 18th as well as their next home match against crosstown rivals UCLA on Tuesday September 23rd at 8pm in the Galen Center.

Reach Staff Reporter Jodee Sullivan here



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