#12 USC Fights Past Back And Forth Match To Harvard, Winning In Five

  0 Carly DeMarque | March 15th, 2017 | College - Men's Indoor, EIVA, MPSF, News

Match Stats

  • #12 USC def. Harvard 3-2, (25-16, 19-25, 25-18, 22-25, 15-8)
  • USC improves to 9-12
  • Harvard falls to 6-10
  • Hosted by USC
  • Match results

#12 USC is finding their groove this season, with Gianluca Grasso leading the way for the Trojans, posting another double-digit kill performance with 18 against the Crimson.

USC is still without Lucas Yoder, who is out of contest currently with an abdominal strain.

The first set started in a back and forth battle, until a big kill from Woody Cook moved all the momentum to the Trojans, taking the first 25-16. The second set was for Harvard who was able to take the set 25-19. The back and forth exchange continued until the match was forced into a deciding fifth set.

In the fifth, the scored was tied at 7-7, but the Trojans were able to go on an 8-1 run to conclude the set and the match at 15-8.

For USC, Grasso led with a double-double of 18 kills and 10 digs. Cook and Lucas Lossone were each able to throw down 15 kills while setter Gert Lisha dished out 56 assists and seven digs. In the back court Matt Douglas picked up a match-best 16 digs while Andy Benesh put down five blocks and three aces.

Three Harvard players recorded double-digit kills, with Casey White leading the way with 12 kills and seven digs. Matthew Ctvrtlik recorded a double-double with 10 kills and 19 assists, also adding seven digs. Erik Johnsson slammed down 10 kills and 10 digs for a double-double of his own.

Press Release

Courtesy of USC Athletics

Gianluca Grasso had 18 kills (hitting .300) to be USC’s leading scorer for the third match in a row in the Trojans’ 3-2 victory over Harvard, 25-16, 19-25, 25-18, 22-25, 15-8 on Tuesday night (March 14). The non-conference match played in USC’s Galen Center marked the Trojans’ third win in a row as they improved to 9-12 overall.

As a team, USC hit .376 while sophomore outside hitter Woody Cook scored 15 kills (hitting .414) and teammate freshman opposite hitter Lucas Lossone tallied up 15 kills of his own (hitting .400). Junior setter Gert Lisha dished out 56 assists and sophomore libero Matt Douglas had an excellent night as he recorded 16 digs.

For Harvard, senior outside hitter Casey White led the Crimson with 18 kills (hitting .300). As a team, Harvard hit .211 on the night.

USC collected 67 kills to Harvard’s 50, but the Trojans only recorded 9.5 team blocks to the Crimson’s 10.5. It was another big night from the service line as USC served up five aces, while Harvard scored six of their own.

The Trojans were once again without top outside hitter Lucas Yoder who is recovering from an abdominal strain.

Points were exchanged back-and-forth to open up the first set, but the Trojans went on a six-point run to make the score 12-6. USC’s momentum continued, and the Trojans went on to nab the first set 25-16. Harvard came back fighting with fire in the second set. With a tight score at 7-8, they capitalized on a missed serve by the Trojans and turned it into a three-point swing leaving USC trailing at 7-11. Although Grasso, Cook and Lossone were effective from the pins, it was not enough to secure the set which Harvard would win 25-19.

Similar to the previous two sets, the score remained close early on. A big kill from Cook followed by an ace from Benesh forced the Crimson into a timeout with the Trojans leading 20-15. USC continued to push points, and Lossone would claim the third set for the Trojans with a solo block. Harvard sprinted into the fourth set and jumped ahead 6-1 forcing USC into an early timeout. The Trojans would fight back closing the gap to tie up the score at 19-19. The Crimson then made the final push to take the fourth set 25-22. In the decisive fifth set, Benesh put up two blocks in a row to give USC a 7-4 lead. Harvard then fought back with three points in a row to tie up the score at 7-7. The Trojans regained momentum with two aces in a row from Benesh followed by two kills from Cook to make the score 12-7. USC made the final push to claim the set 15-8 and win the match.

USC’s next action will bring them back to the Galen Center where they will take on Sacred Heart in a non-conference match on Sunday (March 19) at 7 p.m. PT.

Press Release

Courtesy of Harvard Athletics

Despite a comeback in the fourth set to tie the game, Harvard men’s volleyball fell in a close battle to No. 14 USC, 3-2. The defeat came by set scores of 16-25, 25-19, 18-25, 25-22, 8-15.

Casey White recorded 12 kills to lead Harvard’s attack, while Erik Johnsson and Matthew Ctvrtlik posted 10 kills apiece. Marko Kostich added 26 helpers to the Crimson offense and three service aces.
Trevor Dow tallied six blocks to lead the Crimson defense, to give the Trojans 17 attack errors. Five members of the Crimson tallied six or more digs during the contest: Kostich (6), White (7), Murphy (6), Ctvrtlik (7) and Johnsson (10).
In the first set, Kostich recorded consecutive services aces to give the Crimson a 4-2 advantage out of the gate. USC went on an 11-3 run to lead the Crimson16-8. Although White and Johnsson netted two kills in the remainder of the first set, the Crimson were unable to gain the point, falling , 25-16.
The two teams traded points through the first 10 points of the set, but a kill from service error from USC started the Crimson on an 8-3 run, to lead the Trojans 16-10. A kill from Kostich helped put the final stamp on the set to tie the match at 1-1.
USC took the lead in the third set, recording a four-point lead at the midway point. Although the Crimson battled back and forth with the Trojans to come within three points, the Trojans capitalized on successive service and ball handling errors to lead 23-16. USC the set with a kill from Connor Inlow, 25-18.
The Crimson took a 9-2 lead in the fourth stanza, after falling the Trojans in the third period. USC battled back to come within two points, 16-18. Matthew Ctvrtlik stepped up for the Crimson and recorded two kills in the remainder of the set to tie the match at two apiece, forcing a decisive fifth set.
Harvard had a chance to put the match away, tied at 7 apiece in the fifth set. USC recorded two consecutive service aces and two kills to take a five-point lead, 12-7.  The Trojans capitalized on successive attack errors from the Crimson to take the game, 3-2.
Harvard will return to action on March 24, hosting Sacred Heart at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the Ivy League Digital Network.

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About Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque has been involved with competitive volleyball for the majority of her life, playing competitively at the club and collegiate level for 15 years and coaching club for five. Now a retired Division I volleyball athlete out of McNeese State University, she continues her volleyball enthusiasm by stepping back into …

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