#14 USC Survives Tough Match From #15 Princeton To Open 2018

  0 Kyp Harasymowycz | January 03rd, 2018 | College - Men's Indoor, EIVA, MPSF


  • #14 USC def. #15 Princeton, 3-1 (28-26, 25-22, 25-27, 25-22)
  • USC moves to 1-0; Princeton falls to 0-1
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Attendance: 250
  • Box score

LOS ANGELES – In the 2018 opener for both teams, #14 USC outlasted a feisty #15 Princeton squad in four sets (28-26, 25-22, 25-27, 25-22).

The Trojans were led offensively by Jack Wyett with a match-high-tying 20 kills and nearly had a double-double with 9 digs. Wyett also added 3 blocks and an ace. Other double-digit kills performers were Gianluca Grasso with 18, and Ryan Moss and Sam Lewis both adding 11 kills each to the offensive fray. Grasso contributed a match-high 4 aces. Sam Lewis, the 6-10 freshman middle in his collegiate debut, pounded his 11 kills on 14 swings without an error, hitting .786 on the evening. Libero Matt Douglas finished with a match-high 12 digs. Setter and Albanian National Team member Gert Lisha paced the offense with 58 assists and added 9 digs and 3 aces in the Trojan victory.

For Princeton, they did not go quietly, despite playing without all-EIVA middle Junior Oboh due to injury. In his absence, the Tigers leaned heavily on opposite George Huhmann with a match-high-tying 20 kills, hitting .306, while blocking a team-high 4 balls and digging 4 more. Parker Dixon had the only other double-digit kill performance for Princeton with 14 kills, hitting .429, while adding 7 digs and a block. Setter Joe Kelly dished out 37 assists and filled the stat sheet with 6 digs, a block and an ace. Libero Cade Keegan scooped a team-high-tying 7 digs on the night.


Courtesy of USC Athletics

LOS ANGELES—The No. 12-ranked USC men’s volleyball team—behind 20 kills from Jack Wyett and 18 from Gianluca Grasso—opened its 2018 season with a 28-26, 25-22, 25-27, 25-22 non-conference win over Princeton on Tuesday (Jan. 2) in USC’s Galen Center.

It was the first-ever meeting between USC (1-0) and Princeton (0-1).

Wyett, a redshirt junior outside hitter, returned to the court as a Trojan for the first time since the 2015 season after a 2-year layoff from the sport.  He added 9 digs.  Grasso had a match-best 4 aces.

Freshman Sam Lewis, a 6-10 middle blocker making his Trojan debut, hit .786 with 11 kills on 14 attempts with no errors.  Ryan Moss also had 11 kills for USC, while Connor Inlow had a match-high 5 blocks and Gert Lisha had 9 digs.

For Princeton, 6-11 middle blocker George Huhmann had 20 kills and 4 blocks, while Parker Dixon added 14 kills (hitting .429) and 7 digs and Cade Keegan had 7 digs.

USC hit .286 to Princeton’s .267.  The Trojans served 8 aces and had more digs (45 to 37).

USC trailed in the first set 12-9 before going on a 7-2 run to build a 2-point lead, but the Tigers tied it at 24-24 before a Wyett kill and a Princeton hitting error ended the set.  The Trojans scored the first 4 points of the second set, but Princeton caught up at 13-13 before USC went on a 4-0 run to move ahead at 18-14 and held off a late Tiger push.  The third set was tight throughout before a Trojan serving error and hitting error gave the set to Princeton, which hit .481.  In the fourth set, USC used a 6-0 run to forge a 10-7 lead and the Trojans steadily pulled away until the Tigers closed to 23-22 before a pair of Wyett kills ended the match.

Courtesy of Princeton Athletics

Playing without injured All-East middle and captain Junior Oboh, the Princeton men’s volleyball team traveled across the country for its 2017 debut and made a strong first impression against the 12th-ranked USC Trojans Tuesday night in the Galen Center. Playing in front of a nationally televised audience on the Pac-12 Network, the Tigers got a combined 34 kills from the sophomore duo of George Huhmann and Parker Dixon to stay close in an eventual 3-1 loss to USC.

Each set was highly contested, including the finale, when Princeton made a big push late in an attempt to force a fifth. Ultimately, the Trojans were able to hold on for the 28-26, 25-22, 25-27, 25-22 victory.

Huhmann, the reigning EIVA Newcomer of the Year, was as impressive as anybody on the court Tuesday. He recorded 20 kills while hitting .306, and he added four blocks and four digs in his first match since his first-team All-EIVA debut last season. Dixon contributed 14 kills while hitting .429, and he added seven digs, while fellow sophomore Greg Luck added nine kills, six digs, and two blocks.

That trio knew what freshmen Joe Kelly and Jess Hunt were feeling, as they had just made their career debuts against ranked competition one season earlier. Kelly paced an offense that hit .267 with 37 assists, while Hunt added three kills and three digs. Fellow freshman Cade Keegan also made his Princeton debut and recorded seven digs while sharing libero responsibilities with Corry Short.

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