#10 USC DEF. #15 UCLA 3-0
- #10 USC def. #15 UCLA 3-0 (25-21, 25-8, 29-27)
- #10 USC improves to 9-3 (1-0, Pac-12); #15 UCLA falls to 5-3 (0-1, Pac-12)
- Los Angeles, California | Galen Center
- Attendance: 2,992
- Box Score
- USC Release | UCLA Release
In the volleyball version of the Battle for Los Angeles, the 10th-ranked USC Trojans took down rival and 15th-ranked UCLA in each school’s 2018 Pac-12 opener. It was also the first time in five years that the Trojans won on their home court against the Bruins.
USC freshman setter Raquel Lazaro had quite the match, logging 28 assists, 11 digs and 3 blocks. Her assist numbers are a bit lower because of all the overpasses that USC brought down due to the dominant serve of the Trojans, which led to a seven point swing alone and plenty of bad passes from UCLA. No one was more responsible for it than Lazaro, who had a remarkable 6 aces in the match.
On the pin, Khalia Lanier (10 kills, .167, 6 digs) and Brooke Botkin (12 kills, .194, 9 digs) continued to rack up solid totals, but neither were ultra efficient. Instead, it was all about the Trojans’ serve and some of the other pieces that found success on balls from Lazaro.
Those ‘others’ were a pair of transfers who joined USC out of the West Coast Conference in Jasmine Gross (Pepperdine) and Emily Baptista (Pacific). Gross notched 9 kills (.444) and 5 blocks while Baptista paced the USC attack with 15 kills (.480) on a heavy swing.
In the losing effort for UCLA, no player had more than 8 kills as they had trouble setting out of system and getting in system for chunks of the match. Mac May (8 kills, .088, 6 digs) led the team with 10 points while Kyra Rogers (6 kills, .250, 4 blocks) and Madeleine Gates (8 kills, .333, 2 blocks) weren’t far behind.
Leading the match in digs was Victoria Garrick (18 digs, 7 assists) for USC and Savvy Simo (13 digs) and Zana Muno (12 digs) for UCLA.
The first set was all even 16-16, but a 9-5 run by USC finished out the first and set. That led into a dominant second set, in which UCLA was held to single-digits and couldn’t find any consistency passing. Things finally switched in the third with an 8-2 run for UCLA to go up 22-20, which was helped with some short serving. USC would take things back and eventually pull things out 29-27 to earn the 3-0 victory.
In total for the match, USC out-hit UCLA .276 to .142 and had more kills (48-36), assists (37-35), aces (8-4) on less serve errors (1-4), and digs (58-54). The teams were even in blocks (7-7).
To round out each team’s first week in 2018 Pac-12 action, the Trojans will head to the Rockies to take on (RV) Colorado on the road; UCLA on the other hand stays on the road, where their first four conference matches are, to take on #25 Utah.
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