Dec. 3, 2010
Lobo Volleyball - At NCAA D-I Championships - Los Angeles
Friday: USC 3, Lobos 0 (25-19, 25-8, 25-18)
LOS ANGELES -- The numbers on the scoreboard really weren't the key digits that reflected the difference between New Mexico Lobos and Southern California Trojans in round one of the NCAA Tournament.
The vital numbers that led to Southern California's 3-0 sweep Friday night were more from head to toe than simply displayed on the board in USC's Galen Center. The Trojans threw out a front line that featured Trojans going 6-foot-5, 6-4, 6-4 and 6-3 and these massive Women of Troy dominated the key area on a volleyball court - the net.
The Lobos hung with USC to the 11-11 mark of Game One before USC raised its level up front and pulled away 18-12, 22-14 and to the 25-19 final. It was more Trojan up-front domination in Game Two as USC rolled to a 25-8 win and carried a 2-0 lead into the break.
The Lobos came out of the break game, but no taller. UNM went up 2-0 and 4-2 before USC went up 7-6 and never looked back. The Trojans took control of the game at that point and powered to an 18-9 lead before coasted to the 25-18 final. UNM did cut USC's lead to 20-15 in Game Three before the Trojans outscored UNM 5-3 down the stretch.
That was one problem with facing the towering Trojans. There were plenty of UNM opportunities to dig the ball since the Trojans kept smashing away. USC's All-American, Alex Jupiter, had 16 kills on a .464 percent hitting night. USC's fab freshman, 6-5 Falyn Fonoimoana had 13 kills.
Southern Cal had 47 kills on the night and UNM had 25. USC came into the match listing 10 players 6-foot-2 or taller. UNM had two at 6-2.
The Trojans also swept UNM earlier this season in a Sept. 3 battle in Honolulu. USC won that match 25-19, 25-19 and 25-20.
The win was USC's 12 in the past 13 games. They are now 13-1 in Galen Center, with the lone home loss to No. 3 seed Stanford.
The Trojans are making their 20th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. They have won six national titles including NCAA championships in 2002 and 2003. They have been to five Final Fours since 2000. They have formed 31 All-Americans, including Jupiter in 2009, and 22 Olympians.