TUCSON, Ariz. – Ebony Nwanebu recorded a match-high 16 kills and six blocks to lead No. 8 USC (23-5, 13-4 Pac-12) to a 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-21) victory over Arizona (19-10, 9-8 Pac-12) on Friday night inside the Galen Center.
USC hit .314 for the match, while holding Arizona to .202 hitting. The Trojans also out-blocked the Wildcats 10.0 to 4.0 for the match.
Samantha Bricio joined Nwanebu with double-figure kills as she added 10 scores with six digs and three service aces. Natalie Hagglund led the USC defense with 19 digs.
The Wildcats were led by Madi Kingdon as she recorded a double-double with a team-high 13 kills to go with a match-high 20 digs. Penina Snuka also recorded a double-double as she dished out a match-high 31 assists to go with 14 digs and two service aces. Candace Nicholson added 17 digs from the back row for the Wildcats.
Arizona jumped out to an early 3-0 lead as Kingdon recorded two of the first three points with kills. The Wildcats maintained a 6-3 lead before the Trojans went on a 4-0 run to take a 7-6 advantage. The set was close pretty much throughout but USC maintained its slight lead and the Trojans would go on to take the opening frame 25-22. The Wildcats hit a very solid .341 in the set but USC had a few timely service aces to go along with a .327 hitting percentage.
The Trojans roared out to an 8-1 advantage in set number two as the Wildcats were forced to burn both of their timeouts. After USC built a 15-9 lead, Snuka single handedly helped the Cats get right back into with three straight points. She recorded a kill followed by back to back aces to trim the lead to 15-12. That was as close as Arizona would get as USC pulled away from there to win the set, 25-14. The Trojans hit a strong .395 in the set, while holding the Wildcats to just .061.
USC won the first three points of the third set and later took a 6-2 advantage. The Trojans extended their lead to 12-6 before the Wildcats battled back to eventually tie the score 16-16. The two teams traded the next two points before USC went on a 5-0 run to regain a 22-17 advantage. Arizona cut the lead to three on two occasions but USC went on to win the set 25-21 to clinch the match.
The Wildcats head across town to face UCLA on Sunday at 2 p.m. The match can be viewed live at Pac-12.com.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat volleyball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaVBall.