No. 6 Southern California Sweeps No.. 3 Stanford in MPSF Opener


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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Tony Ciarelli, Murphy Troy and Austin Zahn all posted double figures in kills to lead the No. 6-ranked USC men's volleyball team to a 30-22, 31-29, 30-23 sweep over No. 3 Stanford in the Trojans' Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opener on Friday (Jan. 23) at USC's Galen Center.

USC improved to 4-1 overall, while Stanford dropped to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in the MPSF.

Ciarelli, a first-year freshman, had a match-best 16 kills while hitting .481.  Troy added 14 kills with a .571 hitting pace and fellow sophomore Austin Zahn had 13 kills (hitting .455) with a match-leading 5 blocks.  Luke Morris recorded a match-high 14 digs and did not have an error on 26 reception attempts.

The Trojans hit .371 overall (including.400-plus in the first and third games) to Stanford's .230 and they also had more digs (35 to 22).

Evan Romero led the Cardinal with 11 kills and 7 digs, while Brad Lawson had 9 kills and 5 digs and Spencer McLachlin added 8 kills.

USC started quickly in the first game, building a 3-0 lead, and then slowly pulled away while hitting .423 to Stanford's .156.  The Trojans gradually crept back from a 5-1 deficit in the second game, which finished on consecutive kills by Troy.  The third game saw the Trojans again fall behind early, this time down 5-2, only to pass the Cardinal at 12-11 and then eventually pull away by hitting .484 in the game that ended on a combo block by Zahn and Sean Dennis.

USC returns to action on Saturday (Jan. 24) by hosting Pacific in another MPSF match in the Galen Center, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Article courtesy of Southern California athletics.

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