The Women of Troy, who improved to 29-1 on the season and extended their winning streak to 10 straight matches, won by scores of 30-24, 30-20, 30-17.
Pepperdine, which had its school record 17-match winning streak snapped, concluded its season with a 26-7 overall record. The Waves were making their first-ever appearance in the Elite Eight.
"We were hoping to put forth a better showing tonight, but USC played a tremendous match and deserves to move on," Pepperdine head coach Nina Matthies said. "Tonight's loss does not take away from everything we accomplished this year.
"We had an awesome year and advanced farther than we ever have before," Matthies said. "We definitely have something to build on for next year and will be looking forward to making the next step."
USC was dominant from the outset as it took an early lead in the first game and never allowed Pepperdine to get in any kind of rhythm. The Women of Troy did not trail in the match until the third game when the Waves took leads of 1-0 and 2-1.
"USC made some plays early on to take the lead and put us back on our heels and we were never really able to recover," Matthies said.
The Women of Troy frustrated the Waves throughout the match with outstanding blocking. The trio of sophomore middle blocker Emily Adams, junior outside hitter April Ross and junior middle blocker Katie Olsovsky recorded 16 total blocks as USC finished with 12 team blocks.
Ross, who was named the West Regional's "Most Outstanding Player", also recorded 10 kills and finished with a .333 hitting percentage.
Sophomore outside hitter Alicia Robinson had a team-high 11 kills for USC.
Junior outside hitter Katie Wilkins, who was named to the all-tournament team, had a match-high 15 kills to lead Pepperdine.
USC hit an impressive .389 for the match and did not commit more than four attack errors in any of the three matches. The Women of Troy also kept Pepperdine to a .137 hitting percentage, well below its season mark of .294.
Pepperdine won 19 of its final 21 matches with its only two losses coming at the hands of USC. The Women of Troy handed the Waves a three-game setback at Firestone Fieldhouse on October 8.
Friday's match marked the final collegiate match for senior setter Paola Rodriguez and senior middle blocker Stacy Rouwenhorst. Rodriguez concluded her career as a two-time All-West Coast Conference (WCC) selection and was twice named to the WCC's All-Academic team.