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Saint Mary's To Take on No. 4 USC in NCAA Second Round

Nov. 30, 2012

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - With an NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen appearance on the line, the Saint Mary's volleyball team (18-10) takes on No. 4 Southern California (28-5) at 7:00 p.m. tonight in the Galen Center.This is the first-ever meeting between USC and Saint Mary's. The Trojans and Gaels played four common opponents in 2012 as the Trojans defeated USD 3-2 (Sept. 7), USC lost to Oregon (Sept. 21), the Trojans split two matches with Stanford and took two from Cal.

The last time SMC reached the second-round was also the last time the Gaels were in the Tournament. In 2009, the Gaels defeated UC Santa Barbara in five sets in the first round at Stanford. Saint Mary's then took on the host Cardinal in the second round and suffered a five-set loss.

Saint Mary's got to the second-round by rallying to defeat Mountain West Co-Champion San Diego State 17-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-22, 15-12. Kristina Graven had a season-high 23 kills to go along with 17 digs while Jordan Shaw added 11 kills and Samantha Tinsley with nine kills. Down 0-2, the Gaels did it the hard way by chipping away and winning one set at a time. The Gaels and Aztecs exchanged runs in each set but it was SMC prevailing in the end. SMC is now 3-0 in five-set matches this year.

USC had no problem with Fairfield, earning a 25-8, 25-11, 25-10 win over the Stags. The Trojans hit at a .518 clip for the match and had only four attack errors on the night.

Graven leads the Gaels with 3.43 kills per set while Gabby Jolly adds 3.09 kills pet set and hits at a team-high .359 clip. Jolly also leads SMC with 1.19 blocks per set. Missy White and Dalas Dodd are the setters with strong serves as White has a team best 0.49 aces per set and Dodd has a team-high 31 aces.

USC is led by Samantha Bricio with 4.08 kills per set while Katie Fuller adds 3.22 kills per set. The setter is Hayley Crone with 10.89 assists per set and the Trojans hit at a .261 clip as a team.

Courtesy of SMC Sports Information