Volleyball falls to No. 17 USC

By Arlie Rahn
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 7, 1996

Nicholas Valenzuela
Arizona Daily Wildcat

UA freshman middle blocker Erin Aldrich (5) sprawls for a dig in Arizona's four-game loss to No. 17 Southern Cal yesterday at McKale Center. Aldrich set a career high in kills with 20.


After defeating No. 11 UCLA in five sets on Friday, the only direction for the unranked UA women's volleyball team to go was down.

And that's exactly where the Wildcats (12-4 overall, 3-3 in the Pacific 10 Conference) went yesterday, losing to No. 17 Southern Cal in four games, 14-16, 7-15, 15-9, 8-15. Arizona won 6-15, 15-10, 2-15, 15-2, 15-7 on Friday against UCLA (11-4, 3-1).

"That first game (against USC) dictated the tempo," UA head coach Dave Rubio said. "I saw us fight for that first game at 14-14, but aside from that I didn't think we fought very hard I didn't feel we were prepared to play today. It was disappointing because they were ready to go from the first game on."

In the last four points of the first game, there were 16 sideouts. Losing that game helped drain the remaining fire from the Arizona players.

"We were coming off a great win against UCLA," freshman middle blocker Erin Aldrich said. "I don't think we handled losing that game as well as we could have. We need to work on better preparation because we kind of took USC for granted after Friday night ."

After losing the first game, the Wildcats watched the Trojans go on a 9-5 run to start game two. While Arizona used an Aldrich kill and a USC error to crawl back into the game at 10-7, USC proved too much, taking the final five points for a 15-7 win.

"The difference was they served well and we didn't," Rubio said. "We didn't step up when we needed to, which was a little disappointing considering our experience."

The third game saw Arizona creep back in on the strength of a 7-1 run. The run was not as clear-cut as it looked, though. As the Wildcats fought off 10 Trojan sideouts and with the help of five USC hitting errors, Arizona avoided the sweep by winning 15-9.