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Dec. 6, 2001%^$

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. – %^$The Ohio State (27-4) women’s volleyball squad closed out the 2001 season with an 0-3 (25-30, 20-30, 27-30) loss to Southern California (25-3) in the NCAA Regional Semifinals of Region 2. The match was the second of two played in the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, Calif. Arizona (24-4) defeated Pacific (28-8) 3-0 (30-26, 30-24, 30-27) in the first semifinal and will play host Southern California at 6 p.m. PST (9 p.m. EST) Friday. OSU’s Stacey Gordon (Fr., Oshawa, Ontario) had a match-high 18 kills (.250) in the match with Anne Botica (Sr., Windsor, Ontario) adding 13 (.023). Each student-athlete contributed a team-high 15 digs in the contest. USC’s Alicia Robinson (Fr., Phoeniz, Ariz.) had a team-high 10 kills for the Trojans with Keao Burdine (Fr., LaHabra, Calif.) adding nine.%^$

%^$Ohio State held an early 3-1 lead but a 7-2 run by USC gave the Trojans an 8-5 lead. At 14-11, USC, a Gordon kill and two from Suzie Stiling (Jr., Glenview, Ill.) tied the game at 14. An OSU error and a Gordon kill tied the game at 15. USC and Ohio State exchanged points to reach a 19-all tie. That began an eight-point Trojan run that opened a 26-19 USC lead. Trojan kills by Katie Olsovsky (So., Torrance, Calif.), Burdine and Robinson and five OSU errors accounted for the run. At 28-21, two Botica kills cut into the lead to 28-23. A Buckeye error made it 29-23. OSU kills by Gordon and Katie Virtue (Jr, St. Charles, Ill.) to cut the lead to four at 29-25. Jennifer Pahl (Sr., Murrieta, Calif.) ended the game with a kill at 30-25. USC hit .238 for the game to OSU’s .208.%^$

%^$The Trojans had a 3-0 lead in game two off three Ohio State errors. At 7-4, USC, a Trojan error and a kill by Shelly Draeger (Jr., Milwaukee, Wis.) cut the lead to one at 7-6. The Buckeye could get no closer as the Trojans used a 7-2 run to open a 14-8 lead. Southern California expanded the lead to a final game margin of 30-20. For the game, USC hit .382 to .143 for the Buckeyes.%^$

%^$A kill by Draeger and an USC error gave OSU a 2-0 lead in game three. The Trojans tied the game at two with an OSU error and a USC block by Olsovsky and Burdine. A Gordon kill and a block by Olsovsky and Robinson tied the game at three. Two kills by Robinson gave USC a 5-3 lead. After a Gordon kill, a Robinson kill and a Lindquist ace serve expanded the lead to 7-4. A Gordon kill and two USC errors tied the game at seven. USC had a 4-1 run to open an 11-8 lead. OSU cut the margin to one at 12-11. Three straight points by Southern California made the lead 15-11. At 17-13, kills by Erin Baker (Sr., Elmhurst, Ill.) and Draeger and a USC error cut the Trojan lead to 17-16. Southern California rebuilt the lead to six points at 26-20. A USC error and a Gordon kill cut the lead to four at 26-22. A Pahl kill made the lead five at 27-22. A USC attack error and a Baker kill cut the margin to three at 27-24. Another Pahl kill put the lead at four, 27-24. Kills by OSU’s Gordon and USC’s Lauren Killian (Jr., Los Angeles, Calif.) made the score 29-25. OSU held off two match points with a Draeger kill and a Trojan error. Killian’s kill ended the game and match at 30-27. The Trojans hit .120 for the game to .089 for Ohio State.%^$

%^$For the match, Southern California hit .230 to OSU’s .146. The Buckeyes had a 50-43 advantage in kills but had twice as many hitting errors (28-14). The Trojans had four ace serve to two for the Buckeyes, but OSU committed 15 service error to only four for USC. The Trojans had a 64-62 advantage in digs with Ross collecting a match-high 16 digs. Nicole Davis (So., Stockton, Calif.) added 12 and Olsovsky 11. Southern California controlled the net with a 12 to one margin in blocks. Olsovsky had a match-high nine assist blocks for the Trojans with Burdine adding five assists.%^$

%^$The Buckeyes lose two starters (Botica and Baker) and defensive specialist Cisco from an 11-player squad that finished second in the Big Ten Conference and was ranked 10th in the country in this week’s AVCA Coaches Poll.