USC earns second win over Cal Baptist

first_imgThe No. 7 USC men’s volleyball team extended its winning streak to four games after sweeping unranked Cal Baptist 25-22, 25-21,  25-22. The Trojans improve to 10-5 overall and 9-5 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play.Dagger · Freshman middle blocker Andy Benesh delivered the match-winning kill for the Trojans. Benesh is second on the team with 114 kills this season and is one of two players to have started all 14 matches for USC. – Benjamin Dunn | Daily TrojanThe Trojans quickly took an early 6-3 lead with a kills by sophomore middle blocker Tommy Leonard, junior setter Micah Christenson and freshman outside hitter Lucas Yoder. The Trojans advanced their lead to 11-6 after two more kills from Yoder and one from Leonard, respectively. The Lancers pulled within two points after two consecutive aces  to make the score 12-10 in USC’s favor.Kills from freshman middle blocker Andy Benesh, senior opposite hitter Tanner Jansen and Yoder brought the score to 19-16 in USC’s favor, though the Lancers’ defense kept the gap from widening. Another kill by Jansen and one from senior opposite outside hitter Maddison McKibben lifted the Trojans to a 22-18 lead. A service error by the Lancers set up game point for the Trojans and a kill by Yoder ended the first set 25-22 in the Trojans’ favor.The Lancers led the second set 6-3 and eventually converted that to a 10-6 advantage thanks to their defense. Kills from Leonard, Christenson, Benesh and Yoder brought the score to a 16-11 Lancer advantage, and a block by Christenson closed the gap to 16-12.“We didn’t serve well at all in the second set,” USC head coach Bill Ferguson said. “Cal Baptist picked up their game, and we fell off ours. We made a ton of errors that hurt us.”Three consecutive kills by Yoder followed to bring USC within one point. An ace by Yoder and errors by both sides tied the game at 19 apiece. Two consecutive kills by McKibbin gave the Trojans a 21-20 lead, and an error by the Lancers brought the score to 22-20 in USC’s favor. A yellow card against Cal Baptist further shifted the momentum, and finally another kill by McKibbin and an error by the Lancers ended the second set 25-21 in a USC victory.“Andy really stepped up for us in the second set,” Ferguson said. “That yellow card really woke our team up and gave us the extra motivation to win that set. It was the perfect storm.”The third set began with both sides splitting each point, though finally two consecutive kills from Yoder gave the Trojans a 6-4 lead. Kills by Benesh and Yoder kept the Trojans ahead, despite offensive errors from their teammates. Cal Baptist’s defense tied the game at 8-8, and two kills by Leonard and one from Jansen put the Trojans back on top, though errors by the Trojans allowed the Lancers to tie the game at 14.Again, both sides split the points back and forth until finally a kill by the Lancers and an error by the Trojans gave Cal Baptist an 18-16 edge over USC. Kills by Yoder and Jansen tied the game at 18, though a kill by the Lancers and a USC error again gave the Lancers a two-point advantage, bringing the score to 20-18. A kill from Jansen and an error by the Lancers tied the game at 21. A block by Leonard gave the Trojans a 23-22 lead, and a kill by Benesh ended the match at 25-22 for a Trojan victory.“Our blocking and serving got better as the game went on,” Ferguson said. “Our blocking was our best run at the end and it’s what really did it for us.”USC travels to Provo, Utah tomorrow to face the BYU Cougars, who beat the Trojans 3-2 earlier this month, in an MPSF match at 7 p.m.“Last match we had spurts of brilliance, but at times we fell flat,” Ferguson said. “We have to play at a high level all the way through the match against BYU.”last_img read more

Claire Webb helps anchor Syracuse’s defense without much recognition

first_imgClaire Webb doesn’t really stand out on Syracuse’s back line. She doesn’t score like the other defenders and she doesn’t win the awards her two All-American fellow defenders receive. And she’s fine with that.“I’ve never really been one to care about that recognition from outside sources,” Webb said.At the start of the 2016 season, the then-freshman from Exton, Pennsylvania, played in all 19 games for No. 10 Syracuse (11-4, 2-4 Atlantic Coast), starting 18, the most of any freshman. Now a sophomore, Webb has started in all 15 games in the 2017 season. Despite immediately seeing the field, Webb is often blotted out by teammates, Roos Weers and Lies Lagerweij. However, SU head coach Ange Bradley saw Webb’s potential to contribute at Syracuse.“As a true freshman coming out of high school, she played in the midfield in the ACC just about every minute of every game,” Bradley said. “From her first year, she’s had a big role and will continue to have a big role.”Webb has experience playing in the midfield and on the back line in her almost two seasons at Syracuse. Her defensive style supports her teammates, Weers said, even if she doesn’t accumulate points herself; Webb has only one goal and one assist, while Weers and Lagerweij have 15 and 13 points, respectively. However, their success is bolstered support they receive from Webb.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think that the defensive aspect is a really big part of my game; I really enjoy it,” Webb said. “I like how much thinking is involved and how you have to set other people up.”Bradley recognizes Webb’s consistency, calling her a “workhorse” and a “Steady Eddie.” She compared Webb’s position to former player and current student coaching assistant Serra Degnan. In previous seasons, Degnan was the one supporting Lagerweij and Weers while the two backs kick started the offense.“The tough thing is,” Bradley said of Webb, “she’s never going to be recognized.”Although she is comfortable in the back, Webb perceives her own strengths and weaknesses. In order to get involved in the offense like her defensive counterparts, Webb said, she will have to play to her own skill set, meaning shorter passes, unlike the long balls Weers and Lagerweij fire down the field.“Claire’s very smart,” Weers said, “and she [completes] a good combination with me and Lies in the back.”Webb has two more years to advance her game, and will continue to develop in her position. She challenges herself as a player, goals or no goals, even when no one seems to notice.“I’ve always been a team player,” Webb said. “I don’t really need somebody to recognize me.” Comments Published on October 17, 2017 at 9:35 pm Contact Kristin: Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more