USC Men's Volleyball Advances to Final

Top ranked and No. 2 seed USC played inside the Galen Center for the first time in NCAA Championship history and needed every ounce of their hometown crowd to outlast No. 3 seed Lewis in four sets, 25-18, 25-12, 18-25, 27-25.

"The Crowd sure seemed to energize us at the end, seemed like we were a little bit tired there…" said USC head coach Bill Ferguson after the match.

USC improves to 24-5 and will now play for their fifth National Championship title in program history on Saturday.

The Trojans looked as though they would make quick work of the Flyers in the first two sets, hitting .462 to Lewis' .121, lead by 14 kills from Senior All-American Steven Shandrick, who finished with 15 kills on the night.

Lewis kept the Trojans off-balance with tough serving in the third set, opening a 9-4 lead before extending it to 18-12 on a Jay Petty kill. An unforced error by AVCA Player of the Year Tony Ciarelli gave the Flyers the set, 25-18.

Down 12-7 in the fourth, Ciarelli brought the Trojans back from the service line before taking over at the net, for nine of his match-high 18 kills.

The Trojans fought their way back to a tie at 20 before trading points with Lewis, as the Trojan crowd in the Galen Center rose to their feet. A pair of errors from Lewis' freshman Geoff Powell sealed the match for the Trojans, 27-25.

"We were thrilled to get through that with a victory," said Ferguson.

USC will now face No. 1 seed UC-Irvine. This will be the fourth meeting between the teams, UC-Irvine winning two of the three meetings.

USCFootball.com Top Stories