LOS ANGELES — After dropping the first set to the University of Central Arkansas, USC rallied for a 23-35, 25-23, 25-18, 25-12 victory over the Sugar Bears in the NCAA volleyball regional.
UCA ended it season at 27-5. The Women of Troy are 23-9.
“I thought we played some really good volleyball,” said UCA head coach Jeni Jones Chatman. “We knew we needed to play our best, we didn’t need to be perfect, but we needed to play our best. I thought we came out very strong with that tonight.” Our service pressure was on point, I thought we were passing the ball very well tonight, especially in set one, and Elizabeth did a great job of running our offense; we were a one-hit wonder just setting one person, I thought she ran a really diverse offense. That kept their block in a bit of a scramble, created some holes, and created some opportunities for us to do some positive things offensively.”
For the match, Central Arkansas hit .226, led by Savanah Allen, who hit .550 with 12 kills and two blocks. Megan Nash, UCA’s lone senior this season, made the most of her final match for the Sugar Bears, matching Allen to tie for the team-high in kills while hitting .348 and collecting three blocks. Elizabeth Armstrong handed out a match-high 41 assists.
Central Arkansas reached the 20-win mark for the seventh time in the last 10 seasons and the first in three years under Chatman’s direction.
“I think this year started at the end of last year, when we won seven of our last eight matches, we played Texas A&M-Corpus Christi better than anyone else in the tournament last year, and we knew this spring was going to be important for our development,” said Chatman. “… They knew at the end of the season last year that this was going to be a special season, they knew what it was going to take, and they did it. There are a lot of teams tonight that lost in singles digits or lost in three sets, and we battled with the number ten team in the country. We looked really impressive at times.”