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USC Finds the Spark and Beats UCLA in Women's Volleyball

October 22, 1987|JULIE CART | Times Staff Writer

When the USC women's volleyball team talks about finally finding the perfect chemistry, it means the players and elements have been mixed to produce an explosion. The result blew up UCLA, as the Trojans upset the fourth-ranked Bruins, 15-13, 15-9, 15-10, Wednesday night before a crowd of 1,723 at Pauley Pavilion.

The No. 15-ranked Trojans had not been given a chance to win; the Bruins had beaten them, 3-0, the last four times they met, and not since 1982 had USC won at UCLA in a regular-season match. In reversing the trend, the Trojans (10-7) also changed their lineup to find a rotation that clicked.

After shuffling players all season, USC Coach Chuck Erbe discovered what he wanted last weekend against Washington State.

"It was my fifteenth lineup," Erbe said. "Saturday night, I saw the lineup I wanted."

What he saw was Yleana Carrasco moving to the left side to set up hitters Lonise Norfleet and Jamie Hatchett. "It gave us the stability we needed. It gave us the chemistry and continuity we didn't have."

Two other elements that had been missing from the Trojans' game--effective serving and the ability to come from behind--surfaced Wednesday night. The Trojans served a season-high 13 aces, which came more as a result of inept Bruin passing than deft Trojan placements.

USC had six aces in the first game. Nancy Hillman served out the last four points for the Trojans, including two aces.

The Bruins (17-5) appeared stunned and ill-prepared for the aggressiveness of the Trojans.

"There were a lot of mistakes out there," UCLA Coach Andy Banchowski said. He could not understand why his team came out flat for this cross-city rivalry. "Brain drain; I don't know. We played very complacently. As if we expected them to turn and give the match to us."

That's never likely with USC. "We were ready," said Hillman, USC's outside hitter. "We had a team meeting and decided some things. We are going to fight. We're tired of losing. We're tired of excuses."

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