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USC reaches NCAA water polo final

December 02, 2007|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The top-seeded USC men's water polo team advanced to its third consecutive NCAA championship game by defeating fourth-seeded Loyola Marymount, 8-4, on Saturday at Stanford.

For the fourth consecutive game, sophomore Matt Sagehorn had a hat trick to lead the Trojans (19-2), who took an early lead and never lost control in beating the Lions (13-16).

Sagehorn's three-goal game extends his multiple-goal scoring streak to 11 games. He leads the Trojans in scoring with 38 goals this season.

USC will play defending champion California for the title today at 2 p.m. The second-seeded Bears (27-4) advanced by beating third-seeded Navy, 8-5.

Fifth-seeded USC, led by Asia Kaczor's 34 kills, defeated Long Beach State, 28-30, 30-24, 30-25, 21-30, 15-11, at the Galen Center to advance to the third round of the NCAA Division I women's volleyball tournament.

The Trojans (27-4) will play St. John's at the Gainesville Regional on Friday. St. John's beat Delaware, 23-30, 30-28, 31-29, 30-23.

Kaczor's 11th kill set a school single-season record, giving her 564, one more than she had last season.

Alexis Crimes had 24 kills and Talaya Whitfield finished with 32 digs for the 49ers (26-7).

Kaitlin Sather had 19 kills and a career-high 21 digs, and freshman Dicey McGraw had 12 kills, eight digs and five blocks, as eighth-seeded UCLA defeated host Clemson, 30-19, 30-21, 19-30, 30-22.

The Bruins (22-10) advanced to the third round for the fifth consecutive season. They'll play Oregon at the Stanford Regional on Friday. The Ducks defeated Kansas State, 24-30, 20-30, 30-27, 36-34, 15-11.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo also reached the third round. Kylie Atherstone had 15 kills to help the 16th-seeded Mustangs (23-7) beat Purdue, 30-12, 30-14, 30-27y, at Athens, Ohio.

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