Lewis University outside hitter Geoff Powell, left, and libero Eric Varney. (Lewis Unviersity )
USC advanced to the NCAA men's volleyball championship match against UC Irvine, but not without a scare from Lewis University, which featured a Southern California connection.
Geoff Powell, a redshirt freshman outside hitter from Claremont, recorded 17 kills and forced USC Coach Bill Ferguson to make adjustments to stop him as the Trojans held off the Flyers for a 25-18, 25-12, 18-25, 27-25 victory at the Galen Center.
The 6-foot-4 Powell also had 17 kills last week in Lewis' five-set victory over Ohio State in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Assn. tournament final at Columbus, Ohio.
So how did Powell, who led Claremont High to a 31-1 record his senior year, wind up at Lewis, which is located in Romeoville, Ill.?
"I was looking at a bunch of schools in California, of course," Powell said.
Powell considered attending a camp at Lewis after his junior year but decided to pass. During his senior year, he got a call from Lewis Coach Dan Friend.
"He said, 'Hey, we have a spot and I really want to fly you out,' " Powell recalled. "So I was like, 'Oh, why not.'
"I went on my recruiting trip and instantly I loved it."
Powell said he enjoys the proximity to Chicago and does not mind the cold weather.
"All that is awesome," he said.
Lewis libero Eric Varney, who played at Oak Park High and Moorpark College, had eight digs for the Flyers.
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