After holding strong in the first set and coming off with a win, Oregon State Volleyball lost to Southern California at 1-3 on Oct. 18.
Going into the match, OSU was 8-9 for the season with an all time series record of 5-99 against USC. The Beavers have suffered multiple injuries the past few games including sophomore starting setter Maddie Sheehan who was sidelined for the match after suffering an injury against Washington on Friday, Oct. 11.
With Sheehan sidelined, freshman setter Mary-Kate Lopez saw more playing time. Lopez and senior setter Montanna Gubard split setting duties during the match.
These injuries have resulted in the team changing their starting lineup 15 times this season, according to head coach Mark Barnard.
Barnard said that with changing their offensive lineup so many teams this season, it can be difficult for the team because there is a loss of familiarity.
“They can get a little indecisive which hurts you in the end,” Barnard said.
Barnard said they had plenty of opportunities throughout the match, but when facing a team like USC, they can’t give them easy balls.
Oregon State struggled in the beginning of set 1 but beat USC in the first set of the match with a score of 25-21. The set was tight with a totaling nine ties and six lead changes. Oregon State closed the set with block assist by junior outside hitter Haylie Bennet and sophomore middle blocker Lindsey Schell.
Oregon State was unable to gain a sufficient lead in the second set and fell to USC with a score of 19-25. Oregon State fought off set point twice.
USC secured their lead in the third set, beating Oregon State 24-18. USC took the match with a score of 22-24 in the fourth and final set.
Senior outside hitter Amy Underdown for Oregon State led the team in kills and had multiple season highs. She totaled three aces and one block to accompany her 12 kills. Underdown highlighted things the team did well on Friday.
“Our serves and communication were a lot better than in the past few games,” Underdown said.
Oregon State had a total of eight aces and seven services errors. Their services in the first set allowed for them to pull ahead and take the lead.
Schell tied her season best for kills and finished the night with a total of 12 points, eight kills and six blocks.
“We lost one of our main setters, so we had to spread our offense out,” Schell said.
OSU junior defensive specialist and libero Gracie Massey ended the night with a total of 18 digs while Lopez had a total of 13 assists. Freshman outside hitter Cecille Max-Brown, who has been out for the past 12 games due to injury, returned to the court on Friday as well.
OSU Volleyball finished their series against southern California schools by facing UCLA on Oct. 20 in Gill Coliseum. Their next series will be at Arizona on Oct. 25 and at Arizona State on Oct. 27.