The USC women’s volleyball team is full of surprises.
For the second time in two weeks, the eighth-ranked Trojans upset the nation’s top-ranked team as USC defeated Long Beach State on Wednesday, 15-11, 15-9, 12-15, 4-15, 15-9, before 1,449 at Long Beach.
On Sept. 17, USC upset then-No. 1 Stanford, which fell to No. 4 after the loss. But USC also lost to unranked Oregon State last Friday at Corvallis.
The Trojans’ inconsistency confuses even the players.
“That makes absolutely zero sense,” said Katie Haller, a senior outside hitter. “I think it comes down to us walking into a gym every night consistently and with intensity.”
Nonetheless, Trojan coaches and players were delighted with Wednesday’s victory. It was the first time since 1985 that USC defeated Long Beach, and the first victory over the 49ers in Coach Lisa Love’s five-year USC career.
“Our feeling is that we’re ready to take that next step,” Love said.
Kelly Kuebler, a sophomore outside hitter who played sparingly against Oregon State because of a sore toe, led the Trojans with a career-high 25 kills.
The Trojans outblocked the 49ers, 15-8.
Danielle Scott, the 49ers’ 6-foot-2 senior middle blocker, led all players with 27 kills.
Not only was it Long Beach’s first loss of the season, but it was the first time the 49ers (10-1) were pushed to five games.
USC (9-2) trailed, 7-4, in the fifth game. But the Trojans then outscored Long Beach, 11-2, capped by Kuebler’s kill, to win the match.
USC will play host to UCLA on Saturday.