Beginning Friday, the No. 11-ranked USC men’s volleyball team will host the 2019 Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge, a two-day tournament in which two Pac-12 teams — USC and UCLA — square off against Ohio State and Penn State of the Big Ten conference. This will be USC’s first year hosting the tournament.
The season so far:
The Trojans have had a pretty even season, going 9-7 in match play so far. USC kicked off home play with an upset win against No. 3-ranked UC Irvine (25-19, 25-21, 21-25, 25-18), but struggled during their road trip in mid-February. USC is currently 1-6 on the road, losing against No. 8-ranked Stanford (25-14, 26-28, 26-24, 23-25, 15-12), to No. 10-ranked BYU (26-28, 25-22, 25-23, 25-13), and to crosstown rivals No. 5-ranked UCLA (25-21, 25-21, 25-22) in a 3-0 home sweep.
This past Saturday at home, the Trojans pulled off another upset win against then No. 4-ranked Pepperdine (25-19, 25-27, 28-26, 25-20). Co-captains Jack Wyett (21 kills), Ryan Moss (16 kills and 12 digs), and Gianluca Grasso (15 kills and 9 digs) helped lead the charge for USC.
The win helped USC best its 2018 record, 8-20, with nine games remaining in the schedule.
The Trojans will look to continue the momentum against the Penn State Nittany Lions on Friday at 8 p.m. and on Saturday at 8 p.m. against the Ohio State Buckeyes.
A view of the field
Presently, the Nittany Lions have an 8-8 record and have gone unranked this season. Historically, the Trojans maintain an 18-10 record against Penn State. USC has lost the last four meetings between the two schools with their last win occurring in 2012 (3-1).
The Buckeyes also are unranked with their 6-12 match play record. Despite leading the all-time series 18-4, the past three meetings have resulted in USC losses. The Trojans' last win against Ohio State came in 2010 (3-1).
If you go:
What: Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge
Where: Galen Center
When: Friday, March 8-Saturday, March 9
Full information available here.