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Showing posts from May, 2009

Improved Blocking Helps UCI Take Men's Final Over USC

As most people looking at this blog would already be aware, the University of California, Irvine (UCI) defeated the University of Southern California (USC) in an exciting five-game NCAA men's championship match last night. Adding to the drama and excitement was the story of the Trojans' late-season turnaround, from a fifth-place finish in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, to a juggernaut that swept through the MPSF postseason tournament to capture an automatic bid in the four-team NCAA tournament and overpowered Penn State in the national semifinals.

The reason for USC's recent success was no secret -- it was killer hitting, especially by 6-foot-8 sophomore Murphy Troy. Whether Troy was in the front row or back row (where a player can still hit, as long as he takes his jump from behind the 10-foot line), USC would frequently set the ball to him, and Troy would deliver. Troy's hitting statistics in SC's last five matches, in terms of number of kills and hit…