The magic of the old North Gym turned out to be pretty powerful.
No. 14 USC playing in its original home arena instead of the Galen Center upset No. 5/5 Lewis 25-23, 25-23, 29-27 on Thursday for its second victory versus a top-five nationally ranked team this season.
Setter Gert Lisha guided the USC offense to out-hit Lewis .407 to .354, including having a match-best .500 attack percentage in the final game. In addition, this was Lisha’s first match versus his former team since transferring from Lewis at the end of the 2015 season.
USC outside attacker Gianluca Grasso led all players with both 19 kills on a .516 attack percentage and 10 digs. Grasso also had the match-winning kill in the third-game overtime and then proceeded to rip up his jersey and wave it over his head in celebration.
Grasso was the only Trojan with double-digit kills. Opposite Lucas Lossone had nine kills, while middle attacker Andy Benesh added six kills and zero attack errors.
Benesh also had four consecutive aces in the opening game as the Trojans (7-12, 5-9 MPSF) rallied from a 17-12 deficit to win the game.
USC was able to pull off the upset without injured all-conference outside attacker Lucas Yoder, who leads the nation with a 4.84 kills per game average.
Preseason All-American opposite Mitch Perinar in the loss finished with a team-high 13 kills on a .407 attack percentage. In addition, outside attacker Trevor Weiskircher contributed 10 kills and a team-high four aces.
This is the second consecutive loss for Lewis (15-5, 9-2 MIVA) to begin its three-match West Coast road trip. Lewis will conclude the non-conference trip against No. 15 UC Santa Barbara on Monday.
Check out the video highlights of the match filmed by Off the Block special contributor Jonathan Bates.