Bring on the postseason — well almost — for No. 11/10 USC.
In a showdown between two teams tied for eighth place and the final berth to the MPSF Tournament, USC swept No. 15 UC Santa Barbara 27-25, 28-26, 25-21 on Friday in Los Angeles.
The Trojans with this victory are now in sole possession of eighth place and can clinch their first postseason berth since 2015 if they win one of their two remaining regular season matches or the Gauchos lose one of their final two matches. USC closes its season with a home-and-home series versus last-place Cal Baptist next week, while UC Santa Barbara will play No. 3/3 BYU in a two-match home series.
All-MPSF outside attacker Lucas Yoder in the victory finished with a match-high 16 kills on a .394 attack percentage. This was the second match back for Yoder since being sidelined for almost a month with an injury.
Setter Gert Lisha had 38 assists and guided the USC offense to more than a .400 attack percentage in each of the final two games. In addition, the Trojans out-hit the Gauchos .361 to .230.
UC Santa Barbara outside attacker Jacob Delson had both a team-high 13 kills and two aces.
The Gauchos have not missed qualifying for the eight-team MPSF Tournament since 2012.
Check out the video highlights from Off the Block special contributor Jonathan Bates.