Freshman sensation Lewis powers No. 12 USC past Princeton in season opener

Middle attacker Sam Lewis made quite a first impression with USC.

The former member of the U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team in his college debut finished with 11 kills and zero errors on a match-best .786 attack percentage as No. 12 USC beat Princeton 28-26, 25-22, 25-27, 25-22 on Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Lewis for the majority of NCAA men’s volleyball season-opening match hit a perfect 1.000. In fourth game, though Princeton stopped Lewis for the first time in the match as the freshman could not convert on his final three kill attempts.

Lewis arrived to USC after earning All-American honors in high school and the 2017 Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team Player of the Year. In addition, his first college match was against Princeton and coach Sam Shweisky following a summer when Lewis played under Shweisky for the United States at the FIVB U19 World Championship.

USC out-hit Princeton .286 to .267 and had four players finish with double-digit kills in THE first all-time meeting between the two programs.

Outside attacker Jack Wyatt ended with a match-high 20 kills. This was Wyatt’s first match back on the court following a two-year absence from the sport.

Along with Wyatt and Lewis, outside attacker Gianluca Grasso had 18 kills, while outside attacker Ryan Moss added 11 kills.

Grasso also contributed a match-high four aces in the non-conference match. USC despite doubling Princeton’s service errors with 18 concluded the match with eight aces — five more aces than the Tigers.

All-EIVA middle attacker George Huhmann in the loss played at opposite and led Princeton with 20 kills on a .306 attack percentage.

Princeton was attempting to get its third non-conference win against a nationally ranked team in its program history.

The Tigers will continue their West Coast road trip with three more non-conference matches against nationally ranked teams as they compete at the UC Santa Barbara during the weekend.

USC will now travel to Honolulu to play three non-conference matches at the Texaco Rainbow Warrior Classic, including a match against the host school No. 5 Hawai’i on Saturday.