Sophomore pounds 30 kills in No. 12 USC upset of No. 3/2 Penn State

Photo courtesy of USC athletics

Opposite Simon Gallas erased any early-season doubts about undefeated No. 12 USC.

Gallas finished with a match-high 30 kills on a .583 attack percentage as USC upset No. 3/2 Penn State 25-22, 25-23, 23-25, 25-16 at the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge on Friday at UCLA.

The sophomore from Germany had more kills than the rest of teams had combined in the non-conference victory. In addition, Gallas was six kills shy of tying USC’s school record for kills in a single-match during the rally scoring era.

The Trojans (5-0, 0-0) committed no more than four attack errors in each game and ended the match out-hitting the Nittany Lions .402 to .278.


USC had two players finish with double-digit kills. Along with Gallas, pin-hitter Sam Korbine contributed 11 kills against the Nittany Lions (4-1, 0-0 EIVA).

The Trojans with this win – their first against a team with a winning record – are off to their best start to season since 2015.

This was Penn State’s first loss after opening the season with four consecutive wins against top-10 nationally ranked teams.

Preseason All-American Cal Fisher led Penn State with 20 kills on a .326 attack percentage. The opposite also had a match-high 10 digs.

Both Penn State and USC will conclude the annual non-conference event on Saturday. Penn State will face the host school No. 2/3 UCLA, while USC will play No. 11 Ohio State.

UCLA avoided an upset as it defeated Ohio State in five games on Friday to open the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge.