Women’s volleyball team continues to struggle in their season as they lose to USC

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Madison Taylor

Outside hitter, Mychael Vernon, spikes the ball as the ladies of USC try to block.

Audrey Anderson, Sport's Contributor

The Oregon State Women’s Volleyball team struggled to fight against USC Trojans on Friday night at Gill Coliseum, losing in three consecutive sets (20-25;19-25:18;25). Having already lost to the Trojans this season, the Beavers were hoping to get a win. Had they won this game, they would have successfully crawled out of their seven-game losing streak. Oregon State started the game confidently, making the first kill and implementing a solid lead. Mychael Vernon, the sophomore from Ossining, New York, made her name known by continuously firing the ball into Trojan territory. Still, the USC Trojans fought back hard, finding weak spots within the Beavers’ line of defense. A slight miscommunication between Oregon State teammates led to an 8-point losing streak within the first set. The Beavers could not return from their streak, losing the first set and hoping to turn things around in the second set. Continuous battles raged throughout the second set, with both teams struggling to find a rhythm and having difficulty serving. Coaches relied on the handiwork of setter Inna Balyko of Oregon State and outside hitter Skylar Fields of USC to get things going. Inna Balyko, the OSU senior from Moscow, Russia, controlled the court, placing the ball right in the hands of outside hitter Mychael Vernon. Izzi Szulczewski, a sophomore from Beaverton, Oregon, and the other setter for the Beavers, also proved to be a very versatile and important player making multiple saves and kills. Even with the joined efforts from the ladies of Oregon State Volleyball, the Beavers could not win the second set, adding pressure to the already challenging game. The Beavers brought in some new players for the third set, hoping to get something going, including Freshman Nursena Ballioglu from Gaziantep, Turkey. The outside hitter started strong, scoring multiple points with back-breaking kills, but libero Keila Barra for USC caught on, causing trouble for OSU. The Trojans started to get into a groove in the third set and began pulling away from the Beavers, eventually winning off a challenge. The loss has now put the Oregon State Beavers on an eight-game losing streak with only three more games left to go within their regular season.