No. 7 USC Falls to Santa Clara in Four Sets|
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Aug. 27, 2016
LOS ANGELES -- The seventh-ranked USC women's volleyball team (0-2) dropped a four-set decision (22-25, 25-11, 25-20, 25-17) to Santa Clara (2-0) in the third match of the Baden Invitational on Friday, Aug. 27, at Galen Center. The Women of Troy were led by freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier who posted the first double-double of her career with 18 kills and 10 digs. Lanier hit .312 in the match on 48 swings and added a service ace and a block.
The Trojans were held to a .134 hitting percentage against the Broncos' 10 blocks and had 45 kills (24e, 157att). Santa Clara finished with 55 kills (13e) on 154 attacks for a .273 hitting percentage.
Sophomore outside hitter Alyse Ford had a career-high 16 digs and added four kills. Senior libero Taylor Whittingham picked up 17 digs. Junior opposite hitter Niki Withers had seven kills and a pair of digs.
For the Broncos, Nikki Hess had 13 kills (.217) and 16 digs for a double-double. Sabrina Clayton logged 14 kills, four aces, and nine digs. Jensen Cunningham put up 10 kills with a pair of service aces. In all, Santa Clara served 11 aces. Bronco libero Taylor Laugero had a match-high 27 digs.
Santa Clara led through the belly of the first set, but the Trojans fought back with a 5-0 run to get in front by two, 20-18. The Broncos came back to tie the score at 22-all, but USC finished off the frame for a 25-22 win. SCU never trailed in the second set and built an insurmountable lead at 20-10 on a service ace. The Women of Troy came no closer and fell behind, 2-0, in the match following a 25-11 finish in the second set.
The Broncos rumbled to a quick 8-0 lead in the third set and led the entirety of the frame despite the Trojans' best efforts. USC came within a point at 15-14, but Santa Clara responded to go back up by three and then led by five at set point, 24-19. A final kill gave Santa Clara the set and a 2-1 lead in the match. The teams went back and forth in the fourth, but a 7-5 lead for Santa Clara ballooned quickly into a 10-point advantage at 17-7 and sealed the Trojans' fate. USC fought to within six points twice, but the Broncos finished off a 25-17 win to complete a 3-1 victory.
Up next, the Trojans conclude the Baden Invitational against UC Irvine (0-1) at 8 p.m. PT. The match will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks. A free audio stream, with links on USCTrojans.com, is also available with play-by-play by Paul Duchesne.
For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule and results, please visit USCTrojans.com. To purchase season and single-match tickets, please visit USCTrojans.com/tickets today. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow @USCWomensVolley on Periscope, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram.