No. 3 USC Tops No. 8 Stanford in Five-Set Thriller on The Farm|
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Sept. 27, 2015
STANFORD, Calif. -- Powered by a career-high 34.0 points from senior outside hitter Samantha Bricio, the third-ranked USC women's volleyball team (14-0, 2-0 Pac-12) withstood all challenges and emerged with a thrilling five-set victory (26-24, 19-25, 20-25, 25-17, 15-13) over No. 8 Stanford (7-3, 1-1) at Maples Pavilion on Sunday, Sept. 27. The win helped the Women of Troy improve to 14-0; the program's best start to a season since the 2006 squad went 17-0.
Bricio came through in the clutch and scored 13 of her 27 kills (8e, 68att, .279) in the fourth and fifth sets. In the process, she moved ahead of Lonise Norfleet (1987-90; 1,636 kills) for fifth place at USC for all-time kills and now has 1,655. Bricio also served five aces against the Cardinal to mark the 17th time in her career that she has recorded five or more aces in a single match. For good measure, Bricio also had four blocks and finished with 10 digs to secure her fourth double-double of the season; the 45th of her career.
Freshman outside hitter Alyse Ford logged 12 kills (8e, 30att, .133) and had a pair of blocks (one solo). Senior middle blocker Alicia Ogoms earned eight kills (1e, 16att, .438) and led all players with nine blocks for 12.5 points. The Women of Troy finished with 14.0 blocks including six in set four and three more in set five to turn away any Stanford comebacks.
Junior libero Taylor Whittingham finished with 15 digs and freshman defender Victoria Garrick had 14 digs. Freshman setter Baylee Johnson had 17 assists, nine digs, five blocks, and five kills. Junior setter Alice Pizzasegola had a season-high 34 assists in the match. USC hit .206 in the match (63k, 29e, 165att) and was out-hit for the first time this season against Stanford's .219 (56k, 23e, 151att) but scored the right points at the right times to come away with the victory.
For the Cardinal, Merete Lutz earned 16 kills (1e, 30att) and hit .500 with six blocks. Hayley Hodson tallied 14 kills (10e, 42att, .095) and had 12 digs for a double-double. Brittany Howard posted 12 kills (1e, 31att, .355) to go with 11 digs and four blocks while setter Madi Bugg finished with 40 assists and 13 digs.
The score was tied 10 times in the first set, but the Cardinal was never able to overcome the USC lead. The Trojans created their first sizable advantage at 11-8 on back-to-back-kills from Bricio and Johnson, and led by four at 23-19 on a service ace by Bricio. Stanford used a 4-0 run to tie the score at 23-all and then again for the 10th time at 24-all on a kill by Jordan Burgess. Ford stepped in to seal the Trojans' win with two of her five first-set kills for a 26-24 USC win.
USC led the second set, 7-4, but a 9-1 run by the Cardinal all but put the Trojans away as Stanford led, 13-8. USC could get only as close as two points behind before Stanford closed the books on a 25-19 win to equalize the match. The lead changed four times in the third frame but the Trojans led, 14-12, before Stanford scored three straight points to take the lead for good. The Women of Troy closed within a point at 17-16, but another 3-0 run for the Cardinal had USC on the ropes as Stanford led, 20-16. The Cardinal put up seven blocks in the second and third sets combined and claimed a 2-1 lead in the match as it won the third, 25-20.
The Trojans flipped the script and came out on fire to open the fourth set. USC had four blocks and four kills whilst the Cardinal had burned its two timeouts when the Trojans arrived at an 8-1 lead. From there, it was almost all academic as USC led by as many as nine points at 21-12 on Ford's solo block of Bugg. The Cardinal tried to make a game of things, but Ford and Bricio went back-to-back for kills to complete USC's 25-17 win to force the final frame of the match.
In the blink of an eye, the Trojans had built at 6-1 lead on the Cardinal and forced Stanford to burn both of its timeouts in the fifth set. That wasn't the end of it though as the Cardinal fought back to tie the set four times, the last of which was at 13-all, before the Trojans put Stanford to bed on back-to-back kills by Bricio. USC's 15-13 win over the Cardinal was the third five-set victory over Stanford for the Trojans in the last 10 meetings.
USC now returns home to host Washington State (12-2, 1-1 Pac-12) on Friday, Oct. 2 (7 p.m. PT) and No. 6 Washington (12-0, 2-0) on Sunday, Oct. 4 (1 p.m.) at the Galen Center. The Trojans and the Huskies will meet live on the Pac-12 Networks for the Sunday matinee.
To purchase season or single-match tickets for USC home matches, visit GetTrojanTix.com or call (213) 740-GOSC. For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit USCTrojans.com and follow @USCWomensVolley on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope.