No. 25 USC Drops 3-0 Decision to No. 14 Stanford|
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Oct. 23, 2016
LOS ANGELES -- The No. 25-ranked USC women's volleyball team (14-7, 6-4 Pac-12) fell in straight sets (25-22, 25-19, 25-21) to No. 14 Stanford (12-6, 6-4 Pac-12) on Sunday, Oct. 23, at Galen Center. The Women of Troy had a three-match winning streak snapped by the Cardinal and were held to a .128 hitting percentage (39K, 25e, 109att).
Freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier led the Trojans with 11 kills and added five digs and a pair of blocks to her final line. Sophomore outside hitter Alyse Ford added nine kills (2e, 20att, .350) to go with nine digs and a block. Junior opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie had seven kills (2e, 19att, .263) and junior opposite hitter Niki Withers added eight kills. Senior libero Taylor Whittingham picked up 10 digs and served one of three USC aces. Junior setter Reni Meyer-Whalley had 17 assists and 11 digs for her fourth-career double-double and senior setter Alice Pizzasegola had 11 assists and two digs.
Three players had double-digit kills for the Cardinal led by Merete Lutz who hit .706 (0e, 17att) with 12 kills. Inky Ajanaku had 10 kills but hit .143 (6e, 28att). Ajanaku led Stanford with eight blocks. Morgan Hentz led all players with 14 digs and Jenna Gray had 33 assists.
Despite a back-and-forth start to the match, Stanford pulled away to take six-point leads on several occasions including at 17-11 on a kill by Ivana Vanjak, but Withers bounced a shot off the floor to spark an 8-1 run that tied the score at 18-all. Back-to-back kills by Abercrombie gave the Trojans their first lead of the set at 19-18, but the Cardinal fought back to take the 25-22 win to open the match.
The second set was tied 11 times before the Cardinal went ahead by a pair at 15-13. USC caught Stanford at 15-all on back-to-back kills from Withers and Lanier, but the Cardinal ripped open the set with a 5-0 run for a 20-15 lead. The Trojans couldn't cut it any closer as Stanford rolled away with a 25-19 win for a 2-0 lead in the match.
Three straight kills by Lutz helped Stanford turn a 17-16 deficit into the final lead it would need. The three points were only the beginning of a 5-0 run that put the Cardinal ahead, 21-17. The Trojans closed to within two points at 22-20 on a kill by Lanier and then had a two-point gap at 23-21 when Ford got the kill, but Stanford closed out a 25-21 win by scoring the final two points.
The Women of Troy remain home to host Utah (Friday, Oct. 28) and Colorado (Saturday, Oct. 29) at Galen Center next weekend. The Trojans defeated both teams on the road in the first round of Pac-12 matches. The USC-Utah match will be shown live on Pac-12 Los Angeles and Pac-12 Mountain. The Trojans and the Buffaloes will be streamed live at Pac-12.com/live/USC-2.
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.