Hagglund Makes History as No. 4 USC Knocks Off No. 6 Stanford

    Senior libero Natalie Hagglund became USC's all-time career leader in digs with a season-high 36 against the Cardinal (2,095 total).

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    Oct. 30, 2013

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    STANFORD, Calif. - USC senior libero Natalie Hagglund became the program's all-time career leader in digs as the fourth-ranked USC women's volleyball team (19-3, 9-2 Pac-12) defeated No. 6 Stanford (15-5, 8-3) in five sets (16-25, 25-23, 25-18, 22-25, 15-9) at Maples Pavilion on Wednesday, Oct. 30. Several program milestones accompanied Hagglund's historic evening. It is the first time the Women of Troy have defeated the Cardinal on The Farm since 2006 and is only the third time in school history that the Trojans have captured a sweep of the regular-season series against Stanford. The other two were in 2000 and 2003.

    Hagglund's season-high 36 digs bring her career total to 2,095 and moved her into fifth all-time in the Pac-12 record books. She also had a service ace and six assists on the night. On offense, it was freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu who lit up the night and matched her career high with 21 kills (3e, 58). Nwanebu hit .310 and added seven digs and six blocks to help the Trojans hand the Cardinal its first loss at home since December of 2011.

    Senior middle blocker Alexis Olgard also matched her career high with 15 kills (2e, 25att) and hit .520 to go with a match-high eight blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Samantha Bricio put up her sixth double-double of the season (17th of her career) with 16 kills (5e, 53att, .208) and a career-high 23 digs. Senior outside hitter Sara Shaw scored 14 points for USC as she posted 12 kills (4e, 39att, .205) and added a season-best 17 digs. Shaw also had a service ace and two blocks.

    Junior setter Hayley Crone picked up the first double-double of her season with 38 assists and 14 digs and helped the Trojans hit .257 in the match (74k, 19e, 214att). Freshman setter Alice Pizzasegola had 24 assists as the Women of Troy out-hit their opponent for the 20th time, this season.

    All five Cardinal hitters reached double digits in points and kills led by Jordan Burgess, who had 17 kills (3e, 38att) to hit .368. Burgess was one of five players to record a double-double evening with 25 digs. Carly Wopat (12k, 1e, 36att, .306) and Inky Ajanaku (14k, 3e, 21att, .524) kept the Stanford offense running while Rachel Williams had 10 kills (.135) and 13 digs. Setter Madi Bugg had 61 assists to go with 17 digs.

    Though the Cardinal led the nation in blocking (3.04 bps) coming into the match, USC out-blocked Stanford, 11-10, to hold the Cardinal attack to .251 (71k, 20e, 203att).

    The Cardinal was unstoppable in the opening frame as Stanford produced a .516 hitting percentage with 17 kills (1e) on 31 swings. All five Cardinal hitters had at least three kills while Burgess led the way with five kills (0e, 7att, .714). USC hit .128 in the first set with 12 kills (7e, 39att) and couldn't get through the Stanford block, which stuffed the Trojans three times. Burgess broke a two-all tie with a cut-shot kill and set the Cardinal running. Junior middle blocker Hannah Schraer put a ball to the ground off an overplayed dig, but the Cardinal ripped off a 9-2 run to lead, 18-10, and seize control of the first set. USC cut the lead to six on two occasions, but couldn't get any closer as Williams earned a kill to create a 10-point lead at 24-14. A pair of Stanford errors delayed their victory before a Trojan error sealed the 25-16 win.

    The teams traded barbs to open the second set, but the Cardinal began to pull away as it created a 14-11 lead on a block of Shaw. It appeared Stanford would run off like it did in the first set, but the Trojans continued to fight and stayed at three down, 19-16, on a cross-court kill from Bricio. Stanford went up by five, 21-16, before a pair of back-to-back Bricio kills put a scare into the Cardinal. A timely timeout stopped the Bricio serve machine and allowed the Cardinal to go up, 23-17, on a kill by Howard, but the Trojans came to life and ripped off the final seven points to tie the bow on a 25-23 win.

    First, Nwanebu bounced a ball off the ground. Then she teamed with Olgard to stuff an attack by Williams to get USC within three, 23-20. Hagglund served up an ace before Shaw whipped out the tool kit and terminated to get USC within a point at 23-22. A long rally allowed Hagglund to break the USC record for all-time career digs before Nwanebu's tip kill quietly knotted the set for the first time since five-all at 23-all. With the Cardinal reeling, Hagglund served her fifth ball to Howard, whose pass forced a set back to herself. Howard's attack yielded an error and gave USC set point. Shaw terminated the next play and closed out a 7-0 USC run for the win. The Trojans hit .222 in the second set with 16 kills (4e) on 54 attacks and out-blocked Stanford, 4-3, to hold the Cardinal to a .164 hitting rate (15k, 6e) on 55 swings.

    USC came out of the gates churning in the third set and rolled out to a 6-2 lead when Shaw got two tool shots to hit the floor and Olgard went quick for a kill. Stanford made a bid to get back in the game as Wopat's kill closed the gap to one point at 10-9, but Nwanebu terminated back-to-back plays to get USC up by three, 12-9. The Trojans scored four straight points with kills by Schraer, Olgard, and Shaw on the first three. The 15-10 lead forced a Cardinal timeout, but Nwanebu blasted one off Howard's face for the six-pack to end the next rally and set up a 16-10 USC lead. Stanford tried to get back in the set and came within four several times but 20-16 was as close as the Cardinal would get. Nwanebu caught fire to collect three kills in the final five rallies including her cross-court score to end the set for USC, 25-18. The Trojans posted a .486 hitting percentage in the third set with 20 kills (2e) on 37 swings and got seven kills from Nwanebu alone. USC out-blocked Stanford, 3-1, in the third to hold the Cardinal at .257 with 13 kills (4e) on 35 swings.

    The Trojans earned a three-point lead, 9-6, in the fourth set on a Bricio kill, and led by three again when Nwanebu crushed an overpass to the floor for a 12-9 advantage. USC went up by five when Nwanebu tipped a shot down the line for a kill and Burgess went long on her shot, but the Cardinal fought back. The Trojans led by five again at 18-13, but Stanford started to close the gap and got within two points, 20-18, when Bricio went long on her swing. It took a while, but the Cardinal caught the Trojans at 20 points to knot the score for the fifth time in the fourth set. Stanford inched ahead three times but its 23-22 lead was all it needed as Ajanaku's kill put set point in the Cardinal's hand. USC committed the final error to seal a 25-22 win for Stanford and send the match to a fifth set. Stanford weathered the storm to post 18 kills (6e) on 52 swings and a .231 hitting rate in the fourth while the Trojans hit .185 with 15 kills (5e, 54att).

    Stanford got its crowd going by earning the first two points of the final frame with a pair of kills, but USC used a Cardinal error and a pair of kills from Olgard and Nwanebu to move the ahead, 3-2. Shaw put down an overplayed dig to extend USC's lead to 4-2 before Olgard and Nwanebu stuffed Howard for a 5-2 Trojan lead. The Cardinal kept on pushing and stayed close, but Olgard terminated on a quick set from Crone for a 6-3 lead before she did it again on a quick set from Pizzasegola for an 8-5 lead. The Cardinal came up with two straight to cut the lead to one at 8-7 and an Ajanaku kill made it 9-8 for USC, but the Trojans stood their ground to earn the next four points and pull out to a 13-8 lead. Nwanebu ran the middle and blasted a ball off the floor for 10-8 before Shaw tooled the block for a kill and 11-8. Nwanebu went crosscourt for a kill and a 12-8 USC lead before Shaw went down the line to put the Trojans out of reach at 13-8. Bugg dumped her pass for a kill but it was the final Stanford point as Howard's shot went long and Nwanebu replied with a kill shot down the line to wrap up a 15-9 win for the Trojans. USC had 11 kills (1e) on 30 swings for a .333 hitting percentage and out-distanced itself from Stanford, which posted a .167 rate on 30 swings (8k, 3e).

    The Trojans get a day off between matches and will be back in action on Friday (Nov. 1) at No. 22 California (13-6, 6-4 Pac-12) at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif., at 6 p.m. PT. The match will be carried live regionally on the Pac-12 Networks with Rich Cellini and Kelli Tennant on the broadcast. Please visit USCTrojans.com for more information and a complete schedule.


    • Senior libero Natalie Hagglund became the program's all-time leader in career digs as she posted a season-high 36 to reach 2,095. Hagglund passed UCLA's Chrissie Zartman (2,064 digs; 2001-04) and Trojan great Debora Seilhamer (2,071 digs; 2003-06) to move into fifth place in the Pac-12 career record books.
    • Natalie Hagglund posted the eighth 30-dig match of her career, and the first of 2013.
    • Hagglund's 36 digs ties with five other performances for eighth place in a single-match by a USC player. Others to reach that mark include Debora Seilhamer, Alli Hillgren, Katie Haller, and Megan McCallister.
    • USC defeated Stanford in Stanford, Calif., for the first time since 2006. It is also the first time that the Cardinal has lost at home since Dec. 3, 2011, when it fell to Michigan during the NCAA tournament.
    • The Trojans swept the regular-season series from Stanford for the first time since 2003 and for only the third time in program history (2000, 2003, 2013).
    • USC improved to 25-57-1 in its all-time series with Stanford and has now won five of the last six meetings including three straight. It is the Trojans' longest winning streak against the Cardinal since it won four straight from 2002-04. USC also improved to 6-34 when facing Stanford on the road.
    • Sophomore OH Samantha Bricio had two service aces to run her streak of matches with at least one ace to 13. She has only been held without an ace in one match, this season (Eastern Washington).
    • Bricio had 16 kills and a career-high 23 digs to log her sixth double-double of the season (fourth in a row) and the 17th of her career.
    • Senior OH Sara Shaw logged her fifth double-double of the year (13th of her career) with 12 kills and a season-high 17 digs.
    • Senior MB Alexis Olgard matched her career high with 15 kills.
    • Junior setter Hayley Crone recorded her first double-double of the season (12th of her career) with 38 assist and a season-high 17 digs (one shy of her career record).
    • Freshman OH Ebony Nwanebu had 21 kills to match her career/season high.
    • The Trojans posted the most digs in a match, this season with 104.
    • USC out-hit its opponent for the 20th time in 22 matches.