USC Drops Five-Set Heartbreaker to No. 8 UCLA|
Follow, Like, Instagram, Periscope, and Snap with @USCWomensVolley
Nov. 26, 2016
LOS ANGELES -- The USC women's volleyball team (18-13, 10-10 Pac-12) lost in five sets, 17-25, 25-20, 20-25, 30-28, 17-15, to crosstown rival No. 8 UCLA (24-6, 15-5) at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday, Nov. 26. The Women of Troy finished the regular season in a tie for seventh place in the Pac-12 Conference with Arizona (18-14, 10-10) and now await their postseason fate. The NCAA will announce its field of 64 selections on Sunday (Nov. 27) at 6 p.m. PT on ESPNU.
Freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier recorded her 15th double-double of the season and led the Trojans with 26 kills (10e, 71att, .225) to go with 10 digs, two service aces and a block. Her 71 attacks set a new career high. Junior opposite hitter Niki Withers had season highs of 19 kills and 42 attacks (7e, .286) and posted a new career high with seven digs. Junior opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie had 14 kills (3e, 32att, .344) with five blocks and four digs.
Senior middle blocker Elise Ruddins put up nine kills (3e, 21att, .286) and had five blocks and a service ace. Junior middle blocker Jordan Dunn put up seven blocks (one solo) and added a pair of kills. The Trojans hit .254 as a team (71k, 26e, 177att) and got 33 assists and four digs from senior setter Alice Pizzasegola and 32 assists and eight digs from junior setter Reni Meyer-Whalley. Pizzasegola scored on three service aces and Meyer-Whalley had two aces. On defense, senior libero Taylor Whittingham dug up 25 balls to go with four assists and a service ace while sophomore defensive specialist Victoria Garrick had six digs and a pair of service aces.
For the Bruins, Reily Buechler put up 20 kills (7e, 50att, .260) and posted a double-double with 12 digs. Jordan Anderson had 17 kills (5e, 40att, .300) and seven digs. Both of UCLA's middles were offensive factors as Claire Felix tallied 12 kills (2e, 22att, .455) with three blocks. Jennie Frager had 10 kills (2e, 19att, .421) with six blocks. Taylor Formico led UCLA with 24 digs and had eight assists.
The Trojans scored a 5-0 run and extended to a 9-1 run to seize an 11-5 lead in the first set. USC never relinquished its hold on that lead and finished out a 25-17 win to take a 1-0 lead in the match. UCLA responded to take a 25-20 win in set two where it led by as many as eight points at 15-7. The Trojans closed to within two at 20-18, but couldn't seal the deal as the Bruins evened the match.
The third set was tied seven times before the Trojans broke a 12-all tie and went ahead for good. USC led by five at 23-18 when Ruddins put up a block and then closed the set on a final Bruin error for the 25-20 win and a 2-1 lead in the match. USC led by as many as five in the fourth frame at 15-10, and had a three-point advantage at 22-19, but were caught by UCLA at 22-all. The Bruins took set point first, but the teams flipped back and forth until UCLA sent the match to a fifth set with a 30-28 win.
UCLA led, 10-7, in the fifth, but USC went on a 3-1 run to close the gap to a single point. The Bruins went up, 13-10, but were tied at 13-all on a kill by Withers. Felix scored UCLA a third match point at 16-15 on her kill before a final USC error closed the books on a 3-2 win for the Bruins to complete a season sweep.
For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule and results, please visit USCTrojans.com. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow @USCWomensVolley on Periscope, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram.