#16 USC Suffocates #6 Washington’s Offense in 3-0 Upset

  0 Derek Johnson | October 01st, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, Pac 12


  • #16 USC def. #6 Washington 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 28-26) 
  • #16 USC improves to 12-3 (4-0 Pac-12); #6 Washington falls to 13-2 (3-1 Pac-12)
  • Los Angeles, California (Pac-12 Match)
  • Attendance: 2,615
  • Box Score

Los Angeles, California – #16 USC threw a wrench into the Pac-12 standings as only the Trojans and Stanford remain unbeaten in conference play following USC’s sweep of #6 Washington.

USC’s defense and ability to dig up Washington attacks made life frustrating for the Huskies on offense as they struggled in being terminal. The end result was USC winning in straight sets as Washington hit just .131 for the match.

Set one went back-and-forth with Washington in slight control at 20-18. That’s where that control ended though as USC couldn’t be stopped with seven straight points to round out the set. Brittany Abercrombie, who led USC with 13 kills for the match (and hit .310) had three of them, including the last two.

In the second set, Washington held a 5-4 edge, but a 4-0 USC run put the Trojans in front. They never surrendered that lead and just as Washington crept to within two, Khalia Lanier (11 kills, 12 digs) put down a kill to give USC a set point opportunity that the Trojans immediately took with Lanier serving.

The third set began in USC’s favor as well and with the passing and defense of setter Reni Meyer-Whalley (19 assists, 12 digs) along with Abercrombie, Lanier and company, USC built a 20-14 edge. A 7-1 Washington run though quickly evened the match, as the Huskies looked to repeat their five-set comeback from a week prior against Arizona State. Carly DeHoog was a menace for the USC defense throughout the match with 15 kills (..448) and eight blocks for Washington. Her best play came down the stretch too as she posted four of five Washington points on offense and tied the set at 24-24. What DeHoog did for Washington overall, Niki Withers tried to match from USC with 12 kills while hitting .391. After rotating points and on USC’s fourth match point chance at 27-26, Withers served one into the tape and received a friendly roll that dropped the ball on the Huskies’ half for a match-ending ace.

The Trojans posted more kills (47-38), assists (40-33), digs (58-50) and aces (3-1) while the Huskies won in blocks (11-5), as USC out-hit Washington .214 to .131. The biggest boon for USC was their ability to limit two of Washington’s stud outside hitters, Courtney Schwan and Crissy Jones. The pair had rough days combining for just three kills on 36 attempts with six errors, good for a -0.083 hitting percentage.

Moving forward, USC will head a tad bit east to meet Arizona and Arizona State as they are fresh off a 4-0 Pac-12 start that includes wins against UCLA, Washington State and now Washington. Washington on the other hand will have two ranked match-ups with Utah and Colorado next week as they head back home to Seattle looking to rebound in the difficult Pac-12.


Courtesy of USC:

LOS ANGELES – The 20th-ranked USC women’s volleyball team (12-3, 4-0 Pac-12) completed a 3-0 sweep (25-20, 25-21, 28-26) of sixth-ranked Washington (13-2, 3-1) at Galen Center on Sunday, Oct. 1. The win extended the Trojans’ season-long winning streak to five matches and put an end to the Huskies’ 11-match winning streak. It was also USC’s first clean sweep of a Washington squad since November of 2011.

The Trojan attack was led by senior opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombiewho tallied 13 kills (4e, 29att) with a .310 hitting percentage. Abercrombie also collected eight digs and had a block for 13.5 points. Senior outside hitter Niki Withers scored 12 kills (3e, 23att) and hit .391. Withers also notched one of three USC service aces—hers for the final point of the match.

Sophomore outside hitter Khalia Lanier finished with 11 kills on 39 swings. She added 12 digs for her fourth double-double this season, and the 20th of her career. Sophomore opposite hitter Daley Krage added four kills and a block and junior middle blocker Brittany Welsh had four kills and three blocks (two solo). Senior middle blocker Jordan Dunn had three kills and two blocks.

The Women of Troy recorded 47 kills on 126 swings (.214). Senior setter Reni Meyer-Whalley had 19 assists with 12 digs for her fifth consecutive double-double; the 14th of her career. Meyer-Whalley also served an ace. Sophomore setter Cindy Marina had 13 assists, five digs, and a service ace. On defense, junior libero Victoria Garrick put up 13 digs to go with eight assists. Sophomore defender Jenna Adams had three digs.

For the Huskies, Carly DeHoog led all players with 15 kills (2e, 29att) and a .448 hitting percentage. She also tied for match-high honors with eight blocks. Marion Hazelwood had seven kills (4e, 16att, .188) with eight blocks of her own. Courtney Schwan was held to three kills and a negative .065 hitting rate but picked up 10 digs. Tia Scambray led all players with 16 digs. Washington posted a .131 hitting percentage with 38 kills (22e) on 122 attacks.

UW grabbed an early 5-2 lead in the opening set, but the Trojans turned the tables and led by three at 12-9 on back-to-back kills by Krage and Lanier. The Huskies responded and came up with defensive stops to go in front by three at 19-16. The Women of Troy stayed the course and ripped through a 9-1 run to close the set including scoring the final seven points with six on kills by Withers, Lanier, Krage, and Abercrombie.

A short 3-0 burst on a block by Dunn and then back-to-back overpass kills from Withers and Dunn put USC ahead at 8-5 in the second set. The Huskies equalized at eight-all, but Meyer-Whalley served an ace to push the Trojans ahead, 11-8, on another 3-0 run. This time, Washington couldn’t close the gap. The Trojans went up by five at 21-16 on back-to-back kills by Abercrombie and then held on to get kills from Lanier and Withers to complete a 25-21 win.

Despite seven tie scores, and a furious comeback by the Huskies, the Trojans never trailed in the third set and fought off every advance to complete a 28-26 win for the sweep. USC led by four at 10-6 and again at 13-9. The lead ballooned to five at 16-11 when Welsh earned the kill on a quick set from Marina and was six points at 20-14 when Bailey Tanner put a ball in the net. No lead was large enough as the Huskies erased every last point to knot the score at 21-all. USC had match point three times before a kill by Dunn followed by Withers’ service ace put an end to the Huskies’ comeback bid.

Up next, the Women of Troy leave California for a pair of matches at Arizona (Oct. 6) and Arizona State (Oct. 7) next Friday and Saturday. The Trojans and Wildcats will be shown on Pac-12 Los Angeles and Pac-12 Arizona. The USC-ASU matchup will be streamed live on the Pac-12+ platform.

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.


  • USC improved to 40-26 all-time against Washington and snapped a two-match streak against the Huskies. The Trojans produced the first 3-0 sweep of UW since Nov. 5, 2011, at Galen Center (25-15, 25-16, 25-21).
  • The Trojans’ win snapped Washington’s 11-match winning streak.
  • The Women of Troy improved to 144-30 all-time at the Galen Center with a 5-0 mark this season.
  • The Trojans won their fifth straight match to extend on the team’s longest streak this season.
  • Sophomore OH Khalia Lanier earned her fourth double-double this season with 11 kills and 12 digs. It is the 20th double-double of her career.
  • Senior S Reni Meyer-Whalley recorded her fifth consecutive double-double with 19 assists and 12 digs. It is her 14th-career double-double outing.
  • Junior MB Brittany Welsh matched her career high with two solo blocks.
  • Senior OPP Brittany Abercrombie collected a season-high eight digs.

Courtesy of Washington:

LOS ANGELES – Carly DeHoog enjoyed one of the best matches of what has already been an outstanding senior season, but her 15 kills were not enough as the sixth-ranked Huskies were upset in straight sets by 20th-ranked USC at the Galen Center, in the final match of a nine-match road trip. Washington (13-2, 3-1 Pac-12) had an 11-match win streak snapped as USC (12-4, 4-0 Pac-12) took it 25-20, 25-21, 28-26 in front of 2,615 fans.

Washington, which had come back from 0-2 down a week ago at Arizona State and from down one set at UCLA on Friday, made another strong effort at extending things, as they rallied from 14-20 down in the third set to tie it, then saved three match points, but UW could never get a set point of its own, and USC got the win in the most unfortunate of ways, with a serve that hit the top of the net and just dropped over for an ace.

“I think it was mostly a matter of execution offensively,” said Head Coach Keegan Cook. “USC played a great match defensively and so we needed to be sharp offensively, and we just didn’t have some things in place.”

“I don’t doubt our character or resiliency, I think that third set said a lot about them,” continued Cook. “I think lesser teams might have packed it in, but we went for it, but we have to add execution to our list of traits so that we can get through some of those long stretches.”

DeHoog’s 15 kills were the second-most of her career and most ever in a three set match. She had just two errors on 29 swings for a .448 attack percentage and also had eight block assists. But the Huskies hit just .140 as a team, a season-low, while USC finished at .205. The Trojans had three aces compared to just one for the Huskies, only the second time this year that UW had fewer aces than its opponent.

Senior Marion Hazelwood had seven kills and matched DeHoog with eight block assists, but the next highest kill total was Destiny Julye with four, and she only attacked in the third set. Senior Tia Scambray had 10 digs in the third set and 16 for the match, while Bailey Tanner had 29 assists and eight digs, and came back into the match after missing a stretch in the second set after injuring a finger while blocking.

The Dawgs had a couple early blocks to grab a 3-1 lead at the start of the match. The first UW kill was from Marion Hazelwood for a 4-2 lead. Washington hit out on two points to let USC tie it up at 5-all, but Kara Bajema put one down to regain the lead. But USC scored the next four points to go on top, 6-9, and UW needed a timeout, having made five errors early. DeHoog got her first kill straight to the floor out of the timeout to break the run. The Huskies tied it up at 12s with a 3-0 run on a Sanders slide kill and a Hazelwood slam off a USC overpass. Two more stuffs from the Hazelwood-DeHoog combo swung UW back in front by one at 14-13. DeHoog then ended a back-and-forth with a blast from the right for 15-13 and USC took timeout. Bajema ripped past the block in serve-receive for 17-15 Dawgs. DeHoog finished again and then Bajema hung up to stuff down a tip attempt for 19-16. The Husky offense stalled and USC won four of five points to take the lead, 20-21, and force UW’s last timeout. Washington couldn’t get a sideout to break the run and USC closed out the set with seven straight points to win, 20-25. The Huskies had seven blocks in the set but only eight kills, hitting just .029.

Tanner got the first ace for the Huskies to start the second set, and then DeHoog finished in transition for a 2-0 lead. DeHoog added two more kills from the right for a 5-4 lead. The Trojans went on a 3-0 run and Tanner suffered a finger injury on the 5-7 point, prompting freshman Natalie Robinson to check into the match to set. Robinson went over on two for her first career kill on the second point, and the Dawgs tied it up at 8-all on a USC error. But the Huskies gave three points right back to USC with a double contact, a swing into the net and an ace for 8-11 and UW took timeout. Tanner was able to check back into the match with a wrapped up finger at 9-12 down. Washington fought back within two at 13-15 on kills by Hazelwood and DeHoog, but then a service error and an attacking error put them back down four and prompted a timeout. Sanders had a much-needed block out of the timeout for 14-17. Schwan showed some relief after getting her first kill to go down, and that sparked the Dawgs to a 3-0 run to close to 19-21, as Hazelwood finished in the middle and DeHoog and Hazelwood had a big block. But the Dawgs couldn’t get any closer, dropping the set, 21-25. The Huskies improved their hitting to .265 in the set but USC was a shade better at .270. DeHoog had five kills and Hazelwood four to power the offense.

A transition finish from DeHoog off a Tanner backset evened the third set at 2-2. The Trojans had a three point run for 3-6, but DeHoog stopped it with a rocket to the hardwood. Destiny Julye hit a sharp angle for her first kill of the day for 6-9. Hazelwood had a slide finish to cut it to 9-11 Trojans. But USC won four of the next five points to push the deficit back to 10-15 at the media timeout. Julye put one down in serve-receive out of the timeout but USC answered on its next swing. Julye got another point on a sharp transition kill to pull within three. But a Trojan kill and a Husky attack error dropped the Dawgs back down five at 14-19 and forced UW’s last timeout. Tanner broke the Trojan run by dumping to end a marathon rally and then USC sent one long for 16-20 and USC called timeout. A tough serve from Bajema forced the Trojans into an error for 17-20 but her next serve found the net. Tanner threw down for another point and then DeHoog went up the right sideline in transition as UW crept within two points. Tanner’s serve was then overpassed and Avie Niece hit it down for 20-21, and the Trojans used their final timeout. Out of the break, Niece and DeHoog roofed the Trojans to tie it up at 21-21. USC answered with a kill off a broken play and then a block, but UW fought back again with two straight DeHoog slams for 23-all. USC got a right side kill to reach match point at 23-24, but DeHoog hammered it away with a sharp swing from the right in serve-receive. Sanders tried to poke a tight set over but sent it wide for 24-25, but USC served wide. UW gave the point right back with its own service error, but Julye saved the third match point with a kill down inside the block for 26-26. USC killed in serve-receive to earn a fourth match point chance, and on its next serve, the ball caught the net and trickled over and down for an ace to end it, 26-28. DeHoog had seven kills in the third set and Scambray had 10 digs, but it wasn’t enough as the Dawgs hit just .135 with USC hitting .191 in the frame.

The Dawgs will finally return home and look to get another win streak going next Friday, Oct. 6, with an 8 p.m. match against a 15th-ranked Utah squad.

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