Inky Nets 18 Kills to Lead #9 Stanford Over USC

  0 Braden Keith | November 11th, 2016 | College - Women's Indoor, News, Pac 12

Match Stats

The #9 Stanford Cardinal had 4 players in double digit kills on Thursday as they beat the USC Trojans 3-1 at home. The loss for USC is their 4th in the last 6 games, book-ended by defeats to the Cardinal.

Inky Ajanaku and Kathryn Plummer had 13 kills each, Audriana Fitzmorris had 12, and Ivana Vanjak had 10 – with three of the four hitting .320 or better. Ajanaku led the bunch with 13 kills on just 20 swings, a .500 average, to go with 8 blocks and a dig.

Defensively, freshman libero Morgan Hentz continued a run of stellar play for the Cardinal. She had 26 digs, which is 1 shy of her career high and the 8th time this season she’s had 20 or more digs. Jenna Gary, meanwhile, hit a career-high 54 assists to go with 7 digs.

For USC, Khalia Lanier had a match-high 18 kills and 12 digs for her 13th double-double on the season. After a slow start, with 4 hitting errors in the first set, she had just 3 in the last 3 sets combined.

She had 5 kills in the 3rd set to go with 6 by Alyse Ford to carry USC to their lone winning frame of the match.

The win pushed Stanford to 11-4 in the conference, which keeps them in a tie with Washington and UCLA for the conference lead. They will play UCLA on Saturday evening, with the loser falling from the top of the conference standings.


Press Releases

Courtesy Stanford Athletics:

STANFORD, Calif. – Four player registered double-digit kills as the ninth-ranked Stanford women’s volleyball team defeated USC, Thursday, at Maples Pavilion.

The Cardinal (17-6, 11-4) remain in a three-way tie for first place in the Pac-12 Conference with UCLA and Washington with five matches remaining. The Trojans drop to 16-10 overall and 8-7 in conference.

As a team, Stanford hit .309 while holding USC to a .229 clip. The Cardinal, which leads the nation in blocks per set, posted 14.0 whereas the Trojans tallied 8.0. USC finished with more kills (59 to 58), aces (6 to 2) and digs (57 to 50).

Redshirt senior Inky Ajanaku and freshman Kathryn Plummer each recorded 13 kills in the win. Ajanaku hit .500 (13-3-20) and collected a match-high eight blocks, while Plummer had six digs, three blocks and two assists. Freshman middle blocker Audriana Fitzmorris added 12 kills on a .360 attack percentage, five blocks and three digs. Redshirt junior Ivana Vanjak was the fourth player with double-digit kills, finishing with 10 (.320) and three blocks.

Freshman setter Jenna Gray racked-up a career-high 54 assists, seven digs, two blocks and two kills. She also put down a career-best two aces, Stanford’s only two of the night. Freshman libero Morgan Hentz continued her stellar defensive play, securing 26 digs. It was one off of her career-high and the eighth time this season she has reached the 20-dig plateau.

Opposite Merete Lutz posted eight kills on 25 errorless swings to hit .320. She also notched five blocks. Sophomore defensive specialist Halland McKenna chipped in defensively with five digs.

USC was led by freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier’s double-double of 18 kills and 12 digs. Sophomore Alyse Ford added 14 kills and eight digs, while middle blocker Elise Ruddins had 10 kills on .353 hitting and three blocks.

Stanford wraps-up the week on Saturday, Nov. 12 against No. 13 UCLA. First serve from Maples Pavilion is slated for 7 p.m. PT. The match will be live streamed for free on Twitter.

Courtesy USC Athletics:

STANFORD, Calif. — The USC women’s volleyball team (16-10, 8-7 Pac-12) dropped a four-set decision (25-19, 25-21, 23-25, 25-22) to No. 9 Stanford (17-6, 11-4) at Maples Pavilion on Thursday, Nov. 10. The Women of Troy had four players score in double digits but gave up the season-series sweep to the Cardinal.

Freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier led all scorers with 18.5 points and finished with 18 kills (7e, 46att, .239) despite a slow start. Lanier also had 12 digs to post her 13th double-double of the season. Sophomore outside hitter Alyse Ford tallied 14 kills to go with eight digs. Senior middle blocker Elise Ruddins had 10 kills (4e, 17att, .353) and three blocks (one solo) for 12.0 points.

Junior opposite hitter Niki Withers picked up eight kills (4e, 17att, .235) and had four blocks for 10.0 points and junior opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie earned seven kills (2e, 23att, .217) to go with two blocks. Junior middle blocker Jordan Dunn had two kills and five blocks. On defense, senior libero Taylor Whittingham dug up 18 balls in the match and added six assists and a service ace.

The Trojans hit .229 in the match (59k, 26e, 144att). Junior setter Reni Meyer-Whalley dished out 30 assists to go with 13 digs for her seventh double-double of the season. She also scored three points on service aces. Senior setter Alice Pizzasegola had 18 assists and a service ace.

For the Cardinal, Kathryn Plummer and Inky Ajanaku each scored 13 kills. Ajanaku led all players with eight blocks as the Cardinal finished with 14.0 team blocks. Audriana Fitzmorris added 12 kills and five blocks and Ivana Vanjak had 10 kills and three blocks. Jenna Gray put up 54 assists to go with seven digs and had two service aces while Morgan Hentz had 26 digs.

The Trojans used a 5-1 run to knot the first set at 14-all, but Stanford followed that with a 5-0 run and maintained control for a 25-19 win. Stanford scored the first four points of the second frame and claimed a six-point lead at 8-2. USC closed within four before the Cardinal went on top by six again at 18-12. The Trojans got within three points at 21-18 and again at 23-20 on a kill by Abercrombie. Despite one more kill from Lanier, USC couldn’t stop the Cardinal as it took a 2-0 lead in the match with a 25-21 win.

USC led, 14-12, in the third set, but the Cardinal went on a 5-2 run to lead briefly, 17-16. USC responded to take a 21-18 lead as Ford produced four kills to power the Trojan offense. Stanford knotted the score once more at 23-all, but Dunn and Abercrombie blocked Vanjak for set point before Lanier went crosscourt for the kill to put a 25-23 win in the books for the Women of Troy.

The Trojans scored the first three points of the fourth set but were outpaced when the Cardinal replied with a 6-1 run. Stanford extended to lead by as many as three points several times, but the Women of Troy caught the Cardinal at 18-all when Dunn and Withers teamed to block Fitzmorris. USC earned a 21-all tie later but couldn’t keep up with the Cardinal as it won, 25-22.

Up next, USC heads to the East Bay to face California (9-16, 3-12 Pac-12) on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 3 p.m. PT, at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif. The Golden Bears dropped a three-set decision to UCLA tonight and have lost six of their last seven matches.

For more information on the USC women’s volleyball team and a complete schedule and results, please visit To purchase tickets, please visit today. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow @USCWomensVolley on Periscope, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram.


USC fell to 26-61-1 in all-time meetings with Stanford and has lost six of the last 10.
The Trojans dropped to 6-2 in road matches this season.
Freshman OH Khalia Lanier recorded her 13th double-double of the season with 18 kills and 12 digs. She also scored her 24th double-digit points match of the season.
Senior libero Taylor Whittingham registered her 22nd match this season in double digits for digs (18).
Whittingham’s 18 digs gives her 1,641 career digs and puts her within 62 digs of third place in USC’s all-time record books (Katie Haller, 1990-93; 1,702 digs).
Junior setter Reni Meyer-Whalley had 30 assists and 13 digs to record her seventh-career double-double.


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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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