Lanier’s 16 Kills Help USC Outlast Arizona in 5-Set Thriller

  0 Bill Stadick | November 05th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, News, Pac 12


The #13 USC Women of Troy outlasted the visiting Arizona Wildcats in five sets behind a balanced offensive performance led by senior outside Khalia Lanier, who notched 16 kills.

Three Trojans added 11 kills each: freshman outside Brooke Botkin, senior right-side Brittany Abercrombie and senior right-side Niki Withers. Sophomore setter Cindy Marina dished out 28 assists, while senior setter Reni Meyer-Whalley added another 24.

For the Wildcats, sophomore setter Julia Patterson registered 52 assists to pace the Arizona offense, while junior outsides Kendra Dahlke and Tyler Spriggs posted 16 kills each, and sophomore libero Makenna Martin had 15 digs to lead the visitors’ back-row defense.

In the first set, USC scored seven of the last nine points, eventually winning 25-20 on back-to-back Wildcat errors. Arizona rebounded in the second, hitting at more than a .500 clip and winning 25-23.

USC took a 23-20 lead in the third frame after a Botkin kill, but the Wildcats answered by scoring six of the set’s final seven points, eventually winning 26-24 on a Spriggs kill. In the fourth, it was the Wildcats who held a late 21-20 advantage before USC stormed back to take the set 25-22.

USC managed to build a 12-7 lead in the fifth frame before Arizona went on a 4-1 run to close to within two at 13-11. From there, a Lanier kill followed by an Arizona error sealed the 15-11 victory for the Women of Troy.

Next up, USC hosts Utah on Thursday, while Arizona welcomes Oregon State to Tucson, also on Thursday.


Courtesy: USC Athletics

No. 17 USC Comes Back to Catch Cats For Five-Set Win

The Women of Troy had five players score in double digits to edge Arizona at the Galen Center

LOS ANGELES – The 17th-ranked USC women’s volleyball team (18-7, 10-4 Pac-12) went the distance to defeat Arizona (9-14, 3-11) in five sets (25-20, 23-25, 24-26, 25-22, 15-11) at Galen Center on Sunday, Nov. 5. Five Women of Troy scored in double-digits led by sophomore outside hitter Khalia Lanier‘s 16-kill performance (7e, 48att, .188). Lanier also had nine digs and a pair of blocks.

The Trojans’ win snapped a three-match losing streak to the Wildcats and runs USC’s current overall streak to three consecutive wins. The Women of Troy also improved to 4-1 in five-set matches this season.

Three other Trojans had 11 kills apiece. Freshman Brooke Botkin had 11 kills (1e) on 27 swings for a .370 hitting percentage. Botkin also had two blocks and two digs. Senior opposite hitters Brittany Abercrombie (6e, 24att, .208) and Niki Withers (6e, 19att, .263) each also had 11 kills apiece. Abercrombie added three blocks and three digs. Withers had four digs and a service ace.

Senior setter Reni Meyer-Whalley finished with 24 assists and five digs and sophomore setter Cindy Marina tallied 28 assists, nine digs, and three service aces. In the middle, senior Jordan Dunn collected eight kills without an error on 10 attacks (.800) and led all players with seven blocks (one solo).

On defense, junior libero Victoria Garrick had 15 digs and four assists. Sophomore defender Jenna Adams had four digs, and senior defender Nikki Leonard served a critical ace and had a dig to help the Women of Troy pull away in the fifth set.

The Wildcats were led by Kendra Dahlke‘s 16 kills (5e, 41att, .268) and Tyler Spriggs‘ 16-kill day (5e, 30att, .367). Libero McKenna Martin had 15 digs but was aced four times. Setter Julia Patterson dished out 52 assists with six digs and two kills.

The Women of Troy never trailed in the first set, but the score was tied eight times until Botkin went off to score four straight points to give USC a 23-20 lead. A pair of Arizona errors did the Wildcats in as USC won, 25-20, to open the match. The Trojans hit .367 in the first set and got five kills from Botkin, four from Withers, and three from Lanier.

The second set also saw eight ties, but the lead changed hands four times, the last of which gave a 14-13 lead to the Wildcats. Arizona ran ahead and led by three at 22-19, but the Trojans closed to within a point at 23-22 on an ace by Withers. Spriggs’ kill earned set point for the Wildcats at 24-22, but back-to-back service errors closed out a 25-23 win for Arizona to even the match. The Trojans scored 14 kills in the second set but had seven errors and couldn’t keep pace with the Wildcats’ .520 outing (14k, 1e, 25att).

The Trojans led by as many as four points in the third frame, but were caught at 23-all when Dahlke served an ace. The tie was only the fourth of the set, but USC took set point at 24-23 when Dahlke put her next serve in the net. Arizona scored the final three points as Spriggs and Dahlke collected kills on consecutive rallies to push the Cats out to a 2-1 lead in the match. The Trojans hit .263 in the frame, but late errors and a hot streak by the Wildcats spoiled USC’s go-ahead attempts.

In another drag-out battle, USC broke the ninth and final tie with a 4-0 run on kills by Lanier and Withers and an ace by Marina. The Wildcats shaved one point off the Trojans’ set-point opportunity, but Arizona’s 20th service error of the night put a 25-22 win on the board for the Women of Troy and sent the match to a fifth set. USC hit just .161 in the fourth frame (10k, 5e, 31att) but weathered the storm of Arizona’s .242 hitting percentage (14k, 6e, 33att).

USC stepped ahead first in the fifth set, 4-2, on a kill by Withers. Following a kill by Dunn to make the score 6-4, Leonard checked in to serve and scored an ace. She then followed it up with a dig to preserve USC’s rally for a kill by Lanier and a big 8-4 lead. The Wildcats tried to chip away at the lead, but fell behind by five at 12-7 on a kill by Lanier and a solo block by Dunn. Arizona settled and went on a 4-1 run to close within two points at 13-11, but Lanier earned her 16th kill by tooling the Wildcat block before Spriggs went long on her final offering to seal USC’s 15-11 win.

Up next, the Trojans remain home to host Utah (18-7, 9-5 Pac-12) on Thursday (Nov. 9) at 6 p.m. PT and Colorado (19-6, 9-5) on Saturday (Nov. 11) at 1 p.m. PT. 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 on the Pac-12+ platform. All matches are available to watch on

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


USC improved to 63-22 in all-time meetings against Arizona and snapped a three-match losing streak to the Wildcats.

The Trojans won their third straight match; the fourth time this season that USC has had a streak of that length.

The Women of Troy improved to 8-1 at the Galen Center this season (147-31 all-time).

The Trojans improved to 4-1 in five-set matches this season (loss at Washington, Oct. 27).

Head coach Mick Haley earned his 950th NCAA Division I victory (950-253 all-time). Haley also crossed the 1,200-win threshold in women’s victories. He is now 1,201-304 coaching women’s teams.

USC had five players score in double digits with four players in double-digit kills.

Sophomore setter Cindy Marina matched her season high with three service aces.

Courtesy: Arizona Athletics

Cats Fall in Five Sets at No. 18 USC

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Arizona outhit and outblocked the 18th-ranked USC on Sunday afternoon at the Galen Center, but the Trojans won the fourth and fifth sets to come from behind and down the Wildcats in a five-set thriller in L.A. (25-20, 23-25, 24-26, 25-22, 15-11).

UA hit .287 in the five-setter, better than the Trojans’ .273. The Cats, who were 9-0 on the season when outhitting their opponent, dropped their first match of 2017 when posting a better hitting percentage than their opponent. The Wildcats also outblocked their counterpart, 12-8. McKenzie Jacobson, who had a season-high five blocks on Friday at UCLA, bettered that with six to lead the team on Sunday.

Juniors Kendra Dahlke and Tyler Spriggs both posted a match-high 16 kills. The two of them hit well over their season averages; Spriggs hit a team-best .367 and Dahlke hit .268. Elizabeth Shelton added nine kills on .346 hitting and Jacobson had eight on .316 hitting.

Arizona’s offense enjoyed one of its best matches of the year behind setter Julia Patterson, who had 52 assists, her most in nearly a month.

Makenna Martin had 15 digs to lead the way.

Arizona was terrific in many facets of the game. Serving was not one of them. Arizona had two aces and a season-high 23 service errors. UA had more than 10 service errors in just two matches all season entering Sunday. Meanwhile, USC had six aces.

The Trojans broke away late in what was a very competitive first set, scoring seven of the final nine points to take the opener, 25-20. Tyler Spriggs had four kills in the first set.

The Wildcats hit over .500 in the second set and evened up the match with a 25-23 victory.

USC led most of the third set, including 23-20, but Arizona scored six of the final seven points to steal the set, 26-24.

In another very tight set in the fourth, Arizona held a 21-20 advantage before the Trojans came back to win the frame, 25-22.

The Trojans won the fifth set, 15-11.

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