USC Upsets Michigan With Standout Offensive Effort

  0 Wendy Mayer | August 26th, 2017 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News, Pac 12


  • USC (RV) def. No. 16 Michigan 3-1 (25-22, 25-19, 28-30, 25-16)
  • USC moves to 2-0; Michigan drops to 1-1
  • Los Angeles
  • Attendance: 1674
  • Box Score

LOS ANGELES – An efficient offensive effort and strong night at the service line gave USC its first win over a ranked foe in 2017, as the Women of Troy knocked off Michigan (No. 16 VM/AVCA) in four sets Friday night.

The Trojans hit at a .381 clip in the match, while allowing USC a .233 effort. USC also served up eight aces, while giving up just three. The home side also came through defensively with 63 digs to the Wolveriines’ 49. Both teams managed seven blocks.

Sophomore outside hitter Khalia Lanier posted a 19-kill, 12-dig double-double to lead the Trojans, while hitting at a .421 clip and chipping in three blocks and two aces. Junior outside Alyse Ford (15) and senior opposite Niki Withers (12) were not far behind. Ford just missed a double-double, registering nine digs. Senior middle Jordan Dunn notched six kills and a team-leading four blocks. Junior libero Victoria Garrick posted a team-leading 17 digs and three aces, while Lanier (12) and sophomore setter Cindy Marina (10) followed. Marina wrapped up a double-double with 29 assists.

Senior outside Adeja Lambert pounded down a match-high 20 kills to go with seven digs, four blocks and an ace to pace Michigan. Junior outside Carly Skjodt added 11 kills and 10 digs, while senior middle Claire Kieffer-Wright managed nine kills. Redshirt sophomore middle Cori Crocker put up a match-best seven blocks. Junior libero Jenna Lerg was tops defensively with 20 digs.

After trailing 6-4 early in Set 1, USC rallied with 10 of the next 13 points to vault ahead 14-10. Two kills and a block by Lanier led the way. A Ford putaway pushed the advantage to five at 19-14, but Michigan answered to cut the margin to two at 22-20 after three straight Lambert kills. Ford kills made it 24-21 and also clinched the stanza at 25-22. USC hit at an eye-popping .469 clip in the set.

The teams were level at 9-all, before either team pulled away in Set 2. It was USC that struck first, going up five at 17-12 after back-to-back aces by Marina. Lambert tallied two kills and a block to claw the Wolverines back within two at 17-15, but the Trojans answered with six of the next eight, capped by a pair of Garrick aces. A Michigan service error set up another Ford set finale at 25-19. Again, USC was surpremely efficient offensively with a .448 effort, including just one hitting miscue.

Michigan regrouped at intermission and came out swinging, taking a 6-2 lead behind two kills and a block by Lambert. Down 12-8, USC chipped away, eventually tying the score at 12 en route to an 18-13 lead. Three UM miscues couples with a trio of Withers kills aided the 10-1 run. Skjodt came through with three kills as Michigan caught up at 20-all. The Wolverines had the first chance at the set at 24-23 after a pair of Lambert putaways. It was the first of seven combined set-point tries. Kills by Lanier and Ford gave USC a match-point chance at 25-24. The Trojans had another at 28-27, but Michigan closed the set with three-straight points capped by a Jacqueline DiSanto ace.

USC built an early 12-6 lead in Set 4 and held Michigan at bay the rest of the way, never allowing the Wolverines closer than three. Three Withers kills and an ace by Reni Meyer-Whalley put the Trojans up eight at 22-14. A pair of Michigan errors clinched the win for USC at 25-16.

Next up for the Trojans is a 4 p.m. ET matchup with Albany. Meanwhile, Michigan is set for a 10 p.m. ET meeting with Loyola Marymount.



Courtesy: USC Athletics

Powered by a .381 hitting percentage and eight service aces, the USC women’s volleyball team (2-0) stayed unblemished on the season with a 3-1 win (25-22, 25-19, 28-30, 25-16) over 16th-ranked Michigan at Galen Center on Friday, Aug. 25. It was the first-ever meeting on the volleyball court for the two traditional Rose Bowl rivals on the football gridiron.

The Trojans’ sophomore outside hitter Khalia Lanier logged her 17th-career double-double with 19 kills (3e, 38att) on a stellar .421 hitting percentage and 12 digs. Lanier also had two service aces, two solo blocks, and a block assist for a match-high 23.5 points. Junior outside hitter Alyse Ford tallied 15 kills (3e, 31att) with a .387 hitting percentage and was just one dig shy of a double-double with nine. Senior opposite hitter Niki Withers added 12 kills (4e, 29att, .276).

Senior opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie came through with nine kills (2e, 19att, .368) while senior middle blocker Jordan Dunn had six kills (1e, 9att, .556) with four blocks. Junior middle blocker Brittany Welsh put in four kills (1e, 8att, .375) with a block.

The Trojans’ .381 hitting percentage (65k, 14e, 134att) was powered by senior setter Reni Meyer-Whalley (28 assists) and sophomore setter Cindy Marina (29 assists). Marina put together her first USC double-double with 10 digs on defense and added a pair of service aces. Meyer-Whalley had six digs to go with a service ace. Junior libero Victoria Garrick led the team with 17 digs and had a career-high with three service aces.

For the Wolverines, Adeja Lambert led all players with 20 kills (5e, 40att) and did so with a .375 hitting percentage. Lambert also had seven digs and four blocks. Carly Skjodt had 11 kills (5e, 38att, .158) with 10 digs. Jenna Lerg had 20 digs to lead all players.

The Trojans hit remarkably in the opening set with 18 kills (3e, 32att) for a .469 hitting percentage, but Michigan used short bursts to trim the Trojan lead from five down to two at 21-19. The Wolverines got no closer than two points as Ford scored three kills in the final five rallies to seal a 25-22 win. USC hit .448 in the second set (14k, 1e, 29) and got four kills apiece from Abercrombie and Lanier. Garrick dug up eight balls and the Trojans served up five of their eight aces to grab a 25-19 win for a 2-0 lead in the match.

The third set was tied 12 times before the Wolverines took the frame, 30-28. Michigan went ahead by three points at 7-4 and led by as many as four points twice. Down, 12-8, the Trojans reeled off a 10-1 run to take a commanding 18-13 lead, but a Michigan timeout settled the Wolverines who went on a run of their own to knot the score at 19-all. The teams went back and forth but the Wolverines claimed set point first at 24-23, and eventually sealed the deal on a service ace.

Michigan took the first two points of the fourth, but the Women of Troy had other ideas and used a 4-0 run with two kills apiece by Abercrombie and Lanier to turn the tables. USC was never threatened again and ripped the set wide open at 18-12 on back-to-back kills by Withers. Lanier earned her 19th kill for a 23-15 lead before two Wolverine errors slammed the door on any Michigan comeback.

The Women of Troy will conclude their season-opening tournament with a 1 p.m. PT bout against UAlbany (0-2) on Saturday (Aug. 26) at Galen Center. The match 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 Fans of the Women of Troy can follow @USCWomensVolley on Periscope, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram.


  • USC and Michigan met for the first time in the two programs’ histories.
  • Sophomore OH Khalia Lanier had her 17th-career double-double with 19 kills and 12 digs.
  • Sophomore S Cindy Marina posted her first double-double as a Trojan with 29 assists and 10 digs.
  • The Trojans served eight aces including a career-high three by junior libero Victoria Garrick.


Courtesy: Michigan Athletics

After rallying for a 3-0 win over Albany to begin the 2017 season, the No. 16-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team ended opening day with a 3-1 loss (25-19, 25-22, 28-30, 25-16) to USC on Friday night (Aug. 25) at the Galen Center.Senior outside hitter Adeja Lambert put Michigan on the board first with a kill down the line, but the first set was hard-fought from there. Despite big blocks and long rallies, neither team gained more than a two-point lead until back-to-back USC blocks put the Trojans up 13-9 and forced a Michigan timeout. From there, the momentum was in the Trojans’ favor, though back-to-back kills from Lambert put Michigan within two at 21-19. Despite a .290 team attack average and eight kills by Lambert at a .778 clip, Michigan dropped the first set by a 25-22 score.

The second set began much like the first, with both teams scoring point-for-point until the Trojans pulled away for a 15-12 lead going into the TV timeout. Following the stoppage in play, back-to-back USC service aces extended the Trojans’ lead to five and forced Michigan to call another timeout. When play resumed, Michigan rallied for three straight points, but the momentum was still in USC’s favor and the Trojans took the set, 25-19.

Senior middle blocker Claire Kieffer-Wright and Lambert rallied for back-to-back kills to jumpstart the third set. Despite the Wolverines leading by as many as four, the Trojans clawed back with a 4-0 run to tie the score at 12-12 and force a Michigan timeout. From there, USC took control and used the momentum to garner an 18-13 lead and force another timeout, but the Wolverines inched back and came within two at 19-17. A kill from junior outside hitter Carly Skjodt and a USC attack error then forced a 19-19 tie score, and the squads played point-for-point from there. With the score tied at 28-all, a bad set by the Trojans and a service ace by Michigan’s Jacqueline DiSanto gave Michigan a 30-28 third-set victory.

Michigan took the first two points of the fourth set, but the Trojans quickly tied the score and surged ahead for a 10-5 lead to force a Wolverine timeout. From there, USC controlled the momentum of the set and closed out the match with a 25-16 fourth-set win.

Lambert led the Wolverines with 20 kills on the night, coming up just short of her career high. She also finished the match with a .375 attack percentage and seven digs.

Skjodt also finished the night with double-figure kills, totaling 11 to go with 10 digs for her first double-double of the season.

Defensively, sophomore libero Jenna Lerg led the Wolverines with 20 digs, while sophomore middle blocker Cori Crocker recorded a team-high seven blocks.

Michigan will return to play on Saturday (Aug. 26) with a match at Loyola Marymount. The contest, which marks the final match of the USC/LMU Invite, is slated to begin at 7 p.m. PDT at Gersten Pavilion.

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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