USC had multiple players put up big numbers in the upset win over Oregon.
Trojans libero Taylor Whittingham picked up 26 digs, putting her at over 1,500 digs for her career. Freshman Khalia Lanier added 23 kills, a career-best while Jordan Dunn put down nine blocks. Setter Reni Meyer-Whalley recorded a double-double with 28 assists and 10 digs.
A consistent front line for the Ducks couldn’t help them against the Trojans. Three players had double-digit kills, Taylor Agost and Ronika Stone with 12 and Lindsey Vander Weide with 11. Stone also contributed seven blocks and two aces.
Courtesy of USC Athletics
EUGENE, Ore. — The USC women’s volleyball team (12-6, 4-3 Pac-12) defeated No. 16 Oregon (12-5, 5-3) in four sets (28-30, 25-22, 25-20, 25-21) at Matthew Knight Arena on Friday, Oct. 14. The Women of Troy remained undefeated and improved to 6-0 in matches played on the road behind a career-high 23-kill performance (7e, 61att, .262) by freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier.
Lanier also added eight digs and had a block to finish with a match-high 23.5 points. Senior middle blocker Elise Ruddins added 12.5 points as she finished with 11 kills (1e, 17att) and a .588 hitting percentage to go with three blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Alyse Ford tallied 10 kills and had eight digs and three blocks.
Junior opposite hitters Niki Withers and Brittany Abercrombie each had seven kills and four blocks apiece. Junior middle blocker Jordan Dunn had two kills but set a new career high with nine blocks (one solo) for seven points. On defense, senior libero Taylor Whittingham put up 26 digs to go with five assists and a service ace. Whittingham became just the fifth Trojan to cross the 1,500-career digs mark and moved into fifth place in USC’s career record books.
USC hit .214 on the night and finished with 60 kills. Junior setter Reni Meyer-Whalley logged her third double-double of the season with 28 assists and 10 digs to go with a service ace. Senior setter Alice Pizzasegola had 20 assists. Off the bench, sophomore defender Victoria Garrick picked up four digs to go with a pair of service aces.
For the Ducks, Ronika Stone and Taylor Agost each finished with 12 kills. Stone added seven blocks (one solo) while Agost went without and error on 27 swings for a .444 hitting percentage. Lindsey Vander Weide had 11 kills but was held to a .086 hitting rate. She also had nine digs and four blocks. Amanda Benson finished with 26 digs. The Trojans erased a pair of six-point deficits and used a 5-0 run to knot the score at 23-all in the first set. USC then took set point four times before the Ducks got back-to-back points to close out a 30-28 win. The Women of Troy scored 20 kills and had four blocks but couldn’t overcome Oregon’s push at the end.
The second frame went back and forth until a 4-0 run put USC on top by a pair at 16-14. Oregon knotted the score at 16-all, but another 4-0 Trojan run put USC up by four, 20-16. The Ducks mounted a comeback push to score five straight points, but Ford’s kill and a big block by Dunn and Abercrombie put the Trojans in front for good at 22-21. Lanier knocked down back-to-back kills to put USC up, 24-22, before Oregon committed the final error for a 25-22 USC win.
Down, 17-13, in the third, Ford and Ruddins teamed for a block that would spark a 6-0 run to flip the score to 19-17 for the Trojans. USC extended on that run to 9-1 for a 22-18 lead before it finished on a 12-3 stretch to sew up a 25-20 win. The Women of Troy held the Ducks to a .075 hitting rate in the third frame (13k, 10e, 40att) to secure the win.
The teams were tied 14 times in the fourth set and the lead changed hands six times before USC went ahead, 21-20, on a kill by Abercrombie and held on to finish off a 25-21 win. Abercrombie’s kill sparked a 5-1 Trojan run that included a pair of kills by Lanier and was topped off by a pair of blocks by Ruddins. The Women of Troy trailed several times in the fourth but only by as many as two points. USC put up four blocks in the final frame to hold Oregon to a .132 hitting rate.
Up next, USC heads north to Corvallis, Ore., for a meeting with Oregon State (8-10, 1-6 Pac-12). The Trojans and the Beavers will meet at Gill Coliseum on Sunday, Oct. 16, with first serve set for noon PT. The match will be shown live on Pac-12 Los Angeles and Pac-12 Oregon with Anne Marie Anderson and Holly McPeak on the broadcast. Visit Pac-12.com/NOW to watch.
For more information on the USC women’s volleyball team and a complete schedule and results, please visit USCTrojans.com. To purchase season and single-match tickets, please visit USCTrojans.com/tickets today. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow @USCWomensVolley on Periscope, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram.
- USC improved to 52-11 in all-time meetings with Oregon and has won three straight. The Trojans also improved to 4-1 in matches against the Ducks played at Matthew Knight Arena.
- The Women of Troy improved to 6-0 and remained undefeated in matches played on the road this season.
- The Trojans reached double digits in blocks for the seventh time this season and finished with 13.0 total.
- Senior libero Taylor Whittingham had 26 digs to become the fifth Trojan to register at least 1,500 career digs. She moved ahead of Alli Hillgren (2006-09; 1,485 digs) into fifth place in USC’s career record books for digs and now has 1,509.
- Whittingham had her 14th match this season in double digits for digs and her eighth over the 20-dig mark.
- Freshman OH Khalia Lanier set a new career high with 23 kills.
- Junior MB Jordan Dunn registered a new career high with nine blocks (one solo).
- Junior setter Reni Meyer-Whalley logged her third-career double-double with 28 assists and 10 digs.
Courtesy of Oregon Athletics
EUGENE, Ore. – No. 16 Oregon volleyball lost consecutive matches for just the second time this season, falling to USC in four sets, 30-28, 22-25, 20-25, 21-25, in front of 2,008 on Friday night at Matthew Knight Arena.
How It Happened: The Ducks (12-5, 5-3 Pac-12) outlasted the Trojans (12-6, 4-3 Pac-12) in a battle of a first set, but were unable to keep pace late in sets over the next three. Taylor Agost was the offensive standout for the Ducks, putting down 12 kills on 27 swings without an error (.444), while Ronika Stone also impressed with 12 kills (.385) and a team-high seven blocks. Lindsey Vander Weide also put down 11 kills while digging nine balls. Maggie Scott recorded her second double-double in as many matches, dishing out 29 assists to go with 10 digs. Amanda Benson led the Ducks with 26 digs, and Stone and Jolie Rasmussen each added a pair of aces. The Ducks were out-hit by the Trojans, .214 to .175, and finished tied with USC with 13 total blocks. The Ducks struggled in sideout opportunities, finding success on just 54 of 102 opportunites (52 percent).
Set 1: The match opened with the Ducks and Trojans trading points through the first few rallies before Oregon scored three straight to take a 11-7 lead and force a USC timeout. The Ducks would score the next two points out of the break to push their run to 5-0 before the Trojans broke it up with a kill by Khalia Lanier. Oregon extended its lead to 18-13 to prompt USC into its second timeout, but the Trojans came out with three unanswered to cut the Oregon lead to 19-16. USC scored its fourth straight point after an Oregon timeout, but a Trojan service error led to three straight Duck points before the Trojans responded with three points in four rallies to get within two at 23-21 and force Oregon’s second timeout. USC’s run would extend to 5-0 to tie the set, 23-23. The two teams would then trade dramatic possessions, with the Trojans fighting off an initial Oregon set point and the Ducks surviving four USC set points to play to a 28-28 tie, with a Vander Weide kill knotting up the score. The Ducks would take advantage of back-to-back Trojan attack errors to win the set in exciting fashion, 30-28. Agost and Stone led the Ducks with four kills each, Vander Weide had three blocks and Benson dug eight balls.
Set 2: The start of the second set mirrored the majority of the first, with the two teams playing to a 10-10 tie before the Trojans later scored four points in five rallies to go up 15-14 at the media timeout. USC would extend its run to 7-2 after to force the Ducks into a timeout with a 19-16 lead. Jim Moore would take his second timeout a point later, and the Ducks would respond with three straight points to get within one, 20-19. Oregon scored two more points after a USC timeout to go up, 21-20, but the Trojans scored five of the last six points to take the set, 25-20. Vander Weide and Stone each had four kills in game two to pace the Ducks, while Benson had six digs with Brooke Van Sickle adding five off the bench. Oregon also had three aces during the set to give them five at intermission.
Set 3: After an initial 8-8 tie, the Ducks scored five points in seven rallies to go up 13-10 and cause a Trojan timeout. Oregon would go up 17-13 before USC responded with a 6-0 stretch to take a two-point lead, 19-17, and eventually stretched that lead to 22-18 with a 9-1 run to force Oregon into the second of its two timeouts. Oregon got within three, 23-20, but back-to-back USC kills sent the Ducks into the fourth set in a 2-1 deficit. Agost led the Ducks with four kills on eight swings, Rasmussen added three and Stone recorded two blocks and an ace.
Set 4: The flow of the game remained the same in the fourth game, as the battle between the Ducks and Trojans continued to a 13-13 tie midway through the set. After USC went up 15-13, the Ducks scored five points in seven rallies to take an 18-17 lead. The Trojans scored two to grab the lead back before the Ducks responded with two of their own to go up 20-19. With the game tied 20-20 the Ducks scored a point on a USC attack error, but the point was nullified after USC successfully challenged a net violation to give the Trojans a 21-20 lead and force Jim Moore to take a timeout. USC would use the momentum from the overturned call to win four of the next five points and win the match with a 25-21 victory.
What It Means: Coming into the week leading the Pac-12 in both hitting percentage and kills per set, the Ducks hit under .200 in back-to-back matches while trailing in kills in both. Oregon had been very successful in hitting around the block through its first 15 matches, but was blocked 27 times in losses to UCLA on Wednesday and tonight to USC. The Ducks continue to distribute the ball across the court, with five different players taking more than 20 swings against the Trojans, but will try to find more lanes to hit through moving forward. With only three conference losses, the Ducks remain in a good position to accomplish their season goals as they move into the stretch run.
Quotes: Head Coach Jim Moore On errors… “I thought we were digging the ball pretty good. We are struggling offensively but we dug a lot of balls, I thought we played defense pretty well.”
On the game… “We are not grinding. That’s literally one of the things I was going to say. We are not grinding it out. We are not getting tough when it gets in a crucial situation. We are in a slump offensively. We have some pin hitters that basically hit zero, they’re all way down there, under .100. Then you really have to grind it out and we are just not doing a very good job of that.”
On the home stand… “Going 1-3 is disappointing. We just have to get tough.”
Up Next: After playing 13 of their first 16 matches at home, the Ducks now head out on the road next week to take on Utah and Colorado. Oregon will head to Salt Lake City on Friday to take on the Utes at 7 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks before turning around and heading to Boulder to play the Buffaloes at 6 p.m. on Saturday.