The No. 22-ranked USC women’s volleyball team (11-5, 3-2 Pac-12) recorded the program’s historic 1,000th all-time victory when the Women of Troy defeated Arizona State (7-10, 0-5) in four sets (25-15, 25-18, 25-27, 25-20) on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at Galen Center. The Trojans became just the 17th program in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball history to reach that mark. It is the fifth 100-match milestone for head coachMick Haley who guided the Trojans to their 600th, 700th, 800th, and 900th wins as well.
USC was led by freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier who produced her eighth double-double of the season with a career-high 22 kills (6e, 54att, .296) and 11 digs. Lanier also had a service ace and a block for a match-high 23.5 points. The Trojans had two other players in double-digit kills including junior opposite hitter Niki Withers who had 12 kills (3e, 19att) to hit .474 and sophomore outside hitter Alyse Ford who also tallied 12 kills (2e, 23att) and hit .435. Ford added six digs and a pair of blocks.
Junior opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie put up eight kills (1e) on 24 swings to hit .292. In the middle, junior Jordan Dunn had six kills (3e, 11att, .273) and a block and senior Elise Ruddins had five kills (0e, 12att, .417) to go with four blocks (two solo). The Trojans hit .347 in the match (65k, 15e, 144att) as junior setter Reni Meyer-Whalley had 30 assists and five digs and junior setter Nikki Leonard tallied 22 assists and seven digs. Leonard also served two of the Trojans’ six aces. Defensively, the Women of Troy were led by senior libero Taylor Whittingham who had 23 digs. She also scored on three service aces to go with six assists.
For the Sun Devils, Lexi MacLean had 10 kills (4e, 32att, .188) as did Ivana Jeremic (5e, 24att, .208). Arizona State hit .232 (49k, 17e) on 138 swings and got 20 assists from Nicole Peterson and 19 assists from Kylie Pickrell. Both setters also had six digs apiece.
Lanier did plenty of damage in the first set where she posted eight of her kills to help the Trojans roll to a 25-15 win. USC was never threatened in the opening frame and came out with an 80-percent sideout rate to go with a .516 hitting performance (17k, 1e, 31att). The Trojans continued to roll in the second set and secured a 2-0 lead with a 25-18 win. ASU had a brief 2-1 lead, but a 6-0 run by USC quickly put the second set in the Trojans’ hands. The lead ballooned to six several times, but the Sun Devils pushed to keep the set going before Abercrombie’s kill ended any chance of an ASU comeback.
It took 15 tie scores and six lead changes, but the Sun Devils prevailed in the third frame by completing a 3-1 run to seal a 27-25 victory. Arizona State had its most proficient hitting performance in the set and finished with 18 kills (4e) on 41 attacks for a .341 rate. Despite the Sun Devils’ resurgence, the Trojans had their chances to end the match, up 23-22, late in the third. The fourth set was largely a different story as the Women of Troy jumped out to a quick 7-2 advantage. ASU trimmed the lead to two points at 11-9, but USC went on a 5-2 run to regain its footing with a 16-11 lead. The Trojans never trailed and maintained their four-to-five point cushion to win, 25-20, and seal the team’s victory on Ford’s final kill of the match.
Up next, the Women of Troy host Arizona (10-6, 2-2 Pac-12) on Friday (Oct. 7) at 7 p.m. PT. The program will celebrate Alumni Day when the Trojans and the Wildcats take the floor. The match will be streamed live on USC’s Pac-12 Network portal.
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’s win was the program’s 1,000th all-time. The Trojans become the 17th team in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball history to reach the mark. Head coach Mick Haley has guided USC to each of its last five 100-win milestone victories.
- The Trojans improved to 66-13-1 in all-time meetings against Arizona State and have won three straight.
- The Women of Troy won their third straight match.
- Freshman OH Khalia Lanier recorded her eighth-career double-double with a career-high 22 kills and 11 digs.
- Senior L Taylor Whittingham had 23 digs to mark her 12th match this season in double digits and her seventh over 20.
- Whittingham’s three service aces set a new career high.
Courtesy of USC Athleitcs
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