Women's Volleyball
    No. 7 USC Drops Season Opener to Golden Eagles

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    Aug. 26, 2016

    Final Stats |  Notes  | Final Statistics (PDF) Get Acrobat Reader

    LOS ANGELES -- The No. 7-ranked USC women's volleyball team (0-1) fell in four sets (16-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-22) in its season opener against Marquette (1-0) at the Galen Center on Friday, Aug. 26. The Women of Troy were led by junior opposite hitter Niki Withers who had 13 kills (2e, 24att) and hit .458 in the match.

    Sophomore outside hitter Alyse Ford contributed 12 kills and picked up eight digs. Junior opposite Brittany Abercrombie logged nine kills (4e, 29att, .172) and freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier had nine kills to go with 12 digs and a solo block in her collegiate debut. Defensively, USC also had 11 digs each from senior libero Taylor Whittingham and junior setter Reni Meyer-Whalley who finished with a double-double on account of her 25 assists.

    USC hit .169 in the match (29e, 136att) and had 52 kills to go with five blocks and a pair of service aces. For the Eagles, Taylor Louis led the way with 12 kills (5e, 41att, .171). Sara Blasier had 31 assists, seven digs, two blocks, and two service aces in the winning effort. Marquette hit .183 in the match (17e, 126att) with 40 kills and posted seven blocks.

    USC got out of the gate churning and never trailed in the first set to nab a nine-point win over the Eagles. However, Marquette turned the tables and pulled away for a four-point lead at 13-9 in the second set, and completed a 25-20 win despite the Trojans' best efforts; including pulling even at 13-all.

    The Eagles built a five-point nest at 6-1 in the third frame, and let the Trojans no closer than by just four points before they went on to secure a second 25-20 win and a 2-1 lead in the match. USC scored a 13-all tie in the fourth set, but Marquette capitalized on Trojan errors to keep a steady distance. The Trojans pulled within two points at 22-20 and at 24-22, but the Eagles flew off with the win.

    Up next, the Trojans face Santa Clara (1-0) at 10 a.m. PT on Saturday, Aug. 27. USC then wraps the Baden Invitational against UC Irvine (0-1) at 8 p.m. PT. Both matches will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks. A free audio stream, with links on USCTrojans.com, is also available with play-by-play by Paul Duchesne.

    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.

    MATCH NOTES

    • USC fell to 34-7 in all-time season openers.
    • The Trojans also fell to 34-7 in all-time home openers, with a 7-3 mark at the Galen Center.
    • Marquette pulled even in the all-time series with the Trojans at 1-1 and handed USC its first loss to an unranked opponent since Nov. 21, 2014 (at Oregon State).
    • The Golden Eagles became just the fourth non-conference opponent to claim a victory over the Trojans at the Galen Center. The other three teams to hold that distinction are Hawai'i (2008, 2009), Texas A&M (2014), and Florida (2014).
    • Junior OPP Niki Withers set a new USC career high with 13 kills. She had 15 kills in 2015.
    • Freshman OH Alyse Ford recorded a new career mark with eight digs.
    • Junior S Reni Meyer-Whalley logged the Trojans' first double-double of the season with 25 assists and 11 digs.