No. 24 USC Volleyball Bounces Buffaloes in Sweep|
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Oct. 29, 2016
LOS ANGELES -- The No. 24-ranked USC women's volleyball team (15-8, 7-5 Pac-12) defeated Colorado (12-10, 4-8) in straight sets (25-23, 25-22, 25-21) at Galen Center on Saturday, Oct. 29. The Women of Troy snapped a short two-match skid and stayed undefeated in all-time matches against the Buffaloes (14-0).
Freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier tallied 13 kills (6e, 32att) and hit .219 in the match to go with seven digs and a pair of service aces. Sophomore outside hitter Alyse Ford had eight kills (3e, 21att, .238) and added an ace of her own to go with a solo block. On the other end of the net, junior opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie recorded seven kills without an error (17att) to hit .412 in the match. Junior opposite hitter Niki Withers had six kills and added four blocks and three digs to her final line.
In the middle, senior middle blocker Elise Ruddins finished with four kills and four blocks (one solo) and junior middle blocker Jordan Dunn had three kills and three blocks. On defense, senior libero Taylor Whittingham led all players with 15 digs. The Trojans got 17 assists and six digs from junior setter Reni Meyer-Whalley. Senior setter Alice Pizzasegola had 15 assists and six digs.
For the Buffaloes, Gabby Simpson led the way with 12 kills (1e, 17att, .647) and logged a triple-double with 17 assists and 11 digs. Alexa Smith rang up 11 kills (6e, 26att, .192) to go with nine digs. Cierra Simpson tied her sister Gabby with 11 digs.
The Trojans led by as many as six points in the opening set, but Colorado trimmed the 21-15 deficit to a single point thanks to a 5-0 run. Dunn stopped the bleeding with her kill and the Trojans never let the Buffaloes any closer as Lanier's kill closed out a 25-23 win. The Women of Troy hit .333 in the opening set (14k, 5e, 27att) but survived a hot Colorado attack that hit .370 (13k, 3e, 27att).
The Women of Troy never trailed in the second set and built a nine-point lead at 13-4, but the Buffaloes went on a small run to cut the lead to five at 15-10 and then to just two points at 22-20. Withers and Ruddins teamed up to block Smith on the next play and then Lanier serve an ace for set point at 24-20. The Buffaloes saved a pair, but Ford tooled the Colorado block to close out the 25-22 win.
USC never trailed in the final set, much the same as in the second frame. A 5-0 run by the Trojans that included two kills by Ford and one by Withers put a 10-4 lead on USC's side of the scoreboard. The Buffaloes mounted a charge and erased all but a single point of the Trojans' lead when Smith earned a kill at 17-16. A Ruddins kill and a second Lanier ace put the Trojans on top, 20-17, before Ruddins got up for the stuff block and a 21-17 USC lead. Withers' crosscourt kill gave the Trojans set point at 24-21 before Dunn rejected Smith for a solo block to tie a ribbon on a 25-21 win and the 3-0 sweep.
The Trojans will play their next four matches on the road and will visit the desert for matchups at Arizona (Nov. 2) and Arizona State (Nov. 4) next week. The USC-Arizona match will be shown live at 7 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Los Angeles and Pac-12 Arizona. The USC-ASU match will be streamed live at Pac-12.com/live. The following week, the Trojans travel to the Bay Area (Nov. 10-12).
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.