No. 25 USC Drops Five-Setter to Arizona|
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Nov. 2, 2016
TUCSON, Ariz. -- The No. 25-ranked USC women's volleyball team (15-9, 7-6 Pac-12) fell to Arizona (15-10, 7-6) in five sets (25-23, 18-25, 22-25, 25-17, 15-7) at McKale Center on Wednesday, Nov. 2. The Women of Troy lost their first road match of the season and surrendered the season series to the Wildcats.
Freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier scored 18 kills (9e, 64att, .141) and posted her 11th double-double of the season with 11 digs. Sophomore outside hitter Alyse Ford tallied 16 kills (5e, 36att, .306) with eight digs and a block. Junior opposite hitters Brittany Abercrombie and Niki Withers each had seven kills. Withers added five blocks and Abercrombie had three (one solo).
Senior middle blocker Elise Ruddins put up six kills and was a defensive presence with eight digs and five blocks (one solo). Senior libero Taylor Whittingham had 23 digs. Junior setter Reni Meyer-Whalley dished out 21 assists and posted 13 digs for her fifth double-double of the season. Senior setter Alice Pizzasegola had 23 assists and five digs.
For the Wildcats, Kendra Dahlke led with 19 kills and had nine digs. Kalei Mau added 15 kills and 12 digs for a double-double. McKenzie Jacobson had 10 kills and hit .381. Katarina Pilepic had seven kills and was the spark for Arizona in the decisive fifth set. Penina Snuka led all players with 24 digs and had 47 assists and two service aces.
The Trojans rolled out to a quick 5-1 lead to open the match and then scored a six-point lead at 13-7. USC held a five-point advantage at 17-12 when the Wildcats ripped off a 6-0 run to wrestle the lead away from the Trojans. USC responded with a 4-1 run to lead, 21-19, but the Wildcats got back-to-back kills from Dahlke to close out a 25-23 win in the first set.
Arizona flipped the script and took a 5-1 lead to open the second set, but USC used a 9-1 run to claim a 10-6 lead. The Wildcats scored a 4-0 run to knot the score at 12, but USC responded with a 4-0 run of its own to lead, 16-12. That run ballooned into another 9-1 run and put an eight-point gash between the teams at 21-13 when Lanier, Ruddins, and Abercrombie strung three kills together in a row. In a match of runs, Arizona put together one more 3-0 run to close within five at 21-16, but Ford tooled the Wildcat block for her seventh kill of the night and sealed a 25-18 win for the Trojans.
Down, 7-5, in the third set, the Trojans embarked on an 8-1 run including six straight points to lead, 13-8. The teams traded points for some time, but the Wildcats pushed for a 4-0 run to knot the score at 21-all. Lanier scored the next three USC points on kills before Ruddins and Withers teamed up to stuff Dahlke to close the books on a 25-22 win and a 2-1 Trojan lead in the match.
The Trojans used a 4-0 run to snatch a 9-8 lead, but the teams went back and forth until Trojans knotted the score at 12-all. The Wildcats scored the next three points and then closed out a 25-17 win using a 13-5 spurt. The Wildcats carried that momentum into the fifth where they pulled out to an insurmountable 8-1 lead, The Trojans got within five at 12-7, but Arizona slammed the door on any USC comeback as it sewed up a 15-7 win for the 3-2 match victory.
The Trojans continue their four-match road swing with a visit to Arizona State (9-15, 2-10 Pac-12) on Friday, Nov. 4. USC and the Sun Devils will square off at 6 p.m. PT at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz. The 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 tickets, please visit USCTrojans.com/tickets today. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow @USCWomensVolley on Periscope, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram.