No. 8 USC Breaks Cardinal Rule in Four-Set Victory Over No. 1 Stanford
Nov. 15, 2012
LOS ANGELES - For the second time this season, the USC women's volleyball team took out the top-ranked team in the nation. This time, the eighth-ranked Women of Troy (25-4, 13-4 Pac-12) ended No. 1 Stanford's 22-match winning streak and put the first blemish of the season on the Cardinal's league record with a four-set win, 25-19, 25-20, 27-29, 25-22, at the Galen Center on Thursday, Nov. 15. USC's win is its fourth in a row and drops Stanford to 24-3 overall with a 16-1 mark in the Pac-12.
Neither team would let the ball drop as USC recorded a season-high 112 digs and Stanford had 117. Junior libero Natalie Hagglund had the most impressive night of all as she etched her name into the Trojan record books with a career-high 44 digs. Her total is the second highest in a single match, ever, by a USC player and the most, ever, for a Trojan in a four-set match. Hagglund was just one dig short of tying the all-time USC record of 45 digs set in a five-set match by Debora Seilhamer on Nov. 12, 2004, in a road match against UCLA.
Four USC players logged double-double matches, but offensively, the Trojans leaned on freshman outside hitter Samantha Bricio who had match-high honors with 19 kills (5e, 62att, .226) and recorded a career high with 22 digs for her 10th double-double of the season. Bricio added two service aces to lead all players with 21.0 points.
At the other antenna, senior opposite hitter Katie Fuller had her sixth double-double of the year with 12 kills and 14 digs. Junior outside Sara Shaw had her fifth double-double with 15 kills and 14 digs, but the Trojans welcomed junior middle Alexis Olgard to the double-double club as she posted her first-ever with 12 kills (0e, 27att, .444) and 10 digs. Olgard also led all players with five blocks (one solo).
Thanks to a career-best 58 assists from sophomore setter Hayley Crone, Olgard wasn't the only offensively flawless Trojan as freshman middle Alicia Ogoms put down eight kills (0e) on 17 swings for a .471 hitting percentage.
For the Cardinal, Brittany Howard was impressive with 15 kills and 22 digs while Jordan Burgess had 15 kills and 25 digs. Kyle Gilbert put in a strong effort with 32 digs while middle Inky Ajanaku had 11 kills (.333) and three blocks.
With the first-set score tied at three-all, the Trojans made a move on three straight kills to grab a 6-3 lead when Fuller put her shot through the Cardinal block. USC led by four points, 10-6, when Ogoms knocked down a kill on a quick set before Shaw went down the line for another point. It wasn't enough as Stanford cut into the Trojan lead and caught up at 13-all off a back-row kill from Burgess. The Trojans went right back ahead when Olgard got the kill and took a two-point lead at 15-13 as Bricio went cross-court for the point. Bricio claimed another cross-court kill and followed it up with a service ace to help USC lead by four once more at 19-15. Bricio then went hard on an angle shot to get the Trojans to set point at 24-19 before Olgard topped things off with her kill on Crone's quick set. The Trojans hit .333 in the first set with 18 kills (3e) on 45 swings while Hagglund's 15 digs helped hold the Cardinal to 14 kills (3e, 42att) for a .262 hitting rate.
Stanford held a 6-4 lead on a kill from Morgan Boukather, but Fuller came out of the back row to get a kill on the right side and Bricio aced Howard to knot the score at six-all. The Cardinal led again, but Shaw's line shot put the Trojans up at 9-8 before Olgard made it 12-10 for Troy on one of her three kills in a five-rally span. USC never trailed, again, but the Cardinal made things interesting when Howard turned an overpass into points on a kill to tie the score at 16-all. Olgard did the same thing on the other side of the net to put the Trojans up, 19-17, but Stanford earned two straight points for the final tie of the set. USC had five of the final six points and cruised into set-point position on two consecutive kills from Fuller. Ogoms put an errant pass to the floor to close out USC's 25-20 win and put Stanford in its first 2-0 hole of the season. USC had 15 kills (4e, 41att) to hit .268 in the second set while Stanford hit .216 with 13 kills (5e) on 37 swings.
In a barnburner of a third set, the Cardinal stormed back from down four set points and fought through extra points to earn the 29-27 win. The third frame saw 17 tie scores and 10 lead changes, but USC held at 24-20 lead when Olgard went up to stuff an attack by Howard, but Burgess got three kills in five rallies to put the Cardinal in front, 25-24. The Trojans brushed off the Stanford push and reclaimed set point at 27-26 as Bricio tipped her attack to the ground, but the Cardinal had the last three points of the set to seal the win on kills by Burgess, Howard, and Ajanaku on a slide play. Stanford's offense came to life at the end of the set and finished with 20 kills (9e) on 78 swings to post a .141 attack rate while USC had 18 kills (5e) on 78 attacks for a .167 percentage.
Stanford built its biggest lead of the match at 8-4 in the fourth set, but the Trojans fought back and claimed an 11-10 lead as Shaw recorded five of her kills in just eight rallies. USC held its lead and went up, 15-13, when Bricio terminated from the left side; then had a two-point lead at 17-15 on a quick-set kill by Ogoms. Still, Stanford persisted and tied the score at 17-all on two straight kills from Ajanaku. USC tried to pull away again and had a two-point lead at 20-18 when Crone dumped her pass for a kill, but Fuller had her attack blocked to leave the score tied at 21-all. Bricio decided to take matters into her own hands and pushed the Trojans in front, 23-21, on a pair of kills before she tooled the Cardinal block for the final point of the match. USC hit .295 in the final set with 16 kills (3e, 44att) while Stanford was held to a .174 outing on 46 swings (15k, 7e).
The Trojans turn around to host California (14-13, 8-9) on Friday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. PT. The Golden Bears were defeated in three sets by fifth-ranked UCLA, earlier tonight. In their regular-season home finale against Cal, the Women of Troy will celebrate Senior Night and the contributions of Natasa Siljkovic, Erin Yoder, and Katie Fuller in pre-match ceremonies. Please visit www.USCTrojans.com for more information.