Women's Volleyball Drops First Match Of Season To Cardinal

Nov. 2, 2002

LOS ANGELES - In front of a capacity crowd of 2,115 at the Lyon Center, the No. 1-ranked Women of Troy endured a heartbreaker as they fell 3-2 (30-26, 16-30, 26-30, 30-28, 16-14) to the sixth-ranked Stanford Cardinal on Saturday night.

With their first loss of 2002, the Women of Troy drop to 19-1 overall and 12-1 in the Pac-10, while Stanford improves to 21-3 overall and 11-2 in conference play. The loss also put an end to USC's 19-0 start - its best start in 25 years. The Trojans maintain a one-match lead ahead of the Cardinal in the Pac-10 race.

Earlier this season in the Bay Area, the Trojans and Cardinal put on a spectacular display, while USC emerged a 3-2 victor. Tonight's match was also nothing less than spectacular, but at the end the tables had turned.

The teams matched each other point-for-point in game one. The game featured 17 tie scores until Stanford managed to break away after 24-24 with three consecutive points, giving the Cardinal enough of a cushion to earn the 30-26 victory.

Following the Trojans' game one wake-up call - their first opening game loss this season - USC picked up the intensity in game two. After knotting the score at seven apiece, the Women of Troy used a four-point and six-point rally, with April Ross at the service line each time, to roll to a 30-16 win. Stanford collected only seven kills and posted seven errors (.000) in the effort, while USC hit .350 (19-5-40).

Stanford took the first lead in game three, but the Trojans trailed by no more than three points before eventually evening the score at 14-14. After exchanging points for a few rotations, the Cardinal gave USC two key points thanks to errors that put the Trojans in control of the game. The Women of Troy won 30-26 and took a 2-1 lead in the match.

The contest seemed to be decided midway through game four when the Women of Troy took a five-point lead at 25-20. But the tone quickly changed when USC committed five attack errors, allowing Stanford to knot the score at 28-28 and eventually post the final two points for the 30-28 win.

And so the two teams entered a fifth game for the second time this season. The score was tied at 2, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13 and even 14-14 when a kill by Ross prevented the Trojans' elimination. But a USC attack error and a kill by Cardinal freshman Ogonna Nnamani sealed the Stanford 16-14 win.

The Women of Troy had six attackers with double-digit kills and four players with double-digit digs. Senior Lauren Killian led with a .414 attack percentage and added a career-high 16 kills, while middle blocker Emily Adams posted a career-best six solo blocks and seven total blocks. Libero Nicole Davis matched her career high with 24 digs on the night.

USC next travels to Oregon to face the Ducks and Beavers on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8 and 9.

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