No. 5 Stanford Battles To 3-2 Win Over No. 13 USC

Nov. 26, 2005

LOS ANGELES -- Kristin Richards had a career-high 35 kills Saturday as the No. 5 Stanford Cardinal battled to the 3-2 (30-27, 21-30, 30-21, 27-30, 15-13) victory over the No. 13 USC Women of Troy in Pac-10 women's volleyball action. It was the regular season finale for both teams.

USC senior two-time All-American Bibiana Candelas had a career night with 36 kills. Staci Venski also went out in style for the Women of Troy on Senior Night with a career-best 26 kills. Candelas hit .438 (35-14-73) on the evening.

Stanford improves to 25-5 overall and finishes in a tie for second place with Arizona at 14-4. USC falls to 16-10 overall with a fourth-place finish and a 12-6 mark.

Richards had a strong night defensively with 22 digs and no serve reception errors in 21 attempts.

USC's Diane Copenhagen had eight kills, 16 digs and no reception errors in 37 attempts. Stanford's Foluke Akinradewo had 22 kills and led her team with a .372 percentage (22-6-43).

Erin Waller started a key run in game one for the Cardinal, starting a run of four straight points, ginving Stanford a 25-20 lead. Nji Nnamani closed out the victory with a kill.

Candelas sparked a run late in game two as the Women of Troy pulled away after a 16-14 advantage. She had three of the team's final five points.

Waller again led the way midway through game three, adding a service ace as Stanford took a 2-1 lead in the match.

Copenhagen used a solo block in the fourth game late as USC forced the fifth and deciding game.

Stanford jumped out to a 6-3 lead in the final game. Down 8-5, USC used a 4-1 run to even the game at 9-9. The Cardinal edged ahead for a 12-10 lead and Richards made it 13-11 with her final kill of the evening. Candelas recorded a kill and a Stanford attacking error tied the game at 13 apiece, but Waller's cross-court kill and a dual block by Nnamani and Akinradewo sealed the match victory.

ESPNNEWS will carry tomorrow's broadcast for the 64-team NCAA Tournament bracket at 11:30 a.m. Pacific.

STAN	30-21-30-27-15USC	27-30-21-30-13

Records: STAN (25-5, 14-4), USC (16-10, 12-6)Kills: Kristin Richards 35 (STAN), Bibiana Candelas 36 (USC)Team Attack: STAN USC1 .283 .2222 .176 .3703 .372 .1434 .273 .3005 .238 .227Totals .268 .256


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