No. 6 USC Upsets No. 3 Cardinal
Oct. 27, 2007
Los Angeles, Calif. - Five Stanford players recorded double-figure kills. Freshman Gabi Ailes dug a career-high 31 balls. Cynthia Barboza and Bryn Kehoe posted their 13th and 11th double-doubles of the season. Yet, the Stanford women's volleyball team fell for just the second time in 2007, dropping a four-game contest to No. 6 USC in Los Angeles, 20-30, 30-25, 30-24, 30-28. The Cardinal falls to 20-2 overall with the loss, and 9-2 in conference play. USC improves to 19-3, 8-3 Pac-10 and remains undefeated at the Galen Center.
Junior middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo recorded a team-high 20 kills, hit .485, and added five blocks for the second night in a row. Barboza added 18 kills and 12 digs, while Kehoe tallied season highs with 66 assists and 18 digs. Freshman Alix Klineman chipped in 14 kills, and senior middle blocker Franci Girard posted double-figure kills for the second straight match. Junior opposite Erin Waller turned in a season-high 11 kills, and Ailes recorded the first 30+ dig performance of her career. USC's Asia Kaczor made the difference for USC, however, pounding 28 kills at the Cardinal.
Stanford was out-hit for the first time all year, .284 to .273.
Akinradewo powered the Cardinal early, notching a block and two kills on her first trip through the front row, and Stanford surged in front 6-1 in game one to force a USC timeout. The Cardinal pushed further ahead after a series of kills by Girard, Barboza and Waller at 10-3 and refused to let the Trojans back in the game. Klineman led a 5-1 Cardinal run to give Stanford a 10-point lead at 17-7, and back-to-back Akinradewo kills pushed it to a dozen at 24-12. Stanford's largest lead was 14 on two occasions, with the last coming at 27-13. USC put together a late 7-1 run to prevent a rout, but consecutive kills by Girard and Waller finally sealed the Stanford win, 30-20. Girard, Waller and Akinradewo notched four kills apiece in the opening game, and the Cardinal out-hit the Trojans .333 to .184.
USC jumped out to its first lead of the match at 4-1 in game two, and despite three separate Cardinal rallies, managed to hold that lead for the rest of the game. The Trojans took a four-point lead at 10-6, and extended it to five at 17-12. With the Trojans ahead 20-15, Girard spurred a 5-0 Cardinal run that put the game into its first tie since 5-5, using two blocks and a kill to knot the score at 20. USC answered with four consecutive points, however, and put the Cardinal at a deficit it couldn't recover from. Klineman cut the lead to two with a kill at 26-24, but USC took four of the last five points to win the game, 30-25. Kaczor tallied eight kills in the game, and USC out-hit Stanford .311 to .267.
Game three played out just like game two, with the Trojans taking a quick 4-1 lead, the Cardinal coming back to tie at 4-4, and, once again, USC racing ahead by as much as five early on. The Trojans held onto the lead, increasing it to six for the first time at 19-13. Stanford put together a 5-1 run to pull within two at 21-19, but USC wouldn't allow the game to get any closer. The Trojans strung together three straight points, then won four of the final five to take the game, 30-24. Stanford was out-hit .432 to .255 in the game, and Kaczor continued to dominate with nine kills in game three alone.
It was the Cardinal that strung together an early series of points in game four, taking a 6-3 lead on a block by Akinradewo and Waller. The Cardinal held onto the lead until 12-11, but the Trojans turned in four points in a row to take a 15-12 lead at the media break. Stanford responded with a 6-1 run that was capped by a decisive kill by Akinradewo and gave the Cardinal an 18-16 lead. Kaczor led the USC fight back, however, pounding three consecutive kills and spurring a 5-0 USC run to give the Trojans a 23-19 lead. Three kills by Barboza carried Stanford on a 6-2 run that tied things at 25, but USC pulled back ahead, 28-26. Stanford tied at 28 on back-to-back Akinradewo kills, but a USC tip and a Stanford hitting error end the game, 30-28, in favor of the Trojans. Stanford out-hit the Trojans .239 to .222 in the final game.
Stanford returns home next week, and will attempt to sweep the Oregon schools for the second time this season. The Cardinal meets the 16th-ranked Oregon Ducks on Thursday and the Oregon State Beavers on Friday, both at 7 p.m. in Maples Pavilion.