No. 7 Cardinal Women Fall To No. 1 USC, 3-1

Nov. 14, 2003

Los Angeles, Calif. - Freshman outside hitter Kristin Richards tallied 12 kills and a team-high 20 digs as the seventh-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team fell to No. 1 USC tonight, 3-1, in Los Angeles, Calif. Game scores were 30-27, 13-30, 18-30, 18-30.

USC improves to 25-0 overall, 16-0 in the Pac-10 while Stanford is now 19-6 overall, 12-4 in league play.

Game one remained close early on with neither team gaining more than a two-point advantage. A kill by Jennifer Harvey gave Stanford the 14-12 lead and a Trojan hitting error put the Cardinal up 15-12 heading into the media timeout. Behind the tough serving of Jennifer Hucke and a couple great digs by Leahi Hall, Stanford built a 19-12 lead to force a Trojan timeout. USC would close the gap to 17-21 after a kill by April Ross as the Cardinal took their first timeout. Stanford continued to push forward reaching 24-20 on a kill by Sara Dukes and went up 27-22 on a kill by Harvey to force the final Trojan timeout. The Cardinal reached game point at 29-25 on a kill by Ogonna Nnamani. But USC would not go quietly holding off two game points as Stanford took its final timeout at 29-27. A final kill by Nnamani sealed the win for the Cardinal, 30-27.

The two squads stayed close early in game two until a four-point run by USC gave the Trojans an 11-6 lead as Stanford called their first timeout. The Women of Troy continued to gain momentum going up 15-7 as the Cardinal used their final timeout of game two. USC continued to roll, winning game two, 30-13. Stanford hit .048 for the game while the Trojans checked in with a .500 hitting percentage.

Once again game three remained tight early until USC took a four-point lead at 12-8 on an April Ross kill then took a 15-9 advantage into the media timeout. Stanford took their first timeout trailing 10-18 after back-to-back Trojan kills. USC used their momentum, building a 10-point lead at 25-15 on another Ross kill. The Trojans led 26-18 and scored the final four points of the game to win 30-18 and take a two games to one lead in the match.

With game four knotted at six-all, USC scored seven of the next eight points to go up 13-7 as the Cardinal called their first timeout. Stanford closed the gap to four, trailing 14-18, after a kill by Ogonna Nnamani. But the Trojans scored the next three points to push the lead back to seven and forced the final Cardinal timeout at 22-15. USC would close out the game and match at 30-18 after a Stanford blocking error.

Junior Ogonna Nnamani led the team with 14 kills on night while senior middle blocker Jennifer Harvey added 12 on the night. Senior Sara Dukes chipped in an additional 11 kills. Junior Leahi Hall added 11 digs to the effort.

USC was led by Keao Burdine's 24 kills, followed by Bibiana Candelas' 20 kills. Libero Nicole Davis led the match with 31 digs on the evening.

Stanford will close out the 2003 Pac-10 schedule at home next week, hosting Oregon and Oregon State in Maples Pavilion.

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