LOS ANGELES – The No. 7 Stanford women’s volleyball dropped a 25-21, 25-15, 27-25 decision at second-ranked USC, Friday, at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The Cardinal falls to 10-3 on the season and 3-1 in the Pac-12, while the Trojans move to13-1 overall and 3-0 in the conference.
For the first time since 2011, Stanford was swept in a match. The Cardinal is now 0-2 on the season when being outhit by an opponent. USC posted a .358 attack percentage, while holding Stanford to a .245 clip. The Cardinal managed just four blocks in the match, all coming in the third set.
Senior middle blocker Carly Wopat led the Cardinal offensively with 11 kills on 19 attempts with three errors (.421). Sophomore middle blocker Inky Ajanaku tallied 10 kills and three blocks, while senior Rachel Williams finished with nine kills, six digs and three blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Brittany Howard added seven kills and seven digs, while sophomore Jordan Burgess notched five kills and 12 digs.
USC won the opening set 25-20 to take an early lead in the match. The Trojans pulled ahead 18-11, but the Cardinal fought back cutting the USC lead to two, forcing a timeout to be taken by USC head coach Mick Haley. The Trojans closed out the set on a 3-1 run. Stanford was held to a .186 attack percentage in the set, while USC posted a .350 clip. Wopat led the Cardinal with five kills, while Williams pitched in with four.
The Trojans captured a 2-0 lead in the match with a 25-15 win in the second set. Stanford held the lead early on, but a 9-1 USC run midway through the set gave the Trojans the lead for good. USC again outhit Stanford, .429 to .258. Howard led the Cardinal with four kills in the set, while Williams added three. Stanford went to its bench late in the set as Lydia Bai, Mary Ellen Luck and Kelsey Humphreys all entered the match.
Stanford came out of the intermission on fire, but USC continued to fight and came back to secure the match with a 27-25 victory. The Cardinal led by as many as eight points in the third set, but was unable to hold on down the stretch. Ajanaku led Stanford with six kills and three blocks in the third. Wopat added four kills and a block, while Williams notched two kills and three blocks. USC’s Ebony Nwanebu finished with a match-high 13 kills.
Stanford returns to The Farm next week to play host to Utah on Friday, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. and Colorado on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. The Cardinal’s match against the Utes will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.