Women’s volleyball beats ASU for 1,000th program win

first_imgTrevor Sochocki | Daily TrojanSpiking their way to history · Senior middle blocker Elise Ruddins finished with 5 kills to help USC win its 1,00th win in program history.The No. 22 Women of Troy claimed their 1,000th win in program history en route to its fourth consecutive victory overall after beating Arizona State 3-1 at the Galen Center on Wednesday night.Arizona State made the match interesting after winning the third set and avoiding the sweep, but USC  claimed the fourth set 25-20 to close out the win.“I was really pleased with our match tonight … We’ve got our outside [hitters] all scoring in pretty good numbers,” head coach Mick Haley said.The match began with strong Trojan momentum. Freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier, junior outside hitter Niki Withers and senior middle blocker Elise Ruddins led the team’s offense with 8 kills for Lanier, 3 for Withers, and 3 for Ruddins. Throughout the first set, the Trojans maintained a decently-sized lead, not allowing the Sun Devils to get within 5 points of them. Junior opposite Brittany Abercrombie and sophomore outside hitter Alyse Ford soon added to the scoreboard for the Trojans. Senior libero Taylor Whittingham contributed to the momentum by holding a strong defense and acing her serves.Meanwhile, the Sun Devils lacked coherence, with blocking errors and both serves and kills going out of bounds. The Trojans won the first set 25-15 with 17 cumulative kills for the team.The second set was a more even pace. After the first few rallies, the Trojans took control of their serve receive and pulled ahead. Withers and Lanier maintained offensive domination with their kills and serves. Junior middle blocker Jordan Dunn also began to step up with 3 kills in the set.Arizona State’s Cassidy Pickerell, Oluoma Okar and Jasmine Koontes attempted to respond, but the closest the Sun Devils came to the Trojans was a 20-17 deficit. Withers ended the set with 5 kills and Lanier with 4. The Trojans took the second set as well after a well-placed kill from Abercrombie.“Our passing is better and better and better,” Haley said. “We are really starting to stay in rhythm now. We had a little dip in the serving concentration but that will happen every once in awhile.”The third set saw a series of both kill and defensive errors that put the Trojans behind the Sun Devils. A kill from Ruddins gave the Trojans the opportunity to get back in control of the ball, but ASU returned with a kill from Maya McClendon and an ace from Nicole Peterson to put the Sun Devils in charge.After a sub change, the Trojans regained a 3-point lead. However, this was quickly returned by ASU, and it came back to lead USC by one. The lead went back and forth, but the Sun Devils eventually took the third set 27-26 with a kill by Ivana Jeremic.“Arizona State is physical and played much better tonight on controlling the ball,  so maybe this was one of their better matches,” Haley said.At the start of the fourth set, the Trojans appeared more balanced and in control. Abercrombie started off the momentum with a quick kill that caught ASU off guard. The Trojans began with a 5-point lead. Withers, Ford and Lanier continued to contribute on offense. The confidence the  Women of Troy had been playing with in the first two sets returned in this set, leading to a historic 25-20 win for the Trojans.last_img

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