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Women’s volleyball splits weekend trip to Washington

first_imgSenior opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie racked up 27 kills over the weekend as the Trojans split a two-match weekend versus Washington and Washington state. Photo by Austin Paik | Daily TrojanThe women’s volleyball team returned from Washington with a 1-1 record over the weekend, narrowly losing in a five-set thriller against No. 14 Washington on Friday before sweeping Washington State on Sunday. The Trojans move to 16-7 on the season with the weekend split. Against the Huskies, the Women of Troy kept close in the first frame, but Washington used a 7-2 run to distance itself from the Trojans to take the opening set 25-19. The Trojans surged past the Huskies to take second set 25-16 and scored on critical possessions to stop their opponent’s momentum. In the crucial third set, USC opened strong but found itself in a tight battle, holding a 21-20 edge. Senior opposite hitter Niki Withers scored on two crucial possessions toward the end of the set to lift USC to a 25-22 win and a 2-1 overall lead.The fourth set was a seesaw battle with no team gaining real control, going into a tiebreaker and continuing until both teams were tied at 30. A kill by Tia Scambray and a USC service error brought an end to the marathon set, and Washington tied the match at 2-2. In the final set of the grueling battle, the Women of Troy jumped out to an early 6-3 lead, but a 7-0 Washington run tilted the momentum in Washington’s favor. The Huskies never looked back, and they took the fifth set 15-12 to send USC away with its third loss in the last four matches. In the absence of sophomore outside hitter Khalia Lanier, freshman opposite hitter Brooke Botkin stepped up to lead the Women of Troy with 20 kills in Seattle. Senior opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie also chipped in with 19 kills. Both of USC’s setters, senior Reni Meyer-Whalley and sophomore Cindy Marina, tallied 30-plus assists each. Despite the loss, the Women of Troy bounced back to sweep Washington State 3-0 on Sunday. In a tight first set that saw 14 different deadlocks, the Cougars and Trojans battled to a 23-23 stalemate. However, junior outside hitter Alyse Ford scored a crucial kill to put the Women of Troy ahead 24-23, before a service error by the Cougars handed the Trojans the opening frame.The Women of Troy cruised from there. They fought to a narrow 17-16 lead in the second set but went on an 8-0 run to take a two-set lead. The Trojans then jumped out to a 11-4 lead in the third set and never looked back, limiting the Cougars to just 13 points en route to a 25-13 win, closing the match on a 6-0 run. Ford led USC with 14 kills in the short three-set sweep, and freshman opposite hitter Brooke Botkins tallied 10 kills. Abercrombie and Withers chipped in with a combined 17 kills, while senior middle blocker Jordan Dunn scored five kills and led the USC defense with eight block assists. Meyer-Whalley and Marina combined for 35 assists in the winning effort. With the split, the Women of Troy moved up to No. 17 in this week’s AVCA Coaches poll. The Women of Troy return home to the Galen Center this weekend, as they face Arizona State at 7 p.m. on Friday and Arizona at 11 a.m. on Sunday.last_img read more