Women’s volleyball takes down sixth-ranked Washington

first_imgJunyi Li | Daily TrojanThe women’s volleyball team welcomed No. 6 Washington to the Galen Center on Sunday, as USC geared up for a stiff challenge from the reigning Pac-12 champions. Though the two teams battled closely throughout the match, the Women of Troy pulled off an upset in style, sweeping the Huskies in three sets with scores of 25-20, 25-21 and 28-26.A Trojan upset didn’t seem imminent, however, when Washington found itself up 19-16 late in the first set. But USC turned the tables with a 9-1 run to shock the Huskies with an opening-set victory. Senior opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie, senior opposite hitter Niki Withers and sophomore outside hitter Khalia Lanier combined for six kills in the final 7 points to swing the momentum in their favor to begin the match.The Women of Troy rode similar bursts to a win in the second set. Three unanswered points broke a 5-5 tie, and another 3-0 run gave USC the edge when Washington tied the set at eight apiece. The Trojans didn’t relinquish their advantage from that point, and they took the second set 25-21.The final set was a much tighter affair, as the Huskies tied the score seven times after USC edged in front. But the Women of Troy refused to fall behind, even as the set extended past 25 points. They came up short in 3 match points, but senior middle blocker Jordan Dunn came up with a kill to set up a fourth. Finally, an ace from Withers sealed a 28-26 third-set win and sent the Huskies home. With the victory, USC rose to No. 15 in the AVCA Coaches poll while Washington slipped to No. 9.The Women of Troy were unable to take a single set against Washington when the two teams met last season, but they returned the favor in 2017 thanks to a balanced attack. Abercrombie recorded 13 kills, Withers put down 12 kills and Lanier added 11 more. Abercrombie’s strong day, combined with her 13-kill match against Washington State on Saturday, earned her Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors for the second consecutive week. Overall, the Women of Troy recorded a .214 hitting percentage while holding the Huskies to .131, spurring the team on to its first straight-sets victory over Washington since 2011.The balanced offensive effort also came with equally strong defense.  Leading the back row was junior libero Victoria Garrick, who had 13 digs alongside her eight assists.  Lanier and Meyer-Whalley also added 12 digs each. Though the Huskies out-blocked USC 11-5 on the day, the Women of Troy also had eight more digs as a team, recording 58 to Washington’s 50.Meyer-Whalley earned her fifth consecutive double-double this match, raising her career tally to 14, while Lanier’s 11 kills and 12 digs sealed the sophomore’s 20th double-double in Cardinal and Gold.The Trojans continue Pac-12 play on the road next weekend, facing Arizona State and Arizona. They will face the Wildcats first on Friday night before traveling to Tempe for ASU on Saturday.last_img read more

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Clippers hope to avoid having to mount staggering comebacks vs. Warriors

first_imgUSA Today proclaimed the Clippers “the best thing to happen to the NBA playoffs,” the New York Times profiled Lou Williams (whose 36 points and 11 assists in the game were more than any other reserve in a postseason game since 1985), and ESPN invited Landry Shamet to share his reliable insight on “The Jump.”“It’s been good,” Shamet said Wednesday of the attention, but he quickly added, “at the end of the day we’re 1-1 right now. By no means are we satisfied or feel like we’ve accomplished anything in its entirety, at least.“It’s a good feat to come from behind and tie the series, but me personally, I’m trying to move past all that because we know we probably just (irritated) a sleeping bear. They’re going to be ready to go tomorrow.”“I don’t care,” about the bear, Rivers said. “Because we have to have an extra something.”And then, with his players taking their seats on folding chairs in a semi-circle around a television monitor, Rivers went to show them how. Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters “We’ve just got to be more in sync offensively,” Clippers guard Landry Shamet said Wednesday. “I know they scored 70 points in the first half, but offensively, I think that made a big difference (in the comeback). We were more in sync, making plays for each other, on the same page. Our flow was a whole lot better in the second half.”In the final 24 minutes, the Clippers’ offensive assertiveness and togetherness was rewarded: They went 17 for 19 from the free-throw line (to which they made seven more trips than in the opening half), and they shot 30 for 45 from the field, including 8 for 14 from 3-point range.And as the Clippers – the biggest first-round underdogs in 30 years, at 100-1 – rallied from a statistical 0.1 percent probability of winning with 8:30 on the clock Monday, the nation took notice, either that night as it happened or waking up to the stunning result the next morning.Related Articles What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory center_img The reality, Rivers stressed before (and likely at) Wednesday’s practice: “We have to play better. We understand we won the game, but we’re not going to win the game playing that way. I think we fully understand that. If not, we’re about to when we watch film.”Yes, the Clippers outscored Golden State 72-37 – the best offensive 19 minutes of not just the season, but “of their lives,” Rivers said – down the stretch to win Game 2. But prior to the 7:31 mark of the third quarter on Monday, they were being outscored 215-167 in the series.“I mean, 131 points (total),” said Clippers guard Patrick Beverley, whose job it has been to harass Kevin Durant. “Ain’t nobody really playing no defense, but we were fortunate to get stops when they mattered, to get loose balls when they mattered.”They had squandered opportunities in Game 1 – which was encouraging, insisted the Clippers, who were pleased to have had chances. And it was true: Before the turnaround began in the third quarter, the Clippers had forced 28 turnovers. The problem was that they’d turned them into only 23 points. (Conversely, they’d coughed it up 27 times themselves, miscues the Warriors converted to 34 points).Except for the production of Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell off the bench, the Clippers hadn’t been nearly aggressive enough for Rivers’ liking – especially because against the Warriors, offense might be the best defense. Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error PLAYA VISTA — You’ve just set an NBA record for biggest postseason comeback in NBA history – what are you going to do next?Settle in for a critical film session, naturally.“We came back and what we did was historic, but the reality tells a whole different story,” said Coach Doc Rivers, whose team’s epic comeback evened their first-round Western Conference playoff series with the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors at 1-1. Game 3 is Thursday night at Staples Center.“The reality is that we were down 31, and the reality is we’re not going to win a lot of games against anybody doing that. The reality is they’re shooting over 50 percent and there’s a lot of realities in this series that don’t bode well unless we do something about it.”last_img read more

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