Volleyball splits road trip against CU, Utah

first_imgJunior outside hitter Khalia Lanier picked up a total of 47 kills over the weekend and now has the sixth most kills all-time at USC.  (Tal Volk / Daily Trojan) The USC women’s volleyball team dominated Colorado Friday before falling to No. 18 Utah Sunday to cap off its weekend road trip. Sophomore setter Raquel Lázaro had a big day against Utah with 55 assists and her 10th double-double of the season. Still, her performance wasn’t enough, and USC could not manage the win. After the relatively smooth win, the Trojans learned a different fate and took a heartbreaking loss against the Utes. USC won the first two sets, but Utah stormed back and won the last three for the win.  Senior outside hitter Khalia Lanier had another impressive night with a total of 24 points and 21 kills. The versatile Lanier didn’t stop there, holding up solid defense with three blocks, three digs and one service ace.  “I think the start is something we struggle with a little, even in the sets that we won,” Lanier said. “I think every set, you have to enter into it with the mentality that it’s 0-0. Even if you win and you came out with a hot start, you can’t expect that to flow into the next game.” However, after the two sets, the Trojans allowed Utah to run away with leads for the rest of the match. The Utes limited the Trojans offensively, and USC struggled to get its rhythm back.  “At the end of the day, during most games, it’s usually us not meeting the expectations we set for ourselves or losing focus sometimes,” Lanier said. “If we could learn how to coagulate our focus … that would be great for us.” The team appeared rattled in the last few sets, and its defense could not slow Utah down as USC allowed multiple players to tally double-digit kills. Every time the Trojans seemed to be starting a run, they would get shut down by the Utah defense.  USC had complete control early on against Colorado. In the opening set, USC posted a .286 hitting percentage and collected 16 kills. Though the score went back and forth in the opening set, the Trojans were able to get the win and followed it up with a 25-20 victory in the second set.  Although USC won, Lanier said the team needs to work on avoiding deficits early in sets.  The Trojans’ blocking in the first two sets was phenomenal, and they limited the Utes on defense when they needed a big run.  The Trojans were able to limit Boulder’s top offensive players en route to the win. The team played with exceptional rhythm, tempo and communication — attributes they had been missing in previous games.  As if Lanier’s game wasn’t impressive enough, she moved into sixth place for all-time career kills at USC with 1,643.   CU took a quick lead in the third set and eventually finished it off to extend the match. The fourth set looked the same early on with the Trojans going down by four early, but they were able to bounce back for a 25-23 win.  “I think we’re our biggest enemy a lot of the time,” she said. “If we can focus on ourselves and tweak the things we need to, we’ll have some success on the road against Oregon.” Lanier said the Trojans will be more focused on their own play than the rankings after the loss.  Junior outside hitter Brooke Botkin and senior middle back Jasmine Gross both had more than 10 kills and a combined 11 blocks in the win against the Buffaloes.  The Trojans will look to bounce back from the tough loss when they visit Oregon State at 7 p.m. Friday and Oregon at noon Sunday.last_img read more

Marquette cruises to win

first_imgFreshman Lazar Hayward scored a career-high 18 points to lead No. 16 Marquette to an 80-67 victory over visiting Villanova on Monday night. Hayward, who entered the game averaging six points per game, had 13 in the first half before fouling out late in the second. Dominic James added 18 points and Wesley Matthews had 16 points for the Golden Eagles (22-7, 9-5 Big East), who snapped a three-game losing streak. Marquette made all 16 of its free throws in the final 5:58 of the game. Matthews was 12-for-12 from the free throw line. Scottie Reynolds scored 25 points for Villanova (18-9, 6-7), which lost its second straight game. Curtis Sumpter added 14 points. The Wildcats’ last four losses have come against Top 25 teams. No. 15 Butler 68, at Wis.-Green Bay 58: A.J. Graves scored 20 points and Brandon Crone had 17 to help Butler beat Wisconsin-Green Bay. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img Mike Nardi made two free throws to cut Marquette’s lead to 70-64 with 2:24 remaining, but Villanova scored just three points, all on free throws, the rest of the way. At No. 6 Kansas 71, Kansas St. 62: Freshman reserve Sherron Collins scored 20 points and led a key second-half run, and Kansas beat Kansas St. to extend its winning streak in Manhattan to 24 games. Mario Chalmers added 17 points, Darrell Arthur had 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Brandon Rush finished with 11 points for Kansas (24-4, 11-2 Big 12), which has never lost in Bramlage Coliseum since it opened for the 1988-89 season. The Jayhawks’ last loss in Manhattan was a 58-57 defeat on Jan. 29, 1983, in Ahearn Fieldhouse. No. 10 Pittsburgh 71, at Seton Hall 68: Levance Fields scored seven of his 15 points in the final 2 minutes to help short-handed Pittsburgh hold off Seton Hall. Levon Kendall had 14 points and eight rebounds and Sam Young added 11 points for the Panthers (24-4, 11-2 Big East), who were without injured enter Aaron Gray. last_img read more