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USC Athletics | August 31, 2018

Women's volleyball: No. 7 Southern California wins at No. 4 Florida

Stanford's Gray setting the table for another title run

GAINESVILLE, Fla. β€” The No. 7-ranked USC women's volleyball team (4-0) scored a four-set victory (25-18, 16-25, 25-14, 25-21) over fourth-ranked Florida (1-2) to open the 2018 Bubly Invitational at Exactech Arena on Friday, Aug. 31. The win avenged a loss the Women of Troy suffered to the Gators in the 2017 NCAA regional championship match on the same floor.

KEY PLAYERS
  • So. OH Brooke Botkin produced her third double-double of the season (fourth career) and led all players with 20 kills (4e, 44att, .364) to go with 15 digs and two blocks.
  • Jr. OH Khalia Lanier scored 14 kills (6e, 38att, .211) and had five digs and a pair of service aces.
  • Fr. Setter Raquel LΓ‘zaro dished out 41 assists and had nine digs, three blocks, a kill, and a service ace.
  • Jr. MB Jasmine Gross collected six kills (1e, 13att, .385) and led the team with five blocks.
  • Sr. defender Reni Meyer-Whalley dug up 12 balls and served three of USC's seven aces.
  • For the Gators, Thayer Hall had 12 kills (9e, 50att) but was held to a .060 hitting percentage. Holly Carlton led UF with 16 kills (6e, 33att, .303) while Rachael Kramer had six blocks and six kills.
HOW IT HAPPENED
  • USC opened the match with a big run and remained in control en route to a 25-18 win in the first set. Botkin and Lanier each scored four kills apiece and helped the Trojans out-hit the Gators, .267 to .100.
  • Florida fought back in the second set and despite another hot start for the Trojans, UF erased a 12-8 deficit and ended the frame on a 17-4 run for a 25-16 win.
  • USC got back to its winning ways in the third set and raced away with a 25-14 win thanks to six kills by Botkin and five more from Lanier. The Trojans had two aces and collected two blocks; and ultimately out-hit the Gators, .536 to .088.
  • The teams traded barbs in the fourth, but the Trojans ran ahead by a seven-point lead on back-to-back Botkin kills at 22-15. Florida fought back, but couldn't overcome the Women of Troy, who went away, 25-21, for the win.
UP NEXT
  • USC faces Central Florida (2-2) in its second match of the Bubly Invitational. The Trojans and the Knights meet at 7:30 p.m. ET (4:30 p.m. PT) at the Exactech Arena and will be shown live on ESPN3.
MATCH NOTES
  • USC improved to 6-4 all-time against Florida and snapped a three-match skid to the Gators (2005, '14, '17). It was also the Trojans' first win over Florida on the Gators' home floor.
  • The Women of Troy improved to 7-3 in all-time matches played in the state of Florida.
  • The Trojans improved to 34-9 in road openers and have won nine straight since 2010.
  • USC has now defeated three ranked opponents this season including two in the top five (No. 4 UF and No. 5 Kentucky).
  • The Trojans' four-match winning streak is the team's longest since winning five straight from Oct. 29 to Nov. 11, 2017.