After starting the season 12-0, the USC women’s volleyball team must now add a tally to its loss column.The Women of Troy saw their undefeated season come to an end Friday night after losing to No. 10 Washington in five sets, 25-22, 25-22, 15-25, 18-25, 15-5. It was USC’s sixth straight loss in Seattle.Air it out · Junior outside hitter Alex Jupiter led USC with 23 kills in the loss to Washington and 19 kills in a win against Washington State. The loss to the Huskies was USC’s first this season after 12 straight wins. – Tim Tran | Daily Trojan USC went down two sets early but quickly fought back. It convincingly won game three and broke a 10-10 tie in game four after five straight points behind senior outside hitter Geena Urango’s serve, eventually tying the match at 2-2.However, the Women of Troy were not able to keep that momentum upon entering the fifth and final set. They lost the clinching game and subsequently the match.“We won games three and four pretty easily and then never got started in five,” USC coach Mick Haley said. “It was really disappointing because I felt we were the better team. Statistics showed we were the better team and we really let Washington steal one.”Junior outside hitter Alex Jupiter led USC with 23 kills. Freshman outside hitter Falyn Fonoimoana added 16 kills.“I really wanted to practice being able to handle [Washington’s] intensity, and I didn’t think we did that very well,” Haley said. “Then when we relaxed, I think we just roared through them, kind of took them out of their own game and their own gym, only to come back in the short game, game five, and just not be able to function.”When the Women of Troy won the third and fourth games, Haley said he was confident about his team’s chances of coming away with the conference victory.“I thought we were in total control of the match,” Haley said. “Then we tried too hard in game five again, and it was just a shame.”After Friday’s defeat, the Women of Troy did not have much time to reflect. They travelled to Pullman to face the Washington State Cougars just a day after the loss.After being down 8-7 early in the first set, USC won eight straight points behind junior setter Kendall Bateman’s serve, pushing the score to 15-8. After that, USC never faltered, sweeping the Cougars 25-15, 25-17, 25-19.Jupiter led the team with 19 kills, along with three aces, six blocks and only three unforced errors, hitting .516 in the match. After the game, Haley could do nothing but praise his All-American outside hitter.“Jupiter came on big time. [Friday] night, she had a lot of kills, but she had 10 unforced errors. [On Saturday], she did a much much better in that regard,” Haley said. “All in all, she just dominated the opposition.”It was not just Jupiter who committed too many unforced errors this weekend. Haley identified that as one of the biggest problems his team faced.“It’s just the unforced hitting errors that I think [we need to] work on being a little bit smarter, a little more in control,” Haley said. “I think as we talk about that in practice and design drills to work on that. I think we’ll get a lot better there.”Although unforced errors proved to be the team’s Achilles’ heel this weekend, there was one very positive aspect of USC’s play — serving.“We had 19 aces in two days in Pac-10 competition,” Haley said. “That’s tremendous serving on our part. We served at the highest level we’ve ever served at since I’ve been here at USC.”The Women of Troy will look to get back on track for next weekend, as they host No. 1 Stanford and No. 8 California at the Galen Center.
49ers of note injured reserveRB Jerick McKinnon, WR Marquise Goodwin, WR Trent Taylor, WR Jalen Hurd, C Weston Richburg, TE Garrett Celek, OT Shon Coleman, DE Ronald Blair, DE Damontre Moore, DT D.J. Jones, DT Julian Taylor, CB Jason VerrettMcKinnon going down meant little with Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida working together fine to split the backfield work. Goodwin, The team also is fine without Goodwin, Taylor and Hurd with Deebo Samuel, Emmanuel Sanders and Kendrick Bourne in the top three roles. Without Celek behind George Kittle, Ross Dwelley and Levine Toilolo are good enough..Ben Garland has been a solid fill-in for Richburg.The defensive line rotation did take a big hit, especially with Jones, whose absence at nose tackle has weakened the 49ers’ run defense. The fact the 49ers still went 13-3 and are the NFC’s top seed is a testament to their depth across positions. The Vikings and 49ers both had to navigate through several injuries in the second half of the 2019 NFL regular season to get to the point of playing each other in Saturday’s NFC divisional playoff game (4:35 p.m. ET, NBC). There have been a few questions about the status of key players, returning or otherwise for No. 6 seed Minnesota and No. 1 seed San Francisco heading into the game. Here’s breaking down who’s in and who’s out and what it means for the matchup to determine who advances to next Sunday’s NFC championship game. NFL PLAYOFF PICKS: Straight up | Against the spreadVikings injury reportOut: CB Mackensie Alexander (knee)Doubtful: S Jayron Kearse (toe/knee)Questionable: WR Adam Thielen (ankle)In: RB Dalvin Cook (shoulder), WR Stefon Diggs (illness), RG Josh Kline (elbow), DT Linval Joseph (knee), DT Shamar Stephen (knee), DE Ifeadi Odenigbo (hamstring), CB Xavier Rhodes (ankle/shoulder)Thielen didn’t practice in the final session on Thursday after suffering a nasty cut that needed attention on Wednesday. He’s playing but the team is being very careful with him until game time. He missed six regular-season games with a hamstring injury but returned to become his highly productive self to burn the Saints in the wild-card round.Cook is ready for another big workload after the busy game in New Orleans and Diggs is good to go after missing practice earlier in the week. The defensive linemen won’t be limited in action. Rhodes keeps playing through ailments but he has had a down season in coverage, regardless.Official inactives: Kearse, Alexander, WR Alexander Hollins, DT Hercules Mata’afa, DE Eddie Yarbrough, G Dru Samia, OT Oli Udoh, OT Aviante Collins Vikings of note on injured reserveWR Chad Beebe, C Brett Jones, DT Armon Watts, OLB Ben Gedeon, CB Mike HughesThere’s not much to see here except some lost depth. Gedeon was probably the most impactful, and he was a part-time player.49ers injury reportQuestionable: DE Dee Ford (quad/hamstring), T Kentavius Street (ankle)In: OLB Kwon Alexander (pectoral; activated off IR), RG Mike Person (neck), OLB Elijah Lee (illness)Ford and Alexander will return to provide a big pass-rushing and pass-coverage boost, respectively, to the 49ers’ front seven. Imposing, hard-hitting strong safety Jaquiski Tartt also practiced all week and will return from his rib injury, which will help with containing the Vikings’ tight ends. With Tartt, free safety Jimmie Ward, cornerbacks Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon, Emmanuel Mosley and K’Waun Williams, the 49ers’ secondary is at more than full-starters strength to combat a good overall Vikings’ receiving corps.Official inactives: QB C.J. Beathard, RB Jeff Wilson, CB Dontae Johnson, TE Daniel Helm, LB Azeez Al-Shaair, WR Jordan Matthews, DL Kevin Givens