Sept. 28, 2002
LOS ANGELES - Despite dropping the first two games of the match, the UCLA women's volleyball team fought back with an impressive defensive effort to defeat 18th-ranked Washington State 3-2. Game scores were 25-30, 26-30, 30-25, 30-26, 15-12. With the win, the Bruins even their Pac-10 record at 2-2, and improve to 9-5 on the season, while WSU falls to 11-2 (2-2 Pac-10).
In game one, the Cougars hit .349 as a team, taking an 11-10 lead and never trailing from that point on. Adrian Hankoff started quickly, downing six kills on nine swings in the opening game. Washington State jumped out to an early 10-3 lead in game two, and the Bruins never fully recovered, despite fighting back to tie the match at 24-all before the Cougars finished off the 30-26 opening game win, taking a 2-0 lead to the locker rooms.
UCLA came back out on the floor with a much improved defensive effort, as evidenced by the fact that 51 of the team's 90 digs in the match came in the final three games, including 17 of libero Chrissie Zartman's match-high 27 digs and 12 of Krystal McFarland's 21 digs. The Bruins also recorded 10 of their 12 team blocks in the match after the break.
Game three saw the Bruins slowly building their lead from the start. After taking a 6-5 lead, the Bruins would not look back, extending to an eight-point lead at 29-21 and finishing off the third game victory at 30-25. In game four, UCLA started hot, sprinting to a 5-1 lead, and extending to 22-17 before the Cougars put together a rally of their own. WSU scored five straight points to take a 23-22 lead before UCLA fought back to re-take the lead at 25-24, and closed it out at 30-26, forcing a fifth and decisive game.
For a second consecutive game, the Bruins couldn't miss early, taking a 5-0 lead that they would never relinquish. UCLA spread their 11 game five kills between five players, with Cira Wright and Heather Cullen downing three apiece, Brittany Ringel and Angela Eckmier recorded two each and Lauren Fendrick providing the match-winning kill. Five of Zartman's 27 digs came in game five.
Six Bruins finished with double-figure kills in the match, led by Ringel with 17. She was joined in double figured by Cullen with 15, Wright and Fendrick with 14 apiece, Brynn Murphy with 11 and Eckmier with 10. Similarly, three Bruins had double-figure digs, with Zartman leading all players with 27, McFarland contributing 21, and Fendrick completing the double-double with 11.
Wright led the Bruins with six blocks, two solo and four assists, and Eckmire notching five block assists in the match.
UCLA will return to action on Friday night, Oct. 4, at California before traveling to Stanford on Saturday night. Both matches are scheduled for 7 pm starts, and the Stanford match will be broadcast live on the internet at www.uclabruins.com.