Dec. 6, 2003
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA women's volleyball team advanced to its fourth Sweet Sixteen in five years with a 3-0 win over UC Irvine on Saturday night in Pauley Pavilion. With the 30-24, 30-28, 30-22 victory UCLA improves to 23-8, while the Anteaters end their season with a record of 24-10. The Bruins will travel to Lincoln, NE, for a Friday NCAA Regional Semifinal matchup with host Nebraska at 7:00 pm CT, followed by matchup between top-seeded USC and 16th-seeded Texas A&M.
The Bruins and Anteaters played a close game to the 8-all point of the opening game of the match before the Bruins started to build a small lead. UC Irvine would not give up, however, pulling to within one point at 21-20 before a five-point run by the Bruins behind the service of setter Krystal McFarland gave UCLA a 26-21 advantage before the Bruins closed out the 30-24 opening game win. Brittany Ringel led the Bruins in the opening game with six kills, while Cira Wright and Heather Cullen each had an error-free four kills.
In game two, the teams again played a tight game that was tied as late as 17-all before a four-point Bruin run gave UCLA a lead it would never relinquish. The Anteaters took advantage of some Bruin hitting errors near the end of the game to pull within one point at 29-28, but a UC Irvine service error coming out of a UCLA timeout ended the game with the Bruins winning 30-28 and taking a two games to none lead to the locker rooms. Wright tied for a team-high five kills in the match, while freshman Colby Lyman had an error-free five kills of her own to hit .556 in the second game of the match.
Game three saw the Bruins take the lead for good on a Brynn Murphy kill that broke a 13-all tie. From there, the Bruins put together a three-point run behind the service of Haley Jorgensborg, aided by some Anteater attack errors. UCLA would put together another four-point scoring run later in the game to take a 21-16 lead before closing out the game with a score of 30-22. Juniors Brynn Murphy and Brittany Ringel had identical offensive games statistically, both checking in with five kills on seven swings for a .714 attack percentage.
"We are excited to be traveling to Lincoln next week," said UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski. "I don't think that we played as smoothly as we did last night, but Irvine presented a few different problems for us. Their size was a big factor tonight. They are a good blocking team that gave us some problems and had a good match. We were happy to come out of here with the win."
Brittany Ringel led the Bruin attack with 14 kills and 15 points in the match, while junior libero Chrissie Zartman had 18 digs to lead all players. UCLA had seven service aces in the match, led by Brynn Murphy with three, and Colby Lyman with two.