Sept. 9, 2001
LINCOLN, NE - In a battle of two top-10 teams, the Bruins were unable to find a rhythm in their offense, and were topped by No. 1 Nebraska, 3-0. Game scores were 30-28, 30-24, 30-21. With the win, the Cornhuskers improve to 6-1, while the seventh-ranked Bruins fall to 5-1.
In the opening game of the match, the two teams were evenly matched, with neither team taking more than a two-point lead in a back-and-forth contest. After two service aces by Bruin freshman Chrissie Zartman gave UCLA a 17-16 lead, the Huskers spent their first timeout of the game and answered with a kill by Anna Schrad to tie it back up at 17-17. Four more ties would follow, and the Bruins took a time out of their own as Nebraska opened up a 23-21 lead.
From that point, UCLA would scratch back to tie the match at 26-26, where Nebraska spent its second and final timeout. Two more ties would follow before a kill by Amber Holmquist gave the Huskers game point and Angela Eckmier's kill attempt for UCLA went wide, giving Nebraksa the 30-28 game one victory. The story of the first game was obvious, with the Huskers out-blocking UCLA by a 7-1 margin, a stat that was reflected in the team attack percentages with UCLA hitting .135 to Nebrakska's .289.
That same story continued in game two, as the Bruin attack percentage continued to fall. The Bruins did keep the blocking numbers even for the game, but were unable to put together enough scoring runs, losing the game 30-24 to go into the break.
The Bruins came out of the locker room with a spring in their step, and blazed to a 10-2 lead to start the match, including three Porter kills. Unfortunately, the Huskers were not to be denied on this day, scraping back to tie the match at 13-13. Three more ties would follow before Nebraska took the lead for good, and won the third and final game of the match 30-21.
"Nebraska has an outstanding block," said UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski. "They served us out of our offense and made us predictable today. We need to attack smarter, like we did at the start of game three. It would have been good if we could have maintained that rhythm."
After a season-high team attack percentage on Saturday against Pepperdine, the Bruins came back on Sunday with a team .091 attack percentage, and were out-blocked 16.5-4 by the Cornhuskers. Kristee Porter tied for a match-high 13 kills and 13 digs, while Zartman posted a career-high four service aces, as the Bruins out-aced Nebraska by a 10-3 margin.
Three Bruins were named to the US Bank/Arby's Classic All-Tournament Team, including Porter, Bowles and Fendrick. The remainder of the All-Tournament team came from Nebraska, including Nancy Metcalf, Jenny Kropp, Greichaly Cepero and tournament MVP Amber Holmquist.
UCLA will return to action on Thursday night, Sept. 13, when it opens Pac-10 play with a 7 pm match at Oregon State. The match will be televised by FOX Sports Net and aired on a delayed basis. The Bruins will complete their first Pac-10 weekend with a 7 pm match on Friday, Sept. 14 at Mac Court against Oregon.