Dec. 7, 2001
LONG BEACH, CA - After advancing to its third consecutive NCAA Regional Final, the Bruins were unable to advance to the Final Four, falling to top-ranked and undefeated Long Beach State with game scores of 30-25, 30-28, 30-21. With the loss, UCLA concludes its 2001 season with a record of 21-9, while The Beach advances to next week's Final Four with a 31-0 record.
UCLA started the match on a 5-0 tear that included two blocks by Angela Eckmier, two service aces by Lauren Fendrick and a Kristee Porter kill. The Beach answered back, however, putting together three-point scoring runs at numerous points in the match en route to the 30-25 win. The Bruins hit .306 in the opening game and out-blocked Long Beach by a 4-1 margin, but Tayyiba Haneef had eight kills in the game as Long Beach ht .432. For the Bruins, Porter opened with six game-one kills to lead the team.
Senior setter Erika Selsor opened game two with an ace to give UCLA a 1-0 lead, but The Beach fired right back, tearing out to a 7-3 lead before UCLA called its first time out of the game. UCLA scrapped back into the game behind a four-point service run by freshman defensive specialist Chrissie Zartman, bringing the Bruins to within two points at 13-11.
UCLA would again climb to within two later in the game, this time with a four-point service run by UCLA's other DS, Stacey Lee brought it to 20-18. UCLA would creep to within one point as late as 29-27, but Haneef converted a kill to give Long Beach the 2-0 lead heading into the locker rooms between games two and three.
The teams traded scoring runs early in game three, with the teams tied as late as 10-10. From there, The Beach chipped away, pulling away for the 30-21 final game win.
"We had a good start tonight," said UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski, "but we lost our momentum and had some streaky play. We couldn't quite hang with Long Beach, but I'm pleased with the effort of the team."
Porter led the way for UCLA with 14 kills, followed by Lauren Fendrick with nine and Ashley Bowles with eight. The Bruins were able to out-block LBSU by a 10-8 margin, and were led individually by Eckmier with six (one solo, five assists). Both Porter and Eckmier were named to the All-Regional team.
UCLA's three record-breaking seniors conclude their careers with impressive statistical totals to go with their three NCAA Regional Championship appearances. Bowles finishes with 1,656 kills (seventh, UCLA history), 1,269 digs (second, UCLA history) and 145 service aces (sixth, UCLA history).
Selsor, the Pac-10 and UCLA record holder for career asssits, recorded her 1,000th career dig in Friday night's match, becoming the 12th player in UCLA history to reach that milestone. Her final tally of 6,234 assists ranks eighth in NCAA history.
Porter, who is the Pac-10 and UCLA record holder for career kills, finishes with 1,119 career digs (seventh, UCLA history) and 2,225 career kills, which ranks 14th on the NCAA's all-time list.