Nov. 26, 2005
The No. 16 UCLA women's volleyball team won its regular season finale on Saturday night as they defeated No. 12 Cal 3-1 (30-18, 30-27, 28-30, 30-28). The Bruins saw four players post double-digit kills in the win as UCLA improved to 18-10 (10-8 Pac-10) while Cal finishes the regular season with an identical 18-10 (10-8) record. NCAA selection will take place on Sunday morning at 11:30 am PT on ESPNEWS.
Junior Rachell Johnson led the Bruins in kills for the second consecutive night as she notched 20 in tonight's match. Last night against Stanford, Johnson knocked down 21 kills. Senior Nancy Barba, junior Katie Carter and freshman Kaitlin Sather each added 10 kills, while freshmen Jordan Smith and Nellie Spicer led the team in digs with 18 apiece. Junior Nana Meriwether led the team with 8 blocks (3BS/5BA), while the Bruins hit .270 as a team for the match.
In game one, Cal opened things up with a 2-0 lead, but the Bruins wouldn't be down for long as they tied the game at two all, and proceeded to pull away from the Bears. UCLA led by as many as 11 points at 21-20, going on to win game one 30-18. Johnson was impressive in game one, hitting for .857 (6-0-7), while the Bruins tallied three aces.
Game two saw Cal jump out to an early lead again as they led by as many as seven points numerous times. The Bruins climbed back into the game and tie it up at 23 all. An ace by freshman Blair Socci would give UCLA its first lead of the second game as the Bruins would pull away for a 30-27 victory. Socci notched two aces in the second game, bringing UCLA's two-game total to five aces.
The Bruins struck first in game three and lead 5-1 early, but Cal came back to tie the game at 5-5, scoring four unanswered points. The Bears would eventually take the lead at 14-13 after Johnson's kill went long, but the Bruins would retake the lead at 16-15. UCLA led by as many as five points several times, but the Bears fought back to win game three 30-28. Both teams struggled in game three as UCLA hit for .116 and Cal hit just .038.
The final game of the match was a back-and-forth battle with 13 tie scores and five lead changes, but UCLA would fight to the end, coming away with a 30-28 fourth game victory and the match.
This was also the last regular season home game for senior Nancy Barba who was honored before the game for her career at UCLA.
The Bruins will now await word from the NCAA Committee on who and where they will play in the NCAA Tournament. The 64-team field for the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship will be announced at 11:30 am Pacific Time on ESPNEWS. Tournament information will be posted on Sunday as soon as it becomes available.