November 20, 1998
LOS ANGELES - For the third time this season, the UCLA women's volleyball team battled a higher ranked opponent for five games in Pauley Pavilion. Although they fell short of the victory, No. 16 ranked UCLA made it clear that this team can play with anyone. The victor tonight was No. 4 ranked Stanford University which prevailed 3-2 (15-10, 7-15, 15-5, 10-15, 15-10) in a Pac-10 Conference match which gave the Cardinal sole possession of the league title. Despite being taken to five games for the first time in Pac-10 play this season, Stanford improved its record to 24-2 overall and 17-0 in conference action. UCLA slipped to 13-11 overall and 12-5 in Pac-10 play.
UCLA freshman outside hitter Kristee Porter notched her third 30-plus kill match to lead all hitters with 35 tonight. Porter also added 13 digs and assisted on three blocks. Fellow rookie Ashley Bowles, last week's Pac-10 Player of the Week, added 23 kills and 12 digs. Sophomore Elisabeth Bachman led the Bruins with a .343 hitting percentage as she put away 16 kills. Senior Chaska Potter's 16 digs led five UCLA players with double figures in that category. Sophomore Michelle Quon collected 10 digs and served two aces. Freshman setter Erika Selsor provided 72 assists, 14 digs and two kills of her own. Sophmore Amy Nihipali led the squad with four blocks and chipped in four kills.
Stanford was led by junior Kerri Walsh's 25 kills, 12 digs and seven blocks. Sophomore Jennifer Detmer led the Cardinal with six blocks and added 13 kills, while freshman Sara Sandrik had 11 kills and five blocks.
Stanford held a 14-6 advantage in blocks, while UCLA led the fight for aces 7-1. The team's hitting percentages came out fairly even in the end although each team put up stellar numbers in a game and meager ones in others.
The match was a story of momentum shifts. UCLA started strong scoring the first four points of the night, but Stanford called a timeout and regrouped to score the next four. UCLA continued to surge ahead only to find Stanford rallying back. The Cardinal took their first lead at 11-10 then used four rotations to close out the game.
UCLA struck first again in game two, but this time pulled away after a 3-3 tie with six consecutive points and did not look back as they tied the match at one game all. In game three, it was Stanford which pulled away from a 6-5 advantage to score the final nine points and regain a 2-1 games lead.
With their backs to the wall, the Bruins came out strong again in the fourth game. UCLA pulled away from a 5-5 tie to go ahead 12-7, then Stanford scored three quick points to close to 10-12. The teams traded sideouts for three rotations before UCLA notched two points for the 14-10 lead. Stanford held off two match points before Porter put way the final point to even the match.
Another shift in momentum occurred during the break between games, as Stanford notched the first six points in the rally scoring game. Porter accounted for UCLA's first three points, as Stanford built a 10-3 lead. UCLA chipped away at the lead, but scored its final point on a service ace by Michelle Quon to make it 10-14. Walsh finished the match with her 25th kill for Stanford.
UCLA continues its final homestand, hosting Cal on Sunday at 4 p.m. (in a doubleheader with women's basketball vs. West Virginia at noon) and Pepperdine on Tuesday at 7:00. Stanford plays at USC on Sunday at 1 p.m.