Sept. 10, 2009
LINCOLN, Neb. - Sophomore Lainey Gera had a career-high 22 digs and three Bruins recorded double-doubles, as eighth-ranked UCLA knocked off BYU in four sets on Thursday at the Ameritas Players Challenge. Set scores were 25-16, 25-11, 23-25, 25-15.
The Bruins win their fourth straight and improve to 6-1 overall, while the Cougars fall to 4-4.
Playing in her hometown of Lincoln for the first time in her collegiate career, freshman Lauren Cook had 43 assists and 14 digs. Joining Cook on the double-double list were junior Dicey McGraw, who had 17 kills and 12 digs, and senior Kaitlin Sather, who posted 12 kills and 12 digs.
Sophomore Katie Camp added nine kills and four blocks, while sophomore Amanda Gil had eight kills. Defensively, freshman Mari Hole posted nine digs, with freshman Bojana Todorovic adding 12 digs to go along with five kills. The Bruins hit .208 for the match.
The Bruins didn't have the best of hitting attacks in the opening set, but the Cougars couldn't get going either, as UCLA won it 25-16. The Cougars scored the first point of the match, but the Bruins scored seven of the next nine and never trailed for the rest of the set. Sather had a kill and two blocks, while Gil added two roofs during the run to make it 7-3 UCLA. After two in a row by BYU cut its deficit to a pair, the Bruins netted six straight to go ahead 13-5. Following kills by Gil and McGraw to start the run, the Bruins got their next point on a BYU ball handling error. Back-to-back kills by Sather and Cook, along with a BYU attack error, gave UCLA an eight-point lead.
The Cougars made a late run to get to within two at 18-16. Down 15-8, BYU scored eight of 11 to get to within a pair. But the Bruins reeled off the last seven points of the set to win the opener by nine. Todorovic had two kills during the run, while Gil added a spike. Four of UCLA's last seven points came on BYU errors, including the last two of the set. Gil, Hole and McGraw each had three kills in the first. Gera added seven digs and an ace. The Bruins only hit .079 with 15 kills and 12 errors, but that was better than the Cougars, who hit -.032 as a team.
UCLA led from start to finish in the second, scoring four of the first five points on three BYU attack errors and a kill by Camp. The Cougars got to within one at 7-6, but the Bruins netted eight of the next nine points to take a 15-7 advantage. The ran began with a kill by McGraw and a solo block by Camp. After a BYU sideout, the Bruins scored six straight. McGraw and Sather posted back-to-back kills, which was followed by a Camp/Sather roof. Sather then had two more kills and Hole ended the run with a spike to make it an eight-point lead.
Following another BYU sideout, the Bruins started another run, scoring 10 of the last 13 points of the set to win it 25-11. Four of McGraw's eight kills in the second came during the late run, while Gil added a pair of spikes, including the final one on set point. Sather recorded four kills in the second, as the Bruins hit much better in the set with a .371 hitting percentage on 17 kills and only four errors. The Cougars again hit in the negative with a -.026 percentage.
It appeared as if the match was going to be a UCLA sweep, but BYU made a late rally to force a fourth set. The Bruins jumped out to a six-point lead at 14-8. Camp had a hand in four of the points on two kills, a solo block and a combo roof, while Cook, Sage and Todorovic also had two kills each. However, UCLA's hitting went south late in the set and BYU came back to win it 25-23.
Down 16-12, the Cougars scored five of six to even the score at 17. Camp kept the lead in the Bruins' favor with a kill to make it 18-17, but a 4-0 Cougar run gave them the lead for good. Christina Measom won the set with a kill, as the Bruins had seven attack errors down the stretch. Sage had four kills in the third, while Camp and McGraw posted three each. Gera added seven digs. The Bruins were out-hit .194 to .086.
The Cougars used their newfound momentum to take an early 7-4 lead in the fourth set. However, the Bruins scored four straight to go up 8-7. Sather, Camp, Cook and McGraw had successive kills and UCLA never trailed for the rest of the set. With the score tied at nine, the Bruins rallied off eight of the next 10 points to forge ahead 17-11. Sather had two kills during the run, as the Bruins also benefitted from three BYU errors.
With the score 17-12, the Bruins made a long run similar to that of the first set to win the fourth 25-15. Five different Bruins had kills during the last run, while the Cougars had three errors, including one on match point. Sather had six kills in the fourth set, while Camp, Gil and McGraw had three each. The Bruins out-hit the Cougars .306 to .049 in the fourth.
Kayla Walker had 15 kills to pace the Cougars, who hit .048 as a team.