Nov. 6, 2011
LOS ANGELES - Freshman Priscilla Duke-Ezeji set career highs with 14 kills and a .478 hitting percentage with only three errors in 23 attacks, as the top-ranked Bruins swept Washington State on Sunday at the John Wooden Center. Set scores were 25-16, 25-20, 25-17. Junior Rachael Kidder was also in double figures with 13 kills to go with eight digs.
The Bruins improve to 22-3 overall and 15-2 in Pac-12 play, staying tied with USC for the top spot in the league standings. The Cougars fall to 12-14 and 4-12.
Senior Sara Sage had eight kills and only one error in 14 attacks (.500) to go with four blocks, while sophomore Kelly Reeves was just shy of a double-double with eight kills and nine digs, adding four blocks. Senior Lainey Gera recorded 12 digs and junior Bojana Todorovic posted seven. Senior Lauren Van Orden tallied 44 assists, while sophomore Mariana Aquino had five kills and no errors in 10 swings (.500) with three blocks. The Bruins hit .381 as a team.
The opening set was tied at three until four in a row by the Bruins put the home team up 7-3. Reeves had a kill, Washington State committed an attack error and Sage and Kidder posted back-to-back kills. UCLA never saw its lead dip below three for the rest of the set.
Gradually getting their lead up to seven at 23-16, the Bruins scored the final two points of the set on kills by Kidder and Duke-Ezeji to win it 25-16. Kidder led the way with six kills, while Duke-Ezeji and Sage had four apiece. Gera, Kidder and Reeves all had five digs, as the Bruins out-hit the Cougars .486 to .194.
The second set was closer with eight ties, but the Cougars could not take a lead. Even at six, the Bruins scored five straight on a kill by Duke-Ezeji, a Gera ace, back-to-back spikes from Kidder and Aquino and another by Duke-Ezeji to make it 11-6. The Cougars still trailed by four at 14-10, but scored four in a row to even things at 14.
The score was tied again at 16, 17 and 19-all, but three in a row on a kill by Duke-Ezeji and two Washington State attack errors put the Bruins on top 22-19. After a Cougar sideout, the Bruins scored the final three points on a WSU service error and back-to-back combo blocks by Aquino and Reeves to win it 25-20. The Bruins out-hit the Cougars .281 to .207. Duke-Ezeji had five kills and no errors in nine attempts, while Kidder and Reeves each had three kills.
The third set had two ties at 1 and 2-all, but an 8-0 UCLA run put the home team on top. A Reeves/Sage combo block, a Washington State attack error and back-to-back kills by Kidder and Sage accounted for the first half of the run. After a Cougar timeout, Kidder and Reeves produced consecutive kills, Kidder and Sage teamed up for a combo block and Sage added another kill to make it 10-2, forcing Washington State into another timeout.
The Cougars went on a 12-6 run to cut their deficit to two at 16-14, but could get no closer. The Bruins responded with six in a row on a kill by Kidder, a WSU attack error, three straight kills from Duke-Ezeji and another Cougar attack error to go ahead 22-14. On the first match point for the Bruins, the Cougars committed an attack error to complete a 25-17 win. Duke-Ezeji again led the Bruins with five kills, while Kidder added four. The Bruins out-hit the Cougars .367 to .000.
The Bruins go on their final regular-season road trip next weekend, facing Oregon on Friday, Nov. 11 and Oregon State on Saturday, Nov. 12. Both matches start at 7 p.m.