Nov. 17, 2006
WESTWOOD, Calif. - Katie Cater had 14 kills and eight blocks and Nana Meriwether added 11 kills and six blocks as sixth-ranked UCLA swept fourth-ranked USC on Friday night in a Lexus Gauntlet match at Pauley Pavilion, 30-25, 30-22, 30-20. With the win, UCLA sweeps the regular season series from its crosstown rival for the first time since 1999, earning all 10 available Gauntlet points.
UCLA improves to 26-3, 13-3 Pac-10. USC falls to 23-4, 12-4 Pac-10.
USC took an early 14-7 lead in game one before the Bruins began rolling, using kills by Carter and Meriwether plus three Trojan errors to cut the margin to just two points at 14-12. USC reopened a five-point edge at 18-13, but once again the Bruins clawed back, taking its first lead of the night at 25-24 on a block by Meriwether and Nellie Spicer. After a USC sideout tied it at 25-25, the Bruins scored the last five points of game one, including two kills by Carter to win the opener, 30-25.
Game two featured eight tie scores leading up to 14-14 before UCLA took the lead for good on a Meriwether kill at 15-14. The Bruin lead reached seven points at 23-16 on a block solo by Carter and the Bruins eventually won game two by eight points at 30-22 as a triple block by Carter, Spicer and Rachell Johnson sent the teams into the locker room for halftime as the host Bruins held a commanding 2-0 lead.
UCLA never trailed in game three, taking the lead for good at 4-3 on an Ali Daley kill. The Bruins put some distance between the Trojans on the scoreboard midway through the game as Spicer served four-straight points, including back-to-back Carter kills, as UCLA held a 17-12 advantage. The lead steadily increased as USC managed just three points off its own serve in game three. UCLA's lead hit double digits on the last play of the match as Kaitlin Sather ended the night at 30-20 and gave the Bruins an impressive sweep.
Carter paced UCLA with her 14 kills and eight blocks en route to a match-high 20.5 points. Meriwether hit .348 and scored 14 points while Sather hit .286 for 13.5 points. Johnson notched seven kills on 13 swings without an error for a .538 attack percentage, tallying five blocks to give her 11 points in the win. Colby Lyman, who played as UCLA's libero throughout the match, tallied a team-high 17 digs for the Bruins while Daley added 12 digs and eight kills. Spicer dished 47 assists to go with her four kills, six digs and six blocks. USC was paced by Asia Kaczor with 18 kills and Deborah Seilhamer with 22 digs.
As a team, UCLA outhit USC by a wide .308 to .139 margin. The Bruins also dominated at the net, notching 15 team blocks to USC's four.
UCLA wraps up the regular season with three home matches next week, starting Mon., Nov. 20, against Pepperdine. The Bruins then host Oregon State on Fri., Nov. 24, and Oregon on Sat., Nov. 25. All three matches will be contested in Pauley Pavilion with Monday's Pepperdine match a 7 pm start and the matches against the Oregon schools beginning at 5 pm.