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Fifth-Ranked Bruins Sweep Utah in 2007 Season Opener
By: UCLA Athletics

Aug. 24, 2007

Omaha, Neb. - Junior Ali Daley recorded a double-double with a team-high 11 kills and 13 digs and also served the final six points of the match, as fifth-ranked UCLA swept #21 Utah 30-23, 30-21, 30-27 at the AVCA College Volleyball Showcase in Omaha, Neb. on Friday.

The Bruins advance to the tournament's title match on Saturday, where they will face the winner of the Nebraska/Tennessee contest. Saturday's final will begin at 6:30 p.m. PT and be aired live on CSTV.

Game one began tentative with both teams feeling each other out in their opening match of the season. Neither squad led by more than one through the first 12 points until UCLA scored five in a row to take an 11-6 edge, prompting a Utah timeout. The Bruins got the lead up to as much as six at 13-7 before the Utes stormed back to cut it to 19-18. But thanks to some solid blocking by senior Rachell Johnson, UCLA reeled off seven of the next eight points to go up 26-19. The Bruins' lead never dipped below four for the rest of the game, with a Johnson block ending game one and giving UCLA a 30-23 win.

The second game mirrored the start of the first, as neither team led by more than two and the score was tied at 10. UCLA responded with eight of the next nine points to take an 18-11 advantage. Utah again hung around, going on a 6-1 run of its own to trim the deficit to 19-17. However, the Bruins would come on strong late in the second game. Up 22-19, UCLA went on an 8-2 run to close out game two by a 30-21 score.

Utah was determined to force a fourth game, leading for most of the third. Trailing 9-7 scored six of the next seven to go up 13-10. The Bruins would not get the lead back until a kill by junior Nellie Spicer put them up 18-17. But the Utes rallied back again, scoring 10 of the next 15 to take what looked like a commanding 27-23 lead.

But the Bruins came back with seven straight points to duplicate last year's outcome in the NCAA Tournament when UCLA bounced Utah in the second round in straight sets. Following a sideout at 27-24, Daley served six winners in a row, including the final three on aces to give the Bruins their ninth-straight season-opening victory.

Johnson and junior Kaitlin Sather each added seven kills for the Bruins, with Johnson making eight blocks and Sather providing seven digs. Sophomore Emily Clements added five kills and seven digs, while freshman Dicey McGraw came off the bench with five kills in the final two games. Junior Jade Machado, who played the defensive specialist spot in game one, switched jersey colors for the second and third games and had nine digs as the libero in the final two sets. Spicer had her usual All-American effort with 36 kills, adding eight digs, five blocks and three kills. UCLA hit .250 for the first game, but struggled for the rest of the match, finishing at .174. However, the 8-2 advantage in aces and 12-7 edge in blocks proved to be the difference.

Kathryn Haynie led the Utes with 11 kills, while Connie Dangerfield had a match-high 21 digs. Keisha Fisher added a double-double with 34 assists and 17 digs.

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Saturday, Aug 29
vs. Virginia
Los Angeles, CA
(25-19, 25-21, 25-16)
Sunday, Aug 30
vs. Loyola Marymount
Los Angeles, CA
(15-25, 23-25, 27-29)
Friday, Sep 04 - 7:30 PM PST
vs. American University
Honolulu, HI
Saturday, Sep 05 - 7:30 PM PST
vs. Iowa
Honolulu, HI
Sunday, Sep 06 - 8:00 PM PST
at Hawai'i
Honolulu, HI
Friday, Sep 11 - 4:00 PM PST
vs. San Diego
Santa Barbara, CA
Saturday, Sep 12 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. SMU
Santa Barbara, CA
Sunday, Sep 13 - 2:00 PM PST
at UC Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA
Friday, Sep 18 - 10:00 AM PST
at UC Irvine
Irvine, CA
Friday, Sep 18 - 7:30 PM PST
at Long Beach State
Long Beach, CA
Wednesday, Sep 23 - 7:30 PM PST
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Sep 27 - 12:00 PM PST
at California
Berkeley, CA
Friday, Oct 02 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. Washington
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Oct 04 - 11:00 AM PST
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Oct 09 - 5:00 PM PST
at Utah
Salt Lake City, UT
Sunday, Oct 11 - 11:00 AM PST
at Colorado
Boulder, CO
Friday, Oct 16 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Arizona
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Oct 18 - 1:30 PM PST
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Oct 23 - 6:00 PM PST
at Oregon
Eugene, OR
Sunday, Oct 25 - 12:00 PM PST
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR
Friday, Oct 30 - 7:00 PM PST
at Washington State
Pullman, WA
Sunday, Nov 01 - 11:00 AM PST
at Washington
Seattle, WA
Wednesday, Nov 04 - 7:30 PM PST
vs. Colorado
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Nov 06 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Utah
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Nov 12 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. Oregon
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Nov 15 - 11:00 AM PST
vs. Oregon State
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Nov 20 - 6:00 PM PST
at Arizona State
Tempe, AZ
Sunday, Nov 22 - 11:00 AM PST
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
Wednesday, Nov 25 - 8:00 PM PST
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Nov 27 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. Stanford
Los Angeles, CA