Oct. 22, 2007
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
#3 Stanford (19-1, 8-1 Pac-10) at #7 UCLA (16-4, 6-3 Pac-10)
Friday, October 26
Los Angeles, Calif.
Live: Gametracker, Audio, Video
TV (Tape-Delay): FSN Prime Ticket (Airings: 10/28 at 8 p.m.; 10/29 at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.; 10/30 at Noon; 10/31 at 1 a.m)
#9 California (16-4, 6-3 Pac-10) at #7 UCLA (16-4, 6-3 Pac-10)
Saturday, October 27
Los Angeles, Calif.
Live: Gametracker, Audio, Video
SECOND HALF OF PAC-10 PLAY BEGINS
The seventh-ranked Bruins (16-4, 6-3 Pac-10) host #3 Stanford (19-1, 8-1) on Friday at 7 p.m. and #9 California (16-4, 6-3) on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion. Both matches will be part of Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend. The first 400 fans to Friday's match will receive Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirts, while the first 2,000 fans on Saturday will receive a Breast Cancer Awareness wristband. Gametracker and live audio and video will be available for both matches at UCLABruins.com. Friday's match against Stanford will also be televised on a tape-delay basis by Fox Sports Net. The first showing of that match will be on Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. on FSN Prime Ticket. Paul Sunderland will handle the play-by-play duties with analysts and former UCLA volleyball standouts Holly McPeak and Karch Kiraly.
BRUINS ON THE TUBE
The second of three straight Pac-10 Matches of the Week featuring the Bruins will take place on Friday when they host Stanford. The match will be aired on tape delay on FSN Prime Ticket. The contest will be shown on Oct. 28 at 8 p.m., Oct. 29 at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Oct. 30 at Noon and Oct. 31 at 1 a.m. The last of the three straight televised matches will be next week when the Bruins travel across town to take on USC on Nov. 2. Additionally, the Bruins are being featured regularly on the Lexus Gauntlet show, which airs on Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. on FSN Prime Ticket.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
UCLA was ranked seventh for the second straight week, losing 16 points in this week's rankings. Last week, UCLA dropped out of the top five of the CSTV/AVCA poll for the first time since last Nov. 13. The Bruins lost points for just the fourth time in the nine rankings, but have still been ranked in the AVCA top five in 22 of the last 25 polls. In last week's Molten Volleyball Magazine poll, the Bruins were also seventh.
C WHAT IT MEANS
In taking a closer look at the UCLA women's volleyball jerseys, you will notice that the "C" is a different color than the "U", "L", "A" this season. The different color "C" signifies the roman numeral for 100 and celebrates the 100 NCAA Championships won by the Bruins. Women's volleyball has a hand in three of those national titles, winning NCAA championships in 1984, 1990 and 1991.
SCOUTING THE CARDINAL
Stanford swept Arizona and Arizona State last weekend to improve to 19-1 on the season. The Cardinal's only loss was against Washington in five games on Oct. 12, which snapped Stanford's 17-match win streak to start the season. Stanford is led offensively by junior Cynthia Barboza and freshman Alix Klineman. Barboza leads the team with 4.25 kills per game and is second at 3.30 digs per game, while Klineman is second with 4.22 kpg. Junior Foluke Akinradewo is just behind the tandem at 3.95 kpg. Senior Bryn Kehoe leads the setting attack with 14.17 assists per game, while freshman Gabi Ailes leads the defensive attack at libero with 4.36 dpg. As a team, the Cardinal are hitting .313 with 2.86 blocks per game. Fifteen of Stanford's 19 victories have come via the three-game sweep, including a 3-0 win against the Bruins on Sept. 28 at Maples Pavilion. Game scores were 30-20, 30-23, 31-29. Klineman led all players with 19 kills and 19 digs, Akinradewo had 12 kills and six blocks and Barboza added 11 kills and 17 digs. Kehoe had 51 assists and 17 digs, while Ailes recorded 14 digs. For the Bruins, junior Ali Daley led the way with 12 kills and 10 digs, with junior Nellie Spicer also posting a double-double with 36 assists and 11 digs. Senior Rachell Johnson and junior Kaitlin Sather each had 10 kills and juniors Jade Machado (19) and Jessica Fine (16) each had double figures in digs. The Cardinal hit .313 and held the Bruins to a .160 hitting attack with just six blocks.
THE UCLA-STANFORD SERIES
The Cardinal have won 13 in a row in the series to take a 36-34 all-time advantage against the Bruins. UCLA still has a slight 16-15 edge in matches in Westwood, but have not defeated Stanford in Pauley Pavilion since Oct. 19, 2000, a match in which the Bruins pulled off a three-game sweep.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN BEARS
California brings a six-match winning streak into this week's play, taking on USC on Friday before traveling to Pauley Pavilion. After starting Pac-10 play at 0-3 with losses to Stanford, UCLA and USC, California has run the table to close out the first portion of league play. Included in that run was a five-game victory over #4 Washington. The Golden Bears are led offensively by sophomore Hana Cutura, who is averaging a team-best 3.83 kills per game and 2.05 digs per game. Senior Angie Pressey is second at 3.58 kpg and 2.69 dpg. Freshman Carli Lloyd leads the team with 11.97 assists per game. The Bruins pulled off a stunning comeback in Berkeley on Sept. 27 after dropping the first two games to win in five. Game scores were 28-30, 24-30, 30-28, 31-29, 15-9. Junior Ali Daley led the Bruins with 18 kills and 21 digs, while junior Nellie Spicer added 52 assists and 13 digs. Freshman Katie Mills posted 11 kills and eight blocks and junior Kaitlin Sather and freshman Dicey McGraw both had double figures in kills with 10. Juniors Jade Machado (20) and Jessica Fine (18) each had double figures in digs for the Bruins, who had 14.5 blocks and won despite hitting just .131 as a team. Cutura had a match-high 24 kills and 14 digs for the Golden Bears, while senior Ellen Orchard posted 14 kills and 13 blocks. Lloyd added 54 assists and 18 digs. Cal hit .146 and had 23 blocks.
THE UCLA-CALIFORNIA SERIES
The Bruins continued their domination of the Golden Bears on Sept. 27, but just barely. Had California held on, it would have defeated UCLA for just the second time ever, but instead the Bruins improved to 50-1 all-time against the Golden Bears. Cal has never won in Westwood, with UCLA winning all 25 matches at home. The Bruins have won four straight in the series, with Cal's win coming in Berkeley on Sept. 23, 2005 in three games.
The Bruins' offense has sometimes had their struggles against teams with powerful hitting attacks, but UCLA's defense has rose to the occasion thanks to its blocking and digging. The Bruins have double figures in blocks in six of the last nine matches, including a season-high 15.5 in a four-game win over USC on Oct. 5. From Sept. 20 to 27, the Bruins had three straight matches with 14.5 blocks in picking up wins against Arizona, Arizona State and California. Freshman Katie Mills leads the team in blocks at 1.36 per game. In conference games, Mills is averaging 1.34 bpg, which is fourth among Pac-10 players. She also has posted a team-leading six matches with at least five blocks, including a career-high nine against the Trojans. Juniors Kaitlin Sather and Ali Daley and senior Rachell Johnson, who posted a UCLA season-high 11 blocks against Arizona State, all have four matches with five blocks or more. Away from the net, the backcourt is anchored by junior libero Jade Machado. She has 16 matches with double figures in digs to lead the team, while Daley has 13 and junior Nellie Spicer has 12. Machado's career-high in digs came against Oregon State, recording 29, while Daley had a personal-best 25 against the Beavers. As a team, the Bruins are first in the Pac-10 averaging 18.12 digs per game.
The Bruins are 11-0 this season when outblocking their opponent and also have a couple of other undefeated streaks going. UCLA is 12-0 when winning the first game, but just 4-4 when dropping the initial set. The Bruins are also 9-0 when hitting better than .250 for a match. An undefeated streak came to an end though against Washington last Thursday. UCLA had more aces than its opponent, but failed to win for the first time in 15 such matches. The Bruins are also 14-1 when hitting better, 12-1 when recording more kills and 11-1 when posting more digs, with the only blemish in all three categories coming in the loss to Oregon State on Oct. 12.
Junior setter Nellie Spicer continues to live up to her status as arguably the best setter in the country and will soon be considered the best setter in UCLA history. Spicer surpassed the 4,000-assist mark against Washington State and now has 4,011 for her career. The junior is on pace to move into third all-time on the Bruins' career assist list on Saturday against California. The third-place spot is currently held by Julie Bremner, who has 4,089 assists. Spicer posted her 12th double-double of the season and 40th of her career against the Cougars with 51 assists and 12 digs. Her 51 assists were the most in a three-game match this season. The junior has earned All-Tournament honors in all four tournaments the Bruins played in during the preseason, earning MVP accolades at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic and the UC Irvine Invitational. Spicer is third in the Pac-10 in assists at 12.71 apg and was 37th in the nation in last week's NCAA rankings. She is also third on the Bruins in digs per game at 2.90.
At her current pace, junior outside hitter Ali Daley is going to have more double-doubles than an In-N-Out drive-thru window. Daley posted two more double-doubles last week to give her 13 on the season, more than twice as many as her sophomore total of six. The junior posted 12 kills and 13 digs against Washington and followed that up with a 10-kill, 14-dig effort against Washington State. Since her double-double binge started on Sept. 27, Daley is averaging 16.1 kills and 15.7 digs per game, which includes a career night against Oregon State on Oct. 12. Despite the loss to the Beavers, Daley had 26 kills and 25 digs to post her first-ever 20-20 match. She was the first Bruin to attain a 20-20 contest since Ashley Bowles on Nov. 2, 2001. Daley has led the Bruins in kills 13 times this season, including six straight from Sept. 21 to Oct. 18. She has twice earned All-Tournament Team honors this season at the AVCA College Volleyball Showcase and the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic. Her 4.08 kpg lead the team and rank her eighth in the Pac-10. She is also fourth in the conference in aces, sixth in points and ninth in digs per game.
A person can really stand out on a volleyball court when they are wearing a different colored jersey than their teammates. For junior Jade Machado, sure see stands out because she carries the libero tag and hence the different jersey, but so far this season she is also standing out because of her great defensive play. Machado had a career-high 29 digs against Oregon State on Oct. 12, bettering her personal best by nine. Machado has had double figures in digs 16 times this season, including 15 or more on 10 occasions. During the last seven matches, Machado is averaging 17.5 digs per contest and has led the team in digs 13 times this season. The junior is averaging 4.32 digs per game in Pac-10 play and a team-leading 3.93 dpg on the season. The junior also ranks seventh in the Pac-10 in dpg.
K IS FOR KILL ... AND KAITLIN
Junior Kaitlin Sather posted her eighth double-double of the season and 25th of her career against Washington State last Friday, leading the team with 17 kills while adding 10 digs. Sather has led the team in kills six times this season and tied her season high with her output against the Cougars. Sather also posted 17 kills against Arizona on Sept. 20, which coincided with her best hitting match of the year. The junior had just three errors in 30 swings for a .467 hitting percentage. Sather has had double figures in kills in 11 of the last 12 matches and has 14 such contests this season. On the defensive side of things, the junior had a season-high 15 digs against USC on Oct. 5 and tied a career best with six blocks. The junior is second on the team in kills per game at 3.48 and is fourth with 2.59 digs per game.
MANNING THE MIDDLE
Stepping up in the absence of graduated senior Nana Meriwether, senior Rachell Johnson has made a huge impact in the middle of the Bruins' lineup in her final campaign in Westwood. Johnson set a personal high with 11 blocks against Arizona State on Sept. 21, adding 14 kills for her first career double-double. The senior has four matches with at least five blocks this season and is averaging 1.04 blocks per game. Offensively, Johnson is third on the team at 3.43 kills per game, recording 16 in Friday's victory over Washington State. The 16-kill effort was her 15th double-figure kills match this season, which is second on the team. Johnson's season best of 19 kills came against Nebraska on Aug. 25. She has also led the Bruins in kills on three occasions. The senior is the only regular starter hitting above .300 this season at .313 and has hit better than .400 for a match on seven occasions.
Junior Elise Carstensen made her first start since Sept. 14 on Friday against Washington State and made it count, recording nine kills and a .353 hitting percentage. Carstensen had played only seven games during the month in between starts. She was one of three middle blockers to earn a starting nod against the Cougars along with Rachell Johnson and Katie Mills ... Mills would be fifth in the Pac-10 with 1.36 blocks per game, but has not played in enough matches to qualify for the category. The freshman will qualify following the Oregon State match on Nov. 8.
Sophomore Emily Clements injured her right knee in the first game of the match against Cal State Northridge on Sept. 14 and will miss the remainder of the season. Clements will be eligible to apply for a medical redshirt, having played in less than 30 percent of UCLA's matches and will still have three years of eligibility left beginning with the 2008 season ... junior transfer Laura Holloway, who has yet to play this year, will sit out this season with injuries and redshirt. Holloway will have two years of eligibility remaining at the start of the 2008 campaign.