Oct. 31, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - For the first time since 2000, the 11th-ranked Bruins were victorious against #4 Stanford, winning a five-set thriller on Saturday at Maples Pavilion to snap an 18-match losing streak to the Cardinal and give head coach Andy Banachowski his 1,100th career victory. Set scores were 25-18, 34-32, 19-25, 21-25, 15-11.
The Bruins have won five straight and seven of their last eight to improve to 18-6 overall and 8-3 in Pac-10 play, while the Cardinal fall to 15-6 and 8-3 in league action.
Freshman Bojana Todorovic tied career highs with 14 kills and five blocks, adding 10 digs for her third double-double of the season. Senior Kaitlin Sather recorded her team-high 12th double-double with 14 kills and 20 digs, while freshman Lauren Cook had 50 assists and a career-best 18 digs for her 11th double-double. Junior Dicey McGraw made it a quartet of double-doubles with 12 kills and 15 digs for her fifth of the year. Sophomore Amanda Gil was also in double figures in kills with 11, adding seven blocks, while sophomore Sara Sage posted seven kills and six roofs. Sophomore Lainey Gera tied a personal best with 28 digs. The Bruins hit .204 as a team with 13 blocks.
The Bruins trailed for most of the opener, but made an improbable 11-0 run to end the set and win the first. With UCLA leading 6-4 early on, the Cardinal went on runs of 3-0 and 8-1 to take a five-point advantage at 12-7. After the teams sided out the next eight points, the Bruins began to make their run. Trailing 16-11, a Sather kill and a combo block by Sage and Todorovic cut the Bruins' deficit to three. Stanford came back with two of the next three to go up 18-14, but it would be the last points the Cardinal would score in the first set.
The 11-0 run began with a Stanford service error, which was followed by a kill from freshman Rachael Kidder and back-to-back spikes by Todorovic to even the score at 18. Kidder then teamed up with Gil on a roof and another Kidder kill gave the Bruins a 20-18 edge, forcing Stanford into its second timeout in three points. Three of the next four UCLA points came on Cardinal attack errors, giving the visitors set point at 24-18. The Bruins won it on a combo roof by Gil and Todorovic to take it 25-18. Kidder, who was in for blocking purposes during the final run, had a hand in four of the points on three kills and a block. Todorovic also had three kills in the first, as the Bruins out-hit the Cardinal .268 to .133.
To say the second set was a close one would be an understatement. The game featured 25 ties and 10 lead changes, as both teams had five set points and never had more than a two-point advantage. Tied at eight, the Bruins scored back-to-back points on a Gil kill and a Stanford attack error to go up by two for the first time. UCLA still led 11-9, but a 4-0 Stanford run gave the home squad its first two-point advantage at 13-11.
Stanford maintained its lead until at 20-18, UCLA scored three straight on back-to-back kills by McGraw and a Sather/Sage combo block to go up 21-20. The Cardinal rebounded with a 4-2 run to earn their first set point at 24-23, but consecutive kills by Todorovic and Sather made it 25-24 to give the Bruins their first set point. UCLA would get two more set points at 26-25 and 27-26, but the Cardinal denied their guests both times and eventually got another set point at 28-27.
The Cardinal had chances again at 29-28, 30-29 and 31-30, but a Todorovic kill evened the set at 31 and a Stanford attack error gave the Bruins their fourth set point at 32-31. The Cardinal sided out to knot it at 32, but the Bruins finally put Stanford away, receiving a kill by Todorovic and a combo block by Gil and Todorovic to take the second 34-32. Todorovic had seven kills in the set to lead the Bruins, McGraw and Sather had four apiece and Gil posted three kills. The Cardinal out-hit the Bruins .227 to .219.
It was all Stanford in the third after UCLA took an early 2-1 lead, as five straight by the Cardinal gave the home squad a 6-2 advantage. Stanford's biggest lead of the set was seven on several occasions. Down 21-14, the Bruins netted four in a row on a kill by freshman Mari Hole, a Gil/McGraw block, a Stanford attack error and an ace by Hole to make it 21-18. But the Cardinal would not allow another UCLA comeback, scoring four of the final five to win it 25-19. McGraw led the Bruins in the third with three kills. Stanford out-hit UCLA .276 to .108.
The fourth set was a tale of two halves, as the Bruins led early, but the Cardinal came on strong after the midway point to force a fifth set. Stanford was up 3-1 early on, but a mini 3-0 UCLA run on back-to-back kills by Hole and McGraw and a Hole ace made it 4-3. Tied at five, the Bruins netted three straight on a Sage/Cook block, a McGraw kill and a Cook ace to go up 8-5. UCLA still led 10-7, but Stanford then began its run to take the fourth set.
Trailing 12-11, the Cardinal posted five of the next six points to take a 16-13 advantage. Stanford's largest lead was five on multiple occasions, as the home team went on to win the set 25-21. Sather paced the Bruins with three kills. The Cardinal out-hit the Bruins .278 to .139.
It was all Stanford to start the deciding set, as the home squad jumped out to an early 8-4 lead. The changeover and media timeout came at a great time for the Bruins, as they scored the next three points on a kill by Sather, a Stanford ball handling error and a spike by Todorovic to get UCLA to within one at 8-7 and force Stanford into a timeout. The Cardinal sided out the next point, but another 3-0 run on a Stanford service error and consecutive kills by Gera and Sather gave the Bruins their first lead of the set at 10-9, as the home team took its second timeout.
Out of the break, the Cardinal sided out to tie it at 10, but a 4-0 Bruins' run brought them to the brink of victory. The streak began with consecutive kills by Gil, Todorovic and Kidder, with a Gil/Kidder combo block making it 14-10. The Cardinal staved off the first match point, but a kill by Gil on UCLA's second try gave the Bruins a 15-11 win. Sather had three kills to lead the Bruins in the fifth, as UCLA out-hit Stanford .286 to .192.
Alix Klineman (20), Cassidy Lichtman (18) and Janet Okogbaa (17) all had double figures in kills for Stanford, which hit .218 as a team.
The Bruins face rival USC at Galen Center next Friday at 7 p.m. Gametracker and live audio will be available on UCLABruins.com.