Fourth-Ranked Bruins Head to #5 Washington, Washington State

Sept. 24, 2012

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Wednesday, Sept. 26
7 p.m. - #4 UCLA at #5 Washington
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Online Coverage: Gametracker

Friday, Sept. 28
7 p.m. - #4 UCLA at Washington State
TV: None
Online Coverage: Gametracker

The defending national champion and fourth-ranked Bruins head to the Pacific Northwest for a pair of matches this week, facing fifth-ranked Washington on Wednesday and Washington State on Friday. Both matches start at 7 p.m. and the Washington contest will be aired on Pac-12 Networks.

Gametracker will be provided for both matches this week. Links will be available on the women's volleyball schedule page at

The Bruins return home for two matches against the Arizona schools next weekend at the John Wooden Center. UCLA faces Arizona State on Friday, Oct. 5 at 5:30 p.m. and Arizona on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. Both contests will be televised by Pac-12 Networks.

The Bruins dropped three spots to fourth in this week's AVCA Coaches poll. UCLA lost 155 points, but still gained three first-place votes in this week's rankings. The Bruins were ranked as the preseason #1 for just the third time in program history. On the last two occasions, UCLA won the National Championship in 1990 and finished runner-up in 1992. The Bruins are one of five Pac-12 teams ranked in the Top 7 in the nation (#2 Oregon, #3 USC, #5 Washington and #7 Stanford). This week's Volleyball Magazine rankings come out on Tuesday. UCLA was also ranked #1 in the preseason Pac-12 Coaches poll.

Senior Bojana Todorovic is fourth among all Pac-12 players in digs per set at 4.16. Sophomore Karsta Lowe is fifth in hitting percentage (.391) and freshman Becca Strehlow is fifth in assists per set (10.20) ... the Bruins as a team are hitting .298, which is third among conference squads ... the Bruins hit .519 as a team against Idaho on Sept. 7, which was the highest hitting percentage in a match for UCLA in the rally scoring era (since 2001) ... UCLA is 6-0 when hitting .300 or better ... the Bruins have held their opponent under a .200 hitting percentage in each of their nine wins ... UCLA is 4-0 on Fridays ... the Bruins have not lost a match when winning either the first or second set ... UCLA is 7-0 when leading the match in kills and 6-0 when winning the aces battle ... junior Kelly Reeves surpassed the 600-career dig mark at Hawai'i and now has 642 as a Bruin ... after being held below the mark all last season, senior Tabi Love has cracked the 20-kill mark three times this year (20 at Nebraska, career-high 26 at Hawai'i, 24 at Colorado State) ... Strehlow has four kills in each of her last two matches ... sophomore Megan Moenoa has at least one block in every contest and 10 in her last two ... Todorovic reached 20 digs in a match for the fifth time in her career (third this year) with a season-best 22 at USC. She is 20th all-time on UCLA's career digs list (1,021). Next up are Michelle Quon (19th, 1,024), Colby Lyman (18th, 1.025), Ali Daley (17th, 1,026) and Annett Buckner (16th, 1.047). The senior also became the 18th Bruin to tally 100 aces for her career at Hawai'i ... senior Rachael Kidder has surpassed the 1,100-kill mark and has 1,154 for her career, which ranks her 24th on UCLA's all-time list. Next up are Nana Meriwether (23rd, 1,157), Marissa Hatchett (22nd, 1,168) and Samantha Shaver (21st, 1,169) ... junior Mariana Aquino has three matches with at least five blocks this season, while sophomore Zoë Nightingale leads the team in that category with six ... junior Meg Norton has at least six digs in four straight contests ... in eight fewer matches, Lowe has already surpassed her kill (53 in 2011, 94 this year) and block (15-21) totals from last season.

Washington (11-0) is one of three remaining undefeated teams in the nation and won both Pac-12 contests last weekend in four sets, defeating Washington State (Sept. 18) and Arizona (Sept. 22). The Huskies are 1-0 against ranked teams this season, sweeping then-#7 Purdue on Aug. 31. Washington has won 33 of the 35 sets it has played. As a team, the Huskies are hitting .318 and averaging 13.91 kills, 1.66 aces, 11.89 digs and 3.07 blocks per set. Four players are averaging over 2.00 kps, led by sophomore Krista Vansant's 3.83 kps to go with 2.23 dps and 10 aces, which are both second on the club. Senior Kylin Munoz (2.69) is second in kps, junior Gabbi Parker (2.45) is third and sophomore Kaleigh Nelson (2.26) is fourth. At setter, junior Jenni Nogueras (6.32 assists per set) and freshman Katy Beals (5.65) are splitting the duties, while Beals has a team-high 14 aces. Defensively, junior Jenna Orlandini is first with 3.62 dps, while freshman Lianna Sybeldon (1.35), senior Amanda Gil (1.29) and Munoz (1.03) are each averaging over a block per set. Jim McLaughlin is in his 12th year at Washington and has a 280-77 record in Seattle and a 504-195 mark in 22-plus seasons of head coaching.

The Bruins lead the all-time series with the Huskies 42-19, as each team won at home last season. On Sept. 17, UCLA was swept in Seattle for its ninth-straight loss at UW (26-24, 25-12, 25-20). Rachael Kidder led the Bruins with 16 kills and 10 digs with a .433 hitting percentage. UCLA returned the favor with a sweep at the John Wooden Center on Nov. 4 (28-26, 25-13, 28-26). Kidder had 19 kills, Tabi Love posted 12, Zoë Nightingale added 10 and Kelly Reeves (18) and Bojana Todorovic (10) were each in double figures in digs, as the Bruins hit .390 as a team. Despite their slide in Seattle, the Bruins are 19-13 all-time at UW, with the last victory coming on Oct. 3, 2003 in five sets.

The Cougars (10-4) are 0-2 in Pac-12 play after dropping a pair of contests in four sets at Washington (Sept. 18) and Arizona State (Sept. 21). Washington State's matchup against its in-state rival was its first against a ranked opponent this season. The Cougars are hitting .261 as a team and averaging 13.12 kills, 1.35 aces, 12.90 digs and 3.17 blocks per set. Sophomore Jaicee Harris is first on the team with 4.37 kps and 17 aces, and second with 2.22 dps. Senior Rachel Todorovich is second with 3.06 kps and junior Marcelina Glab is third with 2.08 kps and first with 1.53 bps. Junior Camryn Irwin handles the setting duties and is averaging 10.55 assists per set and is second with 16 aces. Freshman Kate Sommer is tops on the squad with 3.71 dps, while sophomore Ver'Leea Hardaway is second with 1.33 bps. Jen Greeny is in her second season as Washington State's coach and holds a record of 22-24.

The Bruins have won 18 straight matchups against the Cougars and lead the all-time series 45-7. UCLA won both contests last year in three (25-12, 25-19, 25-21 on Sept. 16 in Pullman and 25-16, 25-20, 25-17 on Nov. 6 in Westwood). Rachael Kidder led the Bruins with 10 kills in the road tilt and added 13 in the home contest. UCLA hit .329 as a team in Pullman and .381 in Westwood. The Bruins are 21-5 all-time at WSU and have won nine straight there since a five-set loss on Oct. 25, 2002, which was also the Cougars' last win in the series.

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