Oct. 17, 2012
LOS ANGELES - Senior Tabi Love led all players with 18 kills, senior Rachael Kidder added 13 and freshman Becca Strehlow recorded her second double-double of the season with 41 assists and 11 digs to go with three aces, as the sixth-ranked Bruins swept Utah on Wednesday at the John Wooden Center. Set scores were 25-22, 25-21, 25-18.
The Bruins improve to 14-4 overall and 6-3 in Pac-12 play, while the Utes fall to 11-11 and 2-7 in league action.
Despite three tie scores, the Bruins never trailed in the opening set. UCLA scored four of the first five on a Utah attack error, kills by Kidder and freshman Hannah Boland and an ace from Strehlow. The Utes came back to tie it at seven, but three straight kills by Love made it 10-7 Bruins. Up 12-11, a 6-1 UCLA run put the home squad up by a set-best six at 18-12. A Utah attack error, a Strehlow ace and a Kidder kill made it 15-11, and after a Ute sideout, Boland scored three straight points on two kills and a block solo to put the Bruins ahead by a half dozen.
With UCLA leading 24-20, the Utes scored the next two to save half of the four set points, but a Love kill clinched a 25-22 victory. Kidder and Love each had six kills in the opening set, while Boland and sophomore Zoë Nightingale both had three. The Bruins out-hit the Utes .293 to .233.
The Bruins held a slim 3-1 lead to start the second set, but a 7-2 Utah run gave the visitors an 8-5 edge. The Utes still led by three at 13-10, but the Bruins scored five straight on a Reeves kill, an ace from junior Meg Norton, a combo block by Love and junior Mariana Aquino, a Utah attack error and a Love kill to make it 15-13. Utah re-took the advantage thanks to a 4-1 run, but UCLA finished the set with nine of the last 13 to go up 2-0 in the match.
Trailing 17-16, two Love kills put the Bruins up by one. After a Utah sideout, a Love kill and two straight Ute errors put the Bruins up 21-18. Following another sideout, a Kidder kill and a Nightingale ace put UCLA on top 23-19. The teams traded the last four points of the set, as a Kidder kill closed out a 25-21 victory. Love had eight kills and no errors in 12 attempts (.667) in the second, while Kidder added three kills. The Bruins out-hit the Utes .351 to .250.
There were nine ties and three lead changes in the third set, but the Bruins were able to pull away to finish the sweep. Utah's largest lead of the set was one on several occasions. Trailing 10-9, the Bruins scored four in a row on kills by Aquino and Love, a Utah attack error and another kill by Love to take a 13-10 lead.
Up four at 17-13, another 4-0 run on a Nightingale kill, a Love ace, a Kidder kill and a Utah attack error gave the Bruins a set-best lead of eight at 21-13. On the Bruins' second match point, a kill by Aquino wrapped up a 25-18 victory. Kidder and Love each had four kills in the third, while Aquino added three, as the Bruins out-hit the Utes .360 to. 296.
The Bruins continue their four-match homestand on Friday against Colorado at 7 p.m. at the John Wooden Center. Gametracker and free audio will be available at UCLABruins.com.