Another Close Match Goes to the 12th-Ranked Bruins

Sept. 2, 2011

Box Score
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HONOLULU, Hawai'i - In a hard-fought match with the 22nd-ranked team in the nation, #12 UCLA knocked off Ohio State in four sets on Friday at the Rainbow Wahine Volleyball Classic. Set scores were 25-21, 25-19, 23-25, 25-23. Junior Bojana Todorovic had eight of her 11 kills in the fourth set and added 10 digs for a double-double.

The Bruins improve to 5-0 on the season, the first time since 2006 they have started the year with five consecutive victories, while the Buckeyes fall to 4-2.

Todorovic posted her first double-double of the year and 10th of her career, adding two service aces. Senior Lainey Gera notched 27 digs, her 28th-career contest with at least 20 digs. Junior Rachael Kidder paced the Bruins with 15 kills to go with six digs and five blocks, sophomore Kelly Reeves added eight kills and eight digs and sophomore Mariana Aquino produced eight kills and no errors in 20 swings (.400 hitting percentage) to go with five blocks. Freshman Megan Moenoa was the setter for the first three stanzas, posting 29 assists, six digs and five blocks, while senior Lauren Van Orden took over in the fourth and had 13 assists. The Bruins out-hit the Buckeyes .191 to .167.

After eight ties and four lead changes in the early part of the opening set, the Bruins made a run in the middle and held on for a first-set win. With the Bruins leading 6-5, the Buckeyes scored two in a row to take a 7-6 edge. But a kill by Moenoa and a combo block by Moenoa and freshman Olivia Okoro gave UCLA the lead back at 8-7, an advantage it would not relinquish for the rest of the set. Tied at nine, the Bruins scored four of five to go ahead 13-10. Reeves and Okoro had consecutive kills to make it 11-9, and after an Ohio State sideout, back-to-back Buckeye attack errors gave the Bruins a three-point lead.

Up 14-13, the Bruins scored four in a row and seven of the next eight to take a commanding 21-14 advantage. Two kills by Aquino and two Ohio State attack errors made it 18-13, and after a Buckeye sideout, the Bruins had three straight combo blocks by Aquino and Moenoa, Moenoa and Okoro and Okoro and junior Tabi Love to go ahead by seven.

Ohio State had another run in them though, scoring six in a row to get back in it at 21-20. But the Bruins would not be denied, scoring four of the final five points of the set to win it 25-21. Three of the four points came on unforced errors by OSU, while Todorovic added a kill. Aquino and Reeves each had three kills in the first, while Moenoa and Okoro had three blocks apiece, as the Bruins had five roofs as a team and out-hit Ohio State .091 to .024.

In set two, the Bruins took an early edge, the Buckeyes came back to lead by as many as four, but UCLA rallied to go up 2-0 in the match. On two kills by Kidder, one by Todorovic and two Ohio State errors, the Bruins had a 5-2 advantage. But the Buckeyes responded with an 11-4 run to take a 13-9 lead. UCLA answered though with three in a row and eight of nine to re-take the lead at 17-14. Two kills by Reeves and an OSU attack error cut UCLA's deficit to 13-12, and after a Buckeye sideout, the Bruins rattled off five in a row on kills by Aquino and Reeves, a pair of combo blocks by Aquino and Moenoa and an OSU attack error to go up by three.

The Buckeyes cut it to one at 19-18, but the Bruins netted six of the final seven points of the set to take it 25-19. Kills by freshman Priscilla Duke-Ezeji and Reeves made it 21-18, and after an OSU sideout, the Bruins received a kill by Reeves, a combo roof from Okoro and Reeves, a Kidder kill and a Todorovic ace to win the second by six. Reeves had five kills, while Kidder added four, as the Bruins out-hit the Buckeyes .242 to .107.

Just like Thursday night against Long Beach State, the Bruins had a chance to close it out in three, but Ohio State held off a late rally to force a fourth set. The Buckeyes scored four of the first five points of the set, but the Bruins came back with a 6-3 run to tie it at seven. Moenoa had two kills, Kidder posted one, Aquino served an ace and the Buckeyes had two errors. After a Buckeye sideout, they committed a service error and saw Okoro and Kidder notch back-to-back kills to give UCLA a 10-8 edge.

Ohio State bounced back with four in a row to go ahead 12-10 and never trailed for the rest of the set. The Bruins got to within one on several occasions and put a scare into the Buckeyes at the end of the set. With her team trailing 23-19, Kidder had consecutive kills and Aquino added one to cut the deficit to one at 23-22. But the teams sided out the next three points, as the Buckeyes posted the 25-23 victory. Kidder had six of the Bruins' 11 kills in the set, as they were out-hit .234 to .114. Gera added nine digs.

And again just like Thursday, the Bruins would close out the match with a win in the fourth. UCLA never trailed by more than one and led by as many as four in a set that featured 10 ties and six lead changes. Down 6-5, the Bruins scored five of six to take a 10-7 edge. Freshman Zoë Nightingale and Kidder had kills, and after an OSU sideout, Van Orden and Kidder had kills and a Buckeye attack error gave the Bruins a three-point lead. The Buckeyes came back to tie the set at 12 and 13 and re-took the lead at 14-13, but three in a row by the Bruins on kills from Todorovic and Kidder and an ace by Todorovic made it 16-14 Bruins.

After the Buckeyes sided out, Nightingale had a kill, Ohio State committed an attack error and Kidder added a spike to give the Bruins a set-best lead of four at 19-15. The Buckeyes would not quit though, cutting their deficit to one at 22-21. After kills by Todorovic and Nightingale gave the Bruins three match points, the Buckeyes saved the first two to make it 24-23. But Todorovic tallied her eighth kill of the fourth set to lift UCLA to a 25-23 win. Kidder added four kills and Nightingale posted three, as the Bruins hit .300 to the Buckeyes' .303.

The Bruins are off on Saturday and return to the court on Sunday as they take on 10th-ranked Hawai'i in the championship match of the Rainbow Wahine Volleyball Classic at 8 p.m. PT/5 p.m. HT.

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