Aug. 31, 2012
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Sophomore Karsta Lowe led the Bruins with 12 kills and had no hitting errors in 19 attempts for a .632 hitting percentage, as third-ranked UCLA defeated Northeastern in three sets on Friday at the UCSB Invitational. Set scores were 25-21, 25-18, 25-21.
The Bruins improve to 2-1 on the season, while the Huskies fall to 4-1.
Lowe tied a career high in kills, and along with setting a career best in hitting percentage, had a personal-high eight digs. Senior Tabi Love was a kill shy of double figures with nine, while senior Rachael Kidder added five kills. Freshman Becca Strehlow started two of the sets and had 22 assists, while sophomore Megan Moenoa opened the match with 12 assists in the first. Senior Bojana Todorovic posted eight digs and sophomore Zoë Nightingale added five blocks. The Bruins out-hit the Huskies .343 to .168 for the match.
The Huskies scored four of the first six points to take an early lead, but three in a row for the Bruins on a kill by Kidder and two Northeastern attack errors put them up 5-4. UCLA never relinquished the lead for the rest of the set. Tied at five, the Bruins scored four straight on two kills by Love, a combo block by Moenoa and junior Mariana Aquino and a Todorovic ace. With the Bruins still up by four at 14-10, they netted a 5-1 run to take a set-best lead of eight at 19-11. UCLA's five points came on three NU errors, a Lowe kill and a Nightingale solo block.
The Bruins had a bunch of set points with a 24-18 lead, but the Huskies saved the first three, prompting a UCLA timeout. However, a Lowe kill, her team-best seventh of the set, clinched a 25-21 victory. Lowe was a perfect 7-for-7 in the opener, while Love added three kills. The Bruins out-hit the Huskies .310 to .129.
Northeastern got off to a quick start in the second, scoring four of the first five points. The Huskies still led 8-6, but a 4-0 UCLA run on two kills by Love, an Aquino/Strehlow combo block and an Aquino kill put the Bruins on top 10-8. UCLA held the lead for the rest of the set. Up 16-13, a 4-0 run on a kill by Lowe, a Nightingale block, an ace by junior Meg Norton and a Love kill made it 20-13.
Like the first set, the Bruins' biggest lead was eight at 22-14. With the score 24-16, the Huskies held two set points, but a Kidder kill gave the Bruins a 25-18 victory. Love had five kills to lead UCLA in the second, while Aquino and Kidder produced three apiece. UCLA out-hit Northeastern .389 to .231.
Northeastern maintained a lead early on in the third set, going up 12-7. The Bruins countered with a 6-1 run to equal the score at 13. Junior Kelly Reeves had two kills and a solo block during the run, freshman Hannah Boland added two kills, while Lowe posted a kill. The Huskies came back with a 6-2 run to take a 19-15 edge, but the Bruins responded with another run to finish off the sweep.
With the score 21-18, the Bruins netted the final seven points to win it 25-21. A Lowe kill, a Love solo stuff and a combo block by Boland and Lowe evened things at 21. Boland followed with a solo block and a kill, with a Northeastern attack error in between, giving the Bruins match point. Another NU attack error finished off a 25-21 UCLA win. Boland, Lowe and Reeves each led the Bruins with three kills. The Bruins out-hit the Huskies .324 to .140.
The Bruins face host UC Santa Barbara on Saturday at 7 p.m. Free audio, video and live stats will be available, with links on the schedule page at UCLABruins.com.