Oct. 6, 2008
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
#10 Washington (11-3, 2-2 Pac-10) at #8 UCLA (11-3, 1-2 Pac-10)
Friday, October 10
Los Angeles, Calif.
Live: Audio, Gametracker
Washington State (7-8, 0-4 Pac-10) at #8 UCLA (11-3, 1-2 Pac-10)
Saturday, October 11
Los Angeles, Calif.
Live: Audio, Gametracker
BRUINS HOME AT LAST AGAINST UW, WAZZU
After six weeks of non-conference and Pac-10 contests away from home, the eighth-ranked Bruins make their 2008 Pauley Pavilion debut this weekend with matchups against #10 Washington on Friday and Washington State on Saturday. First serve for both matches is 7 p.m. Live audio and Gametracker will be available for free on UCLABruins.com.
BRUINS ON THE NET
All UCLA home matches, along with the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, will feature live audio broadcasts at UCLABruins.com. Darren Preston and Michael Sondheimer will call all the action for each contest. In addition, Gametracker or live stats will be available for all home matches and most road contests.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
The Bruins fell three spots to eighth in this week's CBS College Sports Network/AVCA poll. The Pac-10 has seven teams ranked in the Top 25, including six in the Top 11 (#4 Stanford, #5 California, #7 Oregon, #10 Washington, #11 USC, #24 Oregon State). Arizona is also first among others receiving votes. In last week's Molten/Volleyball Magazine Top 25 poll (Sept. 30), the Bruins were ranked sixth.
Every year brings rule changes to women's volleyball, but most are so subtle that fans don't notice. That won't be the case in 2008, with perhaps the biggest rule change being the switch to 25-point sets. It marks the third different scoring method in the last nine seasons. After switching from sideout scoring and 15-point games to rally scoring and 30-point games for the 2001 season, the NCAA moves to 25-point sets to mirror the international scoring method. In addition to the new scoring system, the term "game" has been replaced with "set", so matches will now be a best three-out-of-five sets. The fifth set will remain rally scoring to 15. Other rule changes include a limit of substitutions to 12 and a loosening of the double-hit call for setters.
THE ROOF IS ON FIRE
The Bruins remain in the Top 20 in the nation in blocks per set, coming in at 19th this week with 2.71 bps. Individually, freshman Amanda Gil, who is first in the Pac-10 in bps, is also eighth in the nation at 1.45 bps.
BRUINS IN PAC-10 HOME OPENERS
UCLA is 18-4 all-time in Pac-10 home openers, having won two in a row. The Bruins beat Arizona in four in 2007 and Washington in five in 2006. Prior to that, UCLA had lost three straight conference home openers (2003-05), but were 16-1 in such matches from 1986 to 2002. On seven occasions, the Bruins have opened Pac-10 play at home against Washington and are 6-1 in those matches.
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES (11-3, 2-2 PAC-10)
After winning a pair of five-set matches at Arizona State and Arizona during the opening week of Pac-10 play, Washington was swept in two home contests last weekend against California and Stanford. It marked the first time since 2003 that the Huskies have lost back-to-back home matches and the first time since 2000 that they have been swept in consecutive home contests. Washington was 9-1 in non-conference play, with the only loss coming at Hawai'i in five. Three players average over 3.00 kills per set, led by sophomore Kindra Carlson's 3.42 kps. She is followed closely by sophomore Becky Perry at 3.38 kps and junior Jill Collymore at 3.37 kps. Sophomore Jenna Hagglund handles the setting duties with 12.00 assists per set, while junior Tamari Miyashiro is the top digger at 4.31 dps. As a team, the Huskies are hitting .301 with 13.94 kills, 1.67 aces, 13.67 digs and 2.44 blocks per set. Jim McLaughlin is in his eighth year at Washington and holds a 181-52 record, while also posting a 405-170 mark in 18-plus seasons of coaching.
THE MATCHUP: UCLA-WASHINGTON
The Bruins lead the all-time series 40-13, but the Huskies have won three straight, including a pair of sweeps last season. In the match at Washington on Oct. 18, Ali Daley led the Bruins with 12 kills and 13 digs. Daley also had a double-double in the home tilt against Washington on Nov. 17 with 12 kills and 15 digs. UCLA is 19-4 all-time at home against Washington, including an 8-2 record in its last 10 at Pauley Pavilion. The last win at home and in the series for the Bruins was on Sept. 28, 2006, a 3-2 victory. Overall, the Huskies have won seven of the last nine matches.
SCOUTING THE COUGARS (7-8, 0-4 PAC-10)
Washington State has yet to win a set in Pac-10 Conference play, having been swept by the Arizona and Bay Area schools over the first four matches. The Cougars entered conference action on a three-match win streak, but have since lost 12 straight sets by an average of 7.5 points. Offensively, junior Jackie Albright paces the attack with 2.52 kills per set. Senior Emily Rooney (2.41) and senior Brittany Johnson (2.40) are second and third in kps. Junior Renee Bordelon is the setter for the Cougars and averages 9.24 assists per set, while junior Kelly Hyder posts 4.10 digs per set on defense. As a team, Washington State is hitting .167 with 11.85 kills, 0.74 aces, 14.92 digs and 2.23 blocks per set.
THE MATCHUP: UCLA-WASHINGTON STATE
UCLA has swept the season series from Washington State for five straight years as it brings a 10-match winning streak into Saturday's contest. Nellie Spicer had a double-double with 51 assists and 12 digs in the Bruins' road sweep in Pullman on Oct. 19, 2007 and also went for 47 assists and 16 digs in the home contest on Nov. 16. The Bruins are 20-2 all-time at home against the Cougars and have won 10 straight in Westwood. Washington State's last win in the series came in Pullman on Oct. 25, 2002 (3-2), while its last victory at UCLA was on Oct. 24, 1997 (3-1).
Senior Nellie Spicer recorded a pair of double-doubles last weekend, posting 40 assists and 15 digs against Oregon last Friday and 44 assists and 14 digs in Saturday's victory at Oregon State. Spicer has double-doubles in four of her last five matches and was just one dig shy of another against USC on Sept. 26, a match where she ended up with 42 assists, nine digs and six blocks. With two more last weekend, Spicer has 56 career double-doubles and six this season. The senior had a pair of double-doubles at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic (32 assists, 10 digs vs. Ohio and 45 assists, 11 digs at Hawai'i) and at the Northwestern Wildcat Classic (33 assists, 10 digs vs. Georgetown and 47 assists, 13 digs at Northwestern), with all four matches resulting in Bruin victories. The 47 assists against Northwestern were a season high for Spicer. She has five 40-plus assists matches this year, surpassing that total in four straight. Spicer has set the Bruins to at least a .300 hitting percentage six times, including a season-best total of .400 at Cal State Northridge on Sept. 16. Spicer, who is sixth in the Pac-10 with 10.21 assists per set, has six double-figure digs matches this season and 56 for her career. Her season high in digs came on Friday at Oregon with 15. Offensively, Spicer also tied a career high in kills with eight in a victory at Hawai'i on Aug. 31. This year, Spicer has been named to All-Tournament teams three times, including being named Most Valuable Player of the Nevada Tournament and the Wildcat Classic. The senior enters this week's play with 5,187 career assists and is less than 500 shy of second-place Ann Boyer, who had 5,667 assists at UCLA. Spicer also has the chance to become the third player in UCLA history to earn three first-team All-American accolades. She received a second consecutive first-team All-American honor as a junior to become the sixth Bruin to accomplish the feat (Annett Buckner, Liz Masakayan, Daiva Tomkus, Natalie Williams, Elaine Youngs). Williams and Youngs are the only Bruins to earn three first-team All-American awards.
GIL SOARING ABOVE THE REST
And not just due to the fact that she is the tallest member of the Bruins at 6-6. Amanda Gil is one of the early candidates for National Freshman of the Year, as she enters this week's play first in the nation among all freshmen in blocks per set at 1.45. Gil, who is eighth overall in the nation and first in the Pac-10 in bps, had 13 roofs in two matches last weekend (five at Oregon, eight at Oregon State) to give her 22 blocks in her first three conference matches (1.57 bps). Along with her status as top blocker on the team, Gil is first in hitting percentage (.316) and points per set (3.60) and second in kills per set (2.74). Gil has surpassed five blocks in a match a team-best seven times, registering a season-high nine at Cal State Northridge (Sept. 16) and at USC (Sept. 26). She also has eight blocks in three more contests. On offense, Gil had double figures in kills in three consecutive matches from Sept. 19-26, averaging 4.17 kps during that span. Her season high in kills came at Northwestern on Sept. 20 when she had 20. Gil has hit over .300 in seven matches, totaling a season-best .647 hitting percentage (12 kills, one error, 17 attempts) at Cal State Northridge. The freshman has been named to three All-Tournament teams this season at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic, the Nevada Tournament and the Northwestern Wildcat Classic.
QUICK DRAW McGRAW
Perhaps the most consistent player on the team this season has been sophomore Dicey McGraw, who recorded her team-best eighth double-figure kills match at USC on Sept. 26. McGraw posted 11 kills against the Trojans for her fourth consecutive double-figure kills match. During that streak, which ran from Sept. 19-26, McGraw averaged 3.27 kills per set. The sophomore leads the Bruins in kps at 2.98 and is just three double-figure kills matches shy of equaling her freshman total of 11. McGraw has topped the Bruins in kills in five matches this season. She had a season-high 16 at Northwestern on Sept. 20, which was just two shy of her career best. She added 10 digs against the Wildcats to post her fourth career double-double and first of the season. McGraw earned All-Tournament honors at the Northwestern Wildcat Classic after she totaled three matches with at least 10 kills (12 vs. Virginia, 10 vs. Georgetown and 16 vs. Northwestern). McGraw has hit above .400 on four occasions this year, including a season-best .440 at Cal State Fullerton on Sept. 10.
THE DALEY NEWS
Another year, another Ali Daley sighting at the top of the Bruins' kill category. The senior enters this week's play third on the squad with 2.70 kills per set, having posted at least seven kills in seven of her last eight matches, including a season-best 16 at Oregon last Friday. Daley fell just short of a double-double, adding nine digs and committing only one error in 45 attempts for a .333 hitting percentage. The senior came into that Oregon contest with two straight double-doubles after recording 14 kills and 11 digs at Northwestern (Sept. 20) and 11 kills and 15 digs at USC (Sept. 26). Adding in a double-double at Hawai'i on Aug. 31 (12 kills, 14 digs), Daley has three on the season and 32 for her Bruin career. Daley has six double-figure kills matches this season (49 for her UCLA career), posting 10-plus kills in three straight contests from Sept. 20 to Oct. 3. She also has four matches with at least 10 digs and 38 as a Bruin. Daley is third on the squad with 2.44 digs per set and tied for second with nine service aces. The senior surpassed the 1,000 career digs mark at USC (1,027 entering this week's play) and is 209 away from 1,000 as a Bruin. After eclipsing 1,000 career kills last season, Daley is also just 125 kills shy of becoming the 24th member of UCLA's 1,000-kill club.
SHE IS SO FINE AT DIGGING
Senior Jessica Fine continues to stand out on the volleyball court, not just because of the fact she wears a different color jersey than her teammates, but also due to her defensive prowess. One of the top passers in the Pac-10, Fine is first on the team and ninth in the conference with 3.76 digs per set. The senior has turned it up in the first three matches of Pac-10 play, averaging 4.86 dps. Fine has four consecutive 20-plus digs matches and six straight double-figure digs contests. The streak began with 14 against Virginia on Sept. 19, and following a 10-dig effort against Georgetown later that day, Fine began her streak of matches with at least 20 digs. She had 23 in a win at Northwestern (Sept. 20), a season-high 27 at USC on Sept. 26, 21 last Friday at Oregon and 20 on Saturday at Oregon State. Fine has 10 career matches with at least 20 digs and 28 double-figure digs contests (eight this season). She has led the Bruins in digs 10 times this season, including each of the last six contests.
SETTING UP CAMP ABOVE THE NET
Joining fellow freshman Amanda Gil in the middle, Katie Camp has made as much an impact as her counterpart, as she is second on the team with a .308 hitting percentage and 1.17 blocks per set and fifth in kills per set at 1.94. Camp reached double figures in kills for the fourth time this season when she had 10 at Oregon State last Saturday. She fell just shy of a double-double, also posting nine blocks, which tied a season high. Camp has six matches this season with at least five blocks, which is second on the team, posting nine roofs in a win at Hawai'i on Aug. 31. She is averaging 1.14 bps in her first three Pac-10 contests. On offense, Camp had season-best totals in kills with 13 and hitting percentage at .722 in a win against Virginia on Sept. 19. It was the second of three straight matches in which Camp did not have a hitting error (Cal State Northridge on Sept. 16, Virginia and Georgetown on Sept. 19), as she hit over .550 in all three contests.
BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER
After missing most of the 2007 season with a torn ACL in her right knee and sitting out seven straight matches from Sept. 5-20 to rest the same injury, redshirt sophomore Emily Clements is back on the court. Clements returned for minimal action at USC on Sept. 26, but played three sets at Oregon last Friday and then had a career match in a win at Oregon State on Saturday. The sophomore had personal bests in kills with 16 and blocks with six to help the Bruins rally from a 2-1 deficit to defeat the Beavers. Twelve of Clements' 16 kills came in the last three sets, including three in the deciding fifth set. Clements started each of the first two matches of the season and was averaging 2.00 kills per set over the first four contests before sitting down for seven in a row. Following her effort against Oregon State, Clements, who posted her third double-figure kills match of her career against the Beavers, sits fourth on the team with 2.20 kps.