Oct. 13, 2006
LOS ANGELES - After winning its first 20 matches of the 2006 season, UCLA women's volleyball tasted defeat for the first time on Friday night, falling to No. 6 Stanford 30-27, 27-30, 25-30, 30-25, 15-10. The Bruins fall to 20-1 (7-1 Pac-10) while Stanford improves to 15-2 (6-1 Pac-10). Four Bruins had double-figure kills in the match led by Katie Carter with 19. Sophomore setter Nellie Spicer had a season-best 68 assists in the match.
The Bruins opened game one with a 4-0 run, including two aces by Rachell Johnson. Stanford answered with two points of its own but UCLA continued to attack, posting another 3-1 run to take a 7-3 lead, but Stanford continued to fight back, tying the game at 11-11. The teams would trade points from there and the game was tied as late as 27-27 before Stanford closed out the opening game win with a Bruin service error, a Franci Girard ace and a block from Erin Waller and Foluke Akinradewo for the 30-27 win. Stanford hit .400 as a team in the opening game of the match which featured 12 ties and three lead changes.
In a game that featured 10 ties and four lead changes, Stanford held an early lead but UCLA stayed within two points and had the game tied at 21-21 before taking the lead for good at 22-21 on a Cardinal attack error. From that point, a Colby Lyman kill pushed UCLA's lead to two points and the Bruins would not relinquish its lead and a Nellie Spicer kill closed out the second game with a 30-27 UCLA win.
The Bruins trailed for much of game three, eventually tying the score at 16-all as part of a three-point run that featured kills from Carter and Lyman to give the Bruins a 17-16 lead. After Stanford re-took the lead with a three-point run of its own, the see-saw battle stayed even to the 20-20 mark, when kills from Rachell Johnson and Lyman gave the Bruins a 22-20 lead and UCLA would never look back. A Katie Carter kill closed out the game, giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead heading into game four.
Stanford jumped to a 5-2 lead in game four thanks to two kills and a tip by setter Bryn Kehoe. UCLA bounced back to tie the game at 6 on a kill by Johnson. UCLA tied the game two more times, but the Cardinal maintained its lead on a kill by Girard in the middle, 10-9. The Bruins took over the lead, 11-10, as Nana Meriwether placed a kill on the left line. Stanford rallied past UCLA with a 6-1 run on three kills, then Akinradewo increased Stanford's lead with an ace, 20-13. The Bruins pulled out a 4-1 run after a timeout to pull within four, 21-17, but the Bruins were unable to close the gap further, falling 30-25 and sending the match to a fifth and deciding game.
In game five, UCLA opened with a 2-1 lead on two kills from Meriwether, but the momentum would not hold. Stanford answered with five of the next seven points to take a 6-4 lead and force UCLA into its first timeout, which was followed by three more Stanford points with an 8-4 Cardinal advantage when the teams switched sides and a 9-4 lead before a Kaitlin Sather kill stopped the run. UCLA was able to close within two points at 12-10 on a Stanford attack error, leading Stanford to call its first timeout of the game. Stanford would close it out from that point, scoring three straight to take the game and the match, 15-10.
UCLA returns to action next Friday, October 20, with a 7 pm Lexus Gauntlet match at USC's Lyon Center.