#6 UCLA Hosts Oregon State and Oregon on Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend

Oct. 11, 2011

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Friday, Oct. 14
7 p.m. - Oregon State at #6 UCLA
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio | Video

Saturday, Oct. 15
7 p.m. - #16 Oregon at #6 UCLA
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio | Video

The sixth-ranked Bruins (14-3, 7-2 Pac-12) begin a four-match homestand this weekend, hosting Oregon State (11-7, 3-5) on Friday and #16 Oregon (12-4, 5-3) on Saturday at the John Wooden Center. First serve for both matches is at 7 p.m. UCLA will wear pink jerseys for each contest and they will be auctioned off following the match on UCLABruins.com.

All seating at the John Wooden Center for women's volleyball matches is general admission, first-come first-served. Gates and the ticket office open at 6 p.m. for both nights and tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for youths (16 and under) and free for students with a valid Bruin Card. Parking is $11 in Lot 4 (corner of Charles E. Young Drive North and Westwood Plaza), which is the closest lot to the Wooden Center.

Gametracker, free video and free audio will be available for both matches this weekend at UCLABruins.com. Darren Preston, Michael Sondheimer and Connor Reeves will call all the action. Links can be found on the women's volleyball schedule page.

The Bruins' four-match homestand continues as the second half of Pac-12 play kicks off against the two newest conference schools. UCLA hosts Colorado on Friday, Oct. 21 and Utah on Saturday, Oct. 22. Both matches start at 7 p.m. at the John Wooden Center.

The Bruins dropped four spots to sixth in this week's AVCA Top 25 Coaches poll. UCLA, which still earned one first-place vote this week, lost 178 points. The Bruins also fell four positions to sixth in this week's Volleyball Magazine rankings, losing 39 points. In the Pac-12 preseason coaches poll, the Bruins were fifth with 90 points.

Junior Bojana Todorovic continues to pace all Pac-12 players in service aces per set at 0.45 and is one of five players listed in the Top 10 of their respective statistical categories. Junior Rachael Kidder is in the Top 10 twice, ranking fifth in both kills (4.38) and points (4.96) per set. Senior Lainey Gera is third in digs per set at 4.79, senior Lauren Van Orden is sixth in assists per set at 10.67 and sophomore Mariana Aquino is seventh in blocks per set at 1.23. As a team, the Bruins are in the top half of the Pac-12 in six categories. UCLA comes in at third in digs per set (15.75) and opponent hitting percentage (.147), fourth in hitting percentage (.240), assists per set (13.02) and kills per set (13.89) and fifth in blocks per set (2.58). During conference contests, the Bruins are first in the Pac-12 with a .276 hitting percentage and second in assists (13.69) and kills (14.66) per set. Kidder is third with 4.66 kps and 5.14 pps in league contests.

Junior Rachael Kidder is ranked in the Top 20 nationally in two statistical categories, coming in at 20th in both kills (4.38) and points per set (4.96). Junior Bojana Todorovic is tied for 31st with 0.45 service aces per set, while sophomore Mariana Aquino is 45th at 1.23 blocks per set. As a team, the Bruins are in the Top 50 in four categories, coming in at 27th in bps (2.58), 28th in assists per set (13.02), 31st in kps (13.89) and 49th in hitting percentage (.240)

Since starting Pac-12 play at 3-1, the Beavers have dropped four straight league matches to the Washington and Bay Area schools to move to 11-7 overall and 3-5 in conference action. Last weekend, Oregon State hosted Stanford and California and won the first set in both contests before losing in four. The Beavers are 1-3 against ranked teams this season, winning at Long Beach State in five on Sept. 10. Oregon State is hitting .188 as a team and is averaging 12.27 kills, 1.10 aces, 15.49 digs and 2.49 blocks per set. Three players are averaging at least 2.00 kps, led by junior Camille Saxton's 3.63 kps to go along with a team-best 24 service aces. Senior Dre Shaw is second on the squad with 2.54 kps and 2.70 dps, while freshman Arica Nassar is third with 2.23 kps and first with 1.13 bps. Junior Megan McBride (7.34 assists per set) has seen the bulk of the time at setter over the last three matches, but freshman Tayla Woods (7.02) has also been a part of the action. In the backrow, sophomore Becky Defoe is first on the squad with 4.50 dps. Taras Liskevych is in his seventh year at Oregon State and holds a 70-122 record and a 337-206 career mark in 15-plus seasons of coaching.

UCLA has won seven straight against Oregon State and leads the all-time series 48-3. The Beavers' last victory was a five-set upset at Pauley Pavilion on Oct. 12, 2007. UCLA has won the last three in Westwood and is 23-2 all-time at home. Last year, the Bruins won in four sets at Pauley and in three in Corvallis. On Oct. 22, 2010, the Bruins won 25-13, 25-23, 23-25, 25-14 behind 23 kills from Rachael Kidder and 17 digs by Lainey Gera. On Nov. 21 at OSU, UCLA triumphed 25-14, 26-24, 25-21, as Kidder had 14 kills and Gera added 26 digs.

The Ducks will play at USC on Friday before traveling to Westwood and bring a 12-4 overall mark and a 5-3 Pac-12 record into this week's play. Oregon was swept by Cal last Friday and lost in four to Stanford on Saturday, dropping to 1-4 in matches against ranked foes. The Ducks won at then-#1 Penn State in the season opener on Aug. 26, but lost the next night to #12 Minnesota in five and were also swept at #3 Washington on Sept. 30. Oregon is hitting .237 as a team, averaging 14.50 kills, 1.22 aces, 15.09 digs and 1.80 blocks per set. Four players are averaging over 2.00 kps, led by junior Alaina Bergsma's 4.83 kps. Junior Katherine Fischer is second with 2.94 kps and first with 15 aces, sophomore Ariana Williams is third with 2.48 kps and freshman Liz Brenner is fourth with 2.40 kps. Sophomore Lauren Plum quarterbacks the offense and is averaging 11.70 assists and 2.52 digs per set. Defensively, junior Haley Jacob is first with 3.91 dps and junior Milica Krstojevic leads the squad with 0.72 bps. Seventh-year head coach Jim Moore is 127-75 at Oregon and 479-231 in 22-plus seasons of coaching.

UCLA swept the season series with Oregon last year, winning in three in Westwood and four in Eugene to improve to 50-5 against the Ducks. The Bruins are 27-1 at home, with Oregon's lone win coming in five sets on Nov. 1, 2008. On Oct. 23, 2010 at Pauley Pavilion, the Bruins claimed a 25-23, 25-17, 25-18 victory, as Rachael Kidder had 10 kills and Lainey Gera posted 15 digs. In Eugene on Nov. 19, UCLA won 25-15, 25-20, 19-25, 25-20. Lauren Van Orden (55 assists, 10 digs) and Bojana Todorovic (15 kills, 12 digs) had double-doubles, while Gera added 31 digs.

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