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Seventh-Seeded Bruins Fall in Four to Michigan State
By: UCLA Athletics
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LOS ANGELES - Seniors Rachael Kidder and Tabi Love each had 14 kills, while sophomore Megan Moenoa posted a double-double with 44 assists and 10 digs, but the seventh-seeded Bruins lost to Michigan State in four sets on Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the New Pauley Pavilion. Set scores were 17-25, 27-29, 25-18, 22-25.

The Bruins' season concludes with a record of 23-8, while the Spartans improve to 25-9 and advance to the Berkeley Regional.

Kidder was just shy of a double-double with nine digs to go with four blocks. Sophomore Karsta Lowe (11) and junior Mariana Aquino (10) were also in double figures in kills, as Aquino hit .562 with just one error in 16 attempts to go with four blocks. Junior Kelly Reeves added 13 digs, freshman Karly Drolson had nine and junior Meg Norton posted seven digs. The Bruins hit .261 for the match.

The Bruins held an early 3-2 lead in the opening set, but Michigan State countered with a 13-3 run to stretch its advantage to nine at 15-6. A MSU service error, an Aquino/Kidder combo block and a Kidder kill cut the Spartans' deficit to six, but four in a row brought their lead to double figures for the first time at 19-9.

Out of a timeout, UCLA scored the next four on an attack error, back-to-back Lowe kills and a combo block by Kidder and sophomore Zoë Nightingale to make it 19-13. Still down by six at 21-15, a Kidder kill and an MSU attack error got the Bruins to within four, but the Spartans scored the last four of the set to win the first 25-17. Kidder had four kills in the first to lead UCLA, while Lowe added three, as the Bruins were out-hit .267 to .097.

The Bruins started the second set strong thanks to a 6-1 run on two kills by Lowe, one apiece from Kidder and Norton, an Aquino ace and a bad set by the Spartans. Up 9-6, three in a row on a Kidder kill, an Aquino/Love combo block and a Moenoa ace made it 12-6. UCLA's lead remained between three and six until Michigan State came back late to steal the set.

Down 23-20, three in a row by the Spartans equaled the score. A Kidder kill earned the Bruins their first set point, but Michigan State sided out to make it 24-all. A Love kill made it 25-24, but the Spartans got the next two to earn their first set point. Back-to-back Love kills gave UCLA a third set point at 27-26, but Michigan State scored the next three and won the set 29-27. Kidder, Love and Lowe all had five kills in the second, while Reeves added five digs, as the Bruins were out-hit .500 to .436.

There were three ties in the third set, but the Bruins never trailed to stay alive. Leading 4-3, the Bruins scored three straight on kills by Nightingale and Reeves and a Michigan State attack error. The Spartans would come back with the next four to tie things up at seven, but a service error and kills by Aquino and Love put the Bruins back up by three at 10-7.

Leading 14-13, the Bruins broke it open with a 5-0 run on kills by Moenoa and Aquino, a Drolson ace and consecutive kills by Love to make it 19-13. UCLA's biggest lead was nine at 24-15, as the home squad won the set 25-18. Love had five kills, while Aquino and Kidder added three apiece, as the Bruins out-hit the Spartans .345 to .152.

Michigan State held an early 3-1 lead in set four, but a 5-1 UCLA run put the home team up 6-4. Aquino, Kidder and Lowe had kills, Lowe and Nightingale teamed up for a block and the Spartans committed an attack error. Still up 10-9, a 4-0 run on kills by Love and Kidder, an ace by senior Bojana Todorovic and a Kidder solo block gave the Bruins their biggest lead at 14-9.

With the score 18-15, the Spartans scored three straight to tie things up at 18. Tied at 19, an Aquino kill and an MSU attack error put the Bruins up 21-19. However, Michigan State would score six of the last seven points of the set to win the fourth 25-22. Aquino had four kills in the fourth, while Love added three, as the Bruins were out-hit .195 to .163.

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