Oct. 19, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. - Junior Kaitlin Sather led all players with 17 kills, senior Rachell Johnson celebrated her birthday with 16 kills and junior Nellie Spicer added 51 assists and 12 digs, as the seventh-ranked Bruins defeated Washington State in three games in Pullman on Friday. Game scores were 33-31, 30-18, 30-23.
The Bruins improve to 16-4 overall and 6-3 in Pac-10 play, while the Cougars fall to 9-14 and 0-9 in league action.
Sather's 17 kills tied a season high, while Spicer's double-double was her 12th of the season. Junior Ali Daley added 10 kills and 14 digs for her seventh straight double-double and 13th of the year. Junior Elise Carstensen also had a strong match, earning the start and recording nine kills. Freshman Jazmin Machado added 11 digs.
The start of the match featured a pair of runs by both teams. Tied at four, the Bruins reeled off five in a row to go up 9-4. Johnson had two kills and a block during the run. The Cougars responded with a 4-0 run and six of the next seven to even the match at 10. Washington State took its first lead of the night at 12-11 and finally got its advantage above two for the first time at 20-18.
With the score tied at 25, the Cougars netted two in a row to go up 27-25 and put thoughts of an upset in their mind. Out of a timeout, a kill by Johnson and a block by freshman Katie Mills evened things at 27. UCLA had the first game point at 29-28, but the Cougars scored two in a row to earn a game point at 30-29. A kill by Sather and a WSU attack error gave the Bruins the lead back at 31-30, but a UCLA attack error tied it at 31. Carstensen followed with a kill to give the Bruins their third game point and Daley clinched it with a kill to give UCLA the 33-31 win in a first game which featured 23 ties.
The Bruins led wire-to-wire in the second game, jumping out to an early 4-1 lead. The Cougars got to within one on a couple of occasions, but leading 10-8, the Bruins scored four straight on kills by Sather and Daley and two Sather aces to take a 14-8 advantage. The Cougars got no closer than five the rest of the way. Up 21-15, the Bruins went on a 9-3 run to end the game to record the 30-18 victory.
Washington State controlled the start of the third game with a 4-1 run, but the Bruins quickly tied it back up at five. The Cougars lost the lead, but got it back at 15-14. Trailing 16-14, the Bruins went on a 7-1 run thanks to Johnson's play to go ahead 21-17. The senior had six of the seven points during the run, posting four kills and two aces. The Cougars got the next two points to cut it to 21-19, but another 6-2 run extended the Bruins advantage to 27-21. UCLA went on to take the third 30-23 to snap its two-match losing streak.
The Cougars were led by Tara West's 11 kills.
The Bruins return home to take on a pair of Top 10 teams next weekend. UCLA hosts #3 Stanford on Friday at 7 p.m. and #9 California on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion. Gametracker and free audio and video will be available for both matches at UCLABruins.com.