LOS ANGELES - Senior Tabi Love had 14 kills and six blocks, senior Rachael Kidder added 12 kills, eight digs, three blocks and two aces, senior Bojana Todorovic posted 14 digs and two aces and junior Mariana Aquino recorded eight blocks, as the seventh-seeded Bruins defeated LIU Brooklyn in three on Friday at the New Pauley Pavilion. Set scores were 25-13, 25-15, 25-12.
UCLA improves to 23-7 overall and will face Michigan State in the second round on Saturday at 7 p.m., as the Spartans defeated San Diego in five earlier in the evening. The Blackbirds conclude their season at 25-8.
Junior Kelly Reeves had four kills, eight digs and three blocks, while sophomore Zoë Nightingale added five kills and no errors in eight attempts (.625) with three blocks. Sophomore Megan Moenoa set the first two stanzas and had 25 assists and five digs, while freshman Becca Strehlow set the third and totaled 10 assists and four digs. The Bruins hit .419 for the match and added 15.5 blocks and seven aces.
The Blackbirds held an early 3-2 lead, but an 8-2 UCLA run would put the home team up for good. Kills by Nightingale and Kidder made it 4-3, and after an LIU sideout, three straight Kidder points on a kill and back-to-back aces made it 7-4. Following another sideout, three Love kills in a row made it 10-5. The closest the Blackbirds would get the rest of the way was three.
With the score 15-12, the Bruins scored 10 of the last 11 points of the set to win the opener 25-13. A 7-0 UCLA run consisted of a Love/Nightingale combo block, a Todorovic ace, a Love kill, an Aquino/Love combo block, a Reeves kill, a combo roof from Aquino and Moenoa and a Todorovic ace to make it 22-12. After an LIU sideout, a Love kill, an Aquino/Reeves combo block and a Kidder kill finished off a 12-point win. Love had six kills to pace the Bruins in the first, Kidder added four and Reeves posted three. Todorovic added six digs, as the Bruins out-hit the Blackbirds .375 to .129.
The Blackbirds led 2-1 in set two, but two in a row for the Bruins on a Kidder kill and a Kidder/Nightingale combo block put the home team up 3-2. Despite ties at 3, 4 and 5-all, the Bruins didn't trail for the rest of the set. A 5-0 UCLA run on an Aquino/Moenoa combo block, back-to-back Love kills, a solo Love block and an Aquino/Reeves combo roof made it 10-5. The closest the Blackbirds would get the rest of the way was four.
Leading 18-12, the Bruins scored seven of the last 10 to win the second 25-15. Kills by Nightingale and Kidder made it 20-12, and after an LIU sideout, a Love block and kill, a Moenoa ace and an Aquino/Reeves combo block put the Bruins up 24-13. LIU Brooklyn saved the first two set points, but a Reeves kill clinched a 25-15 victory. The Bruins had 14 kills and no hitting errors in 25 attempts in the second set for a .560 percentage. Kidder led the way with five kills, while Love and Nightingale each added three, as UCLA also had seven blocks.
UCLA led wire-to-wire in the third to finish off the sweep. The Bruins had the first four on a Love kill, an ace by junior Meg Norton, a combo block by Aquino and sophomore Karsta Lowe and a Kidder kill. Still up 7-3, consecutive kills by Kidder, Love and Nightingale made it 10-3 Bruins. The Blackbirds scored the next two, but a Love kill, an LIU attack error and a Love solo block put UCLA on top 13-5. The closest the Blackbirds would get the rest of the way was seven.
With the score 14-7, back-to-back LIU errors, a triple block from Aquino, Kidder and Lowe and another Blackbird error made it 18-7. UCLA's lead would remain between nine and 13, as a Love solo block on the Bruins' second match point closed out a 25-12 win in the third. Love led the Bruins with five kills in the third, while Kidder added three. Todorovic posted six digs, as the Bruins out-hit the Blackbirds .333 to -.061.