LOS ANGELES - Junior Karsta Lowe had career highs in kills (18) and hitting percentage (.727), senior Kelly Reeves added eight kills, 15 digs and two aces and juniors Megan Moenoa and Monica Stauber tallied 20 assists apiece, as the 12th-ranked Bruins swept North Texas 25-23, 25-16, 25-18 on Saturday morning at the Doubletree Los Angeles Westside Invitational at Loyola Marymount.
The Bruins (2-0) hit .374 for the match, as Lowe committed only two errors in 22 attempts. Senior Mariana Aquino had seven kills and just one error in 10 swings (.600), while sophomore Maddy Klineman posted six kills and one miscue in 16 attempts (.312) to go with nine digs. Defensively, Stauber and sophomore Rachel Inouye each had six digs.
The Mean Green (0-2) opened the match with two of the first three points, but a 3-0 UCLA run on a kill by Lowe, a combo block from Aquino and Lowe and an Inouye ace made it 4-2. North Texas cut its deficit to 5-4, but back-to-back kills from freshman Claire Felix put the Bruins ahead 7-4. With the score again to within one at 9-8, a 5-1 UCLA run extended its lead to five at 14-9. Kills by Lowe and junior Zoë Nightingale made it 11-8, and after a Mean Green sideout, a Lowe/Nightingale combo block and kills by Lowe and Klineman put the Bruins up by five.
UCLA was still up by five at 17-12 before North Texas made a run to re-take the lead. A 7-1 Mean Green run gave them a 19-18 edge. North Texas still led 20-19, but the Bruins responded with a 4-1 run to go up 23-21 and force the Mean Green into a timeout. A Lowe kill and a Reeves ace put UCLA up 21-20. After a North Texas sideout, a Klineman kill and a bad Mean Green set made it 23-21. The teams traded the final four points, as kills by Lowe and Klineman finished up a 25-23 win. Lowe was a perfect 8-for-8 on kills in the opening set, while Felix and Klineman added three apiece. The Bruins out-hit the Mean Green .273 to .149. UCLA had 31 digs in the opening set, with Reeves posting 10 and Klineman adding six.
Set two began the way the first did, with North Texas scoring two of three, but a 3-0 run on two kills by Lowe, with an in between kill from senior Meg Norton, put the Bruins up 4-2. North Texas came back to equal things at six, but another 3-0 UCLA mini-run on two Mean Green errors and a Reeves kill made it 9-6. At 13-11, the Bruins went on an 8-1 run to break it open. A Lowe kill, an Aquino/Klineman combo block and an attack error made it 16-11. After a North Texas sideout, kills by Klineman and Reeves, a Mean Green attack error and kills from Norton and Reeves put the Bruins ahead by nine at 21-12.
The Bruins’ lead never dipped below eight for the rest of the set and reached as many as 10 at 24-14. A kill by Lowe completed a 25-16 victory. Lowe had six kills and just one error in eight swings in the second set, while Reeves added four kills and four digs. The Bruins out-hit the Mean Green .400 to .077.
North Texas held a few one-point leads in the third set, but at 3-2, a 5-1 Bruin run put them up 7-4. UCLA benefitted from three North Texas attack errors, while Aquino added two kills. At 9-7, another 3-0 spurt by the Bruins on a Mean Green attack error, a Reeves ace and a Lowe kill made it 12-7. North Texas would get as close as one at 13-12 and 15-14, but could not even the score again.
A 4-1 UCLA run on kills by Aquino and Reeves, a Norton ace and a North Texas attack error made it 19-15. Leading 22-18, the Bruins finished the match on a 3-0 run on kills by Norton and Aquino and an Aquino/Lowe combo block to win it 25-18. Aquino paced the Bruins with five kills, Lowe added four and Reeves posted three. The Bruins out-hit the Mean Green .520 to .208.
The Bruins close out the weekend against host Loyola Marymount at 7 p.m. Live audio, video and stats will be available at UCLABruins.com, with links on the women’s volleyball schedule page.