HONOLULU, Hawai’i - Nine different Bruins recorded kills on Friday, including a match-best 10 from junior Karsta Lowe, who hit .533 with only two errors in 15 attempts to go with four blocks, as #10 UCLA swept New Mexico State, 25-15, 25-22, 25-12 at the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic.
The Bruins win their fifth straight to start the 2013 season, while the Aggies fall to 1-4.
Redshirt freshman Haley Lawless, who made her collegiate debut on Thursday against Santa Clara, posted seven kills and only one error in nine swings for a .667 hitting percentage, adding four blocks in just two sets. Senior Kelly Reeves also had seven kills to go with five digs and two aces. Senior Mariana Aquino recorded five kills and no miscues in seven attacks (.714) with five blocks.
Juniors Megan Moenoa and Monica Stauber handled the setting duties and set the Bruins to a .395 hitting percentage. Moenoa recorded 17 assists, while Stauber added 11 assists and six digs. In the backcourt, sophomore Rachel Inouye had eight digs and two aces.
The Aggies scored the first point of the match, but the Bruins went on runs of 3-0 and 6-1 to go ahead 6-2, a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the set. A Reeves kill and ace and a Lowe kill made it 3-1, and after an NMSU sideout, back-to-back Lowe kills and an Aquino kill put the Bruins up by four. The Aggies got the next three to cut their deficit to one, but a 7-1 UCLA run broke it open. A service error and a kill by freshman Claire Felix made it 8-5 UCLA. After a New Mexico State sideout, five in a row for the Bruins on an Aquino kill and solo block, an Aggie ball handling error and kills from Reeves and Felix made it 13-6.
The closest the Aggies would get for the rest of the set was five. But at 16-11, a 6-0 Bruin run got the lead to double digits. A kill by junior Zoë Nightingale, an Aggie attack error and a combo block by Lowe and Nightingale got the first half of the run going, with kills by Nightingale and freshman Jessyka Ngauamo and a Reeves ace wrapping up the run. A service error on the Bruins’ third set point gave them a 25-15 victory. Six different Bruins had at least two kills in the opener, as Felix and Lowe led the way with three apiece. Reeves added two kills and two aces, while Aquino had two kills and two blocks. The Bruins out-hit the Aggies .370 to .091.
The second set featured eight ties and four lead changes. New Mexico State jumped out to an early 6-2 lead, but a 5-0 UCLA run on two Lowe kills, an Inouye ace and two Aggie attack errors put the Bruins up 7-6. With UCLA up 8-7, New Mexico State went on an 8-3 spurt to go ahead by four again at 15-11. But then it was the Bruins turn for a run, as they scored six of seven and 10 of 12 to go ahead 21-17.
The initial 6-1 run came on two Lowe kills, a Lawless kill, a bad Aggie set and combo blocks by Aquino and Lawless and Aquino and Lowe to put the Bruins ahead 17-16. An NMSU sideout tied things at 17, but a 4-0 run on two Lawless kills, a Stauber ace and an Aggie attack error made it 21-17. A 5-1 NMSU run squared the score at 22, but the Bruins netted the last three points on an Aggie service error and back-to-back kills from Reeves to win the second 25-22. Lawless paced the Bruins with five kills, Lowe added four and Reeves had three. Stauber notched five digs, as the Bruins out-hit the Aggies .524 to .270.
The Aggies began the third set with two of the first three points, but a 6-1 Bruin run put them up 7-3. A Lowe kill, an Inouye ace and an NMSU attack error made it 4-2, and after an Aggie sideout, kills from Aquino, Lawless and Reeves put UCLA ahead by four. Up 10-8, the Bruins went on runs of 5-0 and 11-1 to break it open. The first five points came on an NMSU service error, a Nightingale kill, a Lowe/Nightingale combo block, a Lowe kill and a Lawless/Nightingale roof.
After an Aggie sideout, a 6-0 Bruin run put them up 21-9. Aquino, Lawless and Nightingale had kills, while UCLA had three blocks by Aquino and Lawless, freshman Jennie Frager and Lowe and Frager and Lawless to make the lead a dozen. On the Bruins’ second match point, sophomore Hannah Boland recorded the clinching kill to win the third 25-12. Eight different Bruins had a kill in the third, with Aquino and Lowe recording three apiece. UCLA also had five blocks in the set, with Lawless taking part in three of them. The Bruins hit .321 and held the Aggies to a -.053 hitting percentage.
The weekend finale and tournament championship match will be Saturday versus ninth-ranked Hawai’i at 10:30 p.m. PT. Live stats and live video will be available at UCLABruins.com, with links on the women’s volleyball schedule page.