Listen to Head Coach Michael Sealy on Tuesday on the Bruin Insider Show, Starting at 6 p.m. on KTLK am1150 and TuneIn Radio
Wednesday, Sept. 25
#11 UCLA at #4 USC
Gametracker, Free Audio
Friday, Sept. 27
#11 UCLA at Colorado
6 p.m. PT
TV: Pac-12 Networks
BRUINS OPEN PAC-12 PLAY AT USC AND COLORADO
The 11th-ranked Bruins start Pac-12 Conference play this week with a pair of road matches. UCLA faces #4 USC on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and then heads to Boulder for a Friday matchup with Colorado at 6 p.m. PT. Both contests will be televised, with the USC match on ESPNU and the Colorado tilt on Pac-12 Networks.
BRUINS ON THE WEB
Wednesday’s match at USC will have a free audio broadcast at UCLABruins.com with Darren Preston at the call. Live stats will also be available for both matches this week, with links on the women’s volleyball schedule page at UCLABruins.com.
After a 12-match road trip to start the season, the Bruins are home next week for a pair of televised matches on the Pac-12 Networks. UCLA hosts #7 Stanford on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. before entertaining California on Friday, Oct. 4 at 6 p.m.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
The Bruins remained at 11th for the third straight week in the latest AVCA Coaches poll. UCLA earned two additional points to stay at 11th. The next Volleyball Magazine Top 20 poll, in which the Bruins were 11th last week, will be released on Tuesday.
NEWS AND NOTES
The Bruins have won 42 straight matches when hitting .300 or better, including four times this season ... UCLA is fifth among all Pac-12 teams in hitting (.288) and sixth in kills per set (14.11). Nationally, the Bruins are 15th and 30th, respectively, in those standings ... the Bruins are 10 wins away from 1,200 for the program’s history ... UCLA has won all nine of its contests when leading a match in hitting percentage ... senior Kelly Reeves is 68 digs away from becoming the 22nd Bruin to post 1,000 career digs. Reeves has three straight double-doubles to give her 14 for her career ... freshman Jordan Robbins has started each of the last four matches and is averaging 6.76 assists per set during that span. She registered her first double-double with 28 assists and 13 digs at Long Beach State last Wednesday ... redshirt freshman Haley Lawless has at least four kills and four digs in each of her last three contests, producing highs of seven kills against Cal State Northridge (Sept. 13) and nine digs at Long Beach ... junior Monica Stauber earned her first career double-double at Long Beach State with a career-high 28 assists and 11 digs. She has at least 23 assists in three straight contests ... sophomore Karly Drolson set a career high with 20 digs at Long Beach. Three of her five double-figure digs contests have come this season, including 18 against Cal State Northridge and 17 versus Santa Clara (Sept. 5) ... one match after posting her first career double-figure kills match, sophomore Maddy Klineman recorded her first contest with double figures in digs, producing 10 at Long Beach. Against Creighton on Sept. 24, she had 19 kills ... freshman Claire Felix has seven kills in back-to-back matches and has surpassed the five-kill mark five times this season ... senior Mariana Aquino, who is fifth among Pac-12 players in hitting percentage at .434, has six matches this season with at least five kills and one or zero hitting errors. She also has five matches with at least five blocks, including three in a row ... junior Zoë Nightingale equaled a season high with six blocks at Long Beach State. She also had six against Santa Clara ... junior Karsta Lowe enters the week fifth among Pac-12 players in kills per set (4.11) and sixth in points per set (4.58). Nationally, Lowe is 35th in kps, 41st in pps and 44th in hitting (.389).
SCOUTING THE USC TROJANS
USC (10-1) brings a four-match winning streak into Wednesday’s contest with its crosstown rival, having defeated UC Santa Barbara, Eastern Washington, UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton since dropping its only match of the season, a four-set loss at current #8 San Diego on Sept. 13. The Trojans opened the year with a pair of victories over teams that started the season in the Top 25, Purdue and Western Kentucky. USC is averaging 14.05 kills, 1.53 aces, 13.45 digs and 2.82 blocks per set, hitting .286 as a team. Four players are averaging at least 2.00 kps, led by freshman Elise Ruddins, who had 3.41 kps and a .361 hitting percentage. Sophomore Samantha Bricio is second with 3.14 kps, first with 26 aces and third with 2.32 dps, freshman Ebony Nwanebu is third with 2.82 kps and 0.85 bps and senior Sara Shaw is fourth with 2.17 kps and second with 2.49 dps. Like the Bruins, the Trojans employ a 6-2 offense, with junior Hayley Crone posting 5.97 assists per set and freshman Alice Pizzasegola averaging 5.21 aps. Senior Natalie Hagglund handles the libero duties and is averaging 4.55 dps. Senior Alexis Olgard (1.17) and junior Hannah Schraer (1.13) are each posting at least a block per set. Mick Haley is in his 13th year at USC and has a record of 324-72 to go with a 1,097-260-1 mark in 36-plus seasons of coaching.
THE MATCHUP: BRUINS VS. TROJANS
UCLA leads the all-time series with USC 58-53, with each team winning on its home floor a year ago. The Bruins closed out the 2012 regular season with a four-set victory over the Trojans (Nov. 23) at Pauley Pavilion. Zoë Nightingale had a career-high 14 blocks, while Kelly Reeves added 18 digs. USC defeated UCLA in four in the Pac-12 season opener on Sept. 19 at the Galen Center. Karsta Lowe had 13 kills and seven digs. The Bruins are 21-20 all-time at USC and most recently won at the Galen Center on Sept. 9, 2011, sweeping the Trojans. UCLA has alternated losses and wins over its last five trips to the Galen Center, dropping the most recent contest.
SCOUTING THE COLORADO BUFFALOES
Colorado (8-1) travels to Utah on Tuesday to open up Pac-12 play before hosting UCLA on Friday. Since dropping their season opener at home against Saint Mary’s, the Buffaloes have won eight straight, including a three-set sweep at Baylor on Sept. 14. Colorado is averaging 13.75 kills, 1.41 aces, 15.06 digs and 2.30 blocks per set, hitting .281 as a team. Junior Taylor Simpson leads the team with 3.33 kps, followed closely by sophomore Alexis Austin’s 3.20 kps. Sophomore Nicole Edelman handles the setting duties and is posting 10.19 assists per set. Freshman Cierra Simpson is tops on the team in dps (3.40) and senior Nikki Lindow is first in bps (1.38). Liz Kritza is in her fifth season at Colorado and has a record of 41-85 and a 117-124 mark in eight-plus years of head coaching.
THE MATCHUP: BRUINS VS. BUFFALOES
The Bruins have never lost to the Buffaloes in seven previous meetings, including four victories since Colorado became a member of the Pac-12 Conference. Last year, both UCLA wins were sweeps (Oct. 19 at UCLA, Nov. 9 at Colorado). The Bruins’ only two appearances in Boulder have both been sweeps in 2011 and 2012. Colorado has won just two of 21 sets all-time against UCLA.