PULLMAN, Wash. - Junior Karsta Lowe led the Bruins with 22 kills, while senior Mariana Aquino tied career highs with 17 kills and six digs and set a personal best with a .682 hitting percentage, as UCLA defeated Washington State in five on Friday at Bohler Gym. Set scores were 20-25, 25-12, 25-15, 21-25, 15-13.
Senior Kelly Reeves recorded her sixth straight double-double with 10 kills and 12 digs, hitting .409, while sophomore Maddy Klineman also had 10 kills. Junior Megan Moenoa added 52 assists, nine digs and five kills, quarterback the Bruin offense to a .370 hitting percentage. Junior Zoë Nightingale tallied six kills and five blocks, sophomore Karly Drolson notched five digs and three aces and senior Madie Smith had six digs.
The Bruins (14-12, 5-11 Pac-12) scored the first point of the match, but the Cougars came back with five of the next six to take a 5-2 lead. Trailing 7-5, the Bruins re-took the lead with a 3-0 run on a Washington State attack error, a Drolson ace and an Aquino kill to go up 8-7, but it would be the last lead for the visitors in the opening set. Washington State went on a 6-2 run to go ahead 13-10. Kills from Lowe and Nightingale and an Aquino ace evened the score at 13, but the Bruins could not re-take the lead.
Washington State (16-12, 3-12 Pac-12) scored five of the next six to go up 18-14. A 4-1 UCLA run got the visitors to within one at 19-18 on kills by sophomore Hannah Boland and Klineman and a pair of Moenoa blocks, first with Nightingale and then with Aquino. However, the Cougars scored six of the last eight of the set to take it 25-20. Aquino was 4-for-4 in kill attempts with no errors, while Lowe also had four kills, as the Bruins out-hit the Cougars .370 to .364.
The Bruins never trailed in taking set two, scoring the first three points on a Lowe kill and a pair of Aquino blocks, first with Lowe and then Klineman. The Cougars scored two of the next three, but a Lowe kill and ace put the Bruins up by four at 6-2. At 11-8, UCLA stepped on the gas with a 9-1 run to bust it open. A pair of Lowe kills made it 13-8, and after a WSU sideout, the Bruins reeled off seven straight, with Klineman accounting for five of the points.
The sophomore had back-to-back kills and teamed up with Nightingale on a block. After a Klineman kill and a Moenoa/Nightingale combo block, Klineman registered another kill and a Washington State attack error finished off the run to make it 20-9. An attack error on the Bruins’ first set point wrapped up a 25-12 victory. Klineman paced the Bruins with five kills and no errors in 11 attempts (.455), Lowe added four kills in seven swings and Aquino posted three in four. UCLA hit .500 with 16 kills and no errors in 32 attempts, while holding Washington to a .091 percentage.
UCLA again led from start to finish in set three, scoring six of the first eight on two kills apiece from Nightingale and Reeves and kills by Aquino and Lowe. At 8-5, a 3-1 Bruin run on Aquino and Lowe kills and a Washington State service error made it 11-6. The Cougars closed the gap to one with a 5-1 run, but could not even the score.
At 16-14, UCLA closed out the set on a 9-1 run to win it 25-15. A Lowe kill, two WSU errors and an Aquino kill made it 20-14. After a Cougar sideout, UCLA finished up the set with a Klineman kill, back-to-back WSU attack errors, an Aquino ace and a Lowe kill to win it by 10. Aquino was 5-for-6 in kills with no errors to go with four digs, Reeves was 5-for-9 with no miscues and Lowe also had five kills. The Bruins hit .516, while the Cougars hit .300.
It was Washington State’s turn for a wire-to-wire win in set four. The score was tied five times through the first 10 points, but a 6-1 Washington State run put the home squad up 11-6. At 13-9, the Cougars recorded a 6-2 run to extend their advantage to a set-best eight at 19-11. UCLA made things interesting with a 7-1 run to cut its deficit to a pair at 20-18.
An Aquino kill and back-to-back WSU attack errors made it 19-14. After a Cougar sideout, another WSU attack error, back-to-back Nightingale blocks, first with Klineman and then Lowe, followed by a Lowe kill got the Bruins to within two. But Washington State finished up the set with five of the last eight points to win it 25-21. Lowe led the Bruins with four kills, while Aquino added three, as Washington State out-hit .290 to .105.
Washington State started out with four of the first five in set five, but a 5-2 UCLA run evened things at six. Lowe had two kills, Klineman and Reeves posted one each and Drolson served an ace. Trailing 9-8, the Bruins scored four in a row on successive kills from Aquino, Lowe, Klineman and Nightingale to take a 12-9 edge.
The Bruins led 13-10 after a Lowe kill, but three in a row for the Cougars evened things up at 13. A Moenoa kill gave UCLA a match point and Reeves finished it off with a kill on an over pass to win it 15-13. Lowe had five kills in the fifth, as the Bruins hit .423 to the Cougars’ .500 percentage.
The Bruins are home for their final four regular-season matches, entertaining Arizona State on Friday at 6 p.m. and Arizona on Sunday at 1 p.m. Both contests will be at the John Wooden Center and will feature a live video stream at UCLABruins.com.