LOS ANGELES - Junior Karsta Lowe led all players with 17 kills to go with five digs, while sophomore Karly Drolson (13) and senior Madie Smith (10) each had double figures in digs, as the Bruins picked up a big win with a sweep of Arizona on Sunday at the John Wooden Center. Set scores were 28-26, 26-24, 25-19.
The Bruins (15-13, 6-12 Pac-12), who saved eight set points during the first two sets, hit .267 as a team, with junior Megan Moenoa posting 43 assists and eight digs. Freshman Claire Felix had nine kills and only one error in 15 attempts for a .533 hitting percentage, sophomore Maddy Klineman also added nine kills and senior Kelly Reeves had eight kills and six digs.
UCLA held an early 4-3 lead in the opening set on two kills by Reeves, a Lowe kill and an ace by senior Mariana Aquino, but the Wildcats (19-11, 9-9 Pac-12) came back with the next four to go up 7-4. A 3-0 Bruin run evened things at seven, as Felix had a hand in all three points with a kill and combo blocks with Klineman and Moenoa.
Despite ties at eight and nine, the Wildcats maintained their lead throughout most of the rest of the set until the Bruins stole the opener late. With Arizona up 15-14, a 5-1 run by the visitors made it 20-15 for a set-best lead of five. UCLA countered with a 4-1 run on kills by Lowe and Klineman and a pair of Arizona attack errors to get to within two at 21-19.
With UCLA still down by a pair at 23-21, a Lowe kill and a Smith ace equaled the score at 23. The next six points were sideouts, as the Bruins saved three Arizona set points. At 26-all, the Wildcats made back-to-back attack errors to give the Bruins the 28-26 win. Lowe had seven kills to pace the Bruins, while Reeves added three. UCLA out-hit Arizona .146 to .105.
An unbelievable comeback by the Bruins gave them a 2-0 lead heading into intermission. The score was tied at every number from one through 11 until the Wildcats scored seven straight to take an 18-11 advantage. With Arizona still up by six at 23-17, UCLA closed the set by scoring nine of the final 10 points, saving five Wildcat set points.
A Felix kill and an Arizona attack error made it 23-19. After a Wildcat sideout gave them the first of five set points, kills by Felix and Klineman, back-to-back Arizona attack errors and a kill by junior Zoë Nightingale evened the score at 24. A solo block by Nightingale gave the Bruins an improbable set point and a Wildcat attack error finished off a 26-24 win for UCLA. Felix was 5-for-7 in kill attempts with no errors, Lowe added five kills and Drolson recorded seven digs, as the Bruins out-hit the Wildcats .306 to .182.
The Bruins never trailed in the third set to finish off the sweep. With the Bruins up 11-10, they scored four straight on three Klineman kills and a Moenoa kill to make it 15-10. UCLA’s lead remained between four and six for the rest of the set.
At 23-19, an Arizona service error gave the Bruins five match points and a Lowe kill clinched a 25-19 victory. Klineman was 5-for-8 in kill attempts with no errors, Lowe also had five kills and Reeves recorded three. Smith tallied six digs, as the Bruins out-hit the Wildcats .359 to .237.
The Bruins close out their home schedule next week with a pair of matches at Pauley Pavilion. UCLA hosts USC on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Utah on Friday at 5 p.m. The UCLA-USC match will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks, while the UCLA-Utah contest will have a live video stream at UCLABruins.com.