Dec. 5, 2003
LOS ANGELES - Cira Wright had 13 kills, eight block assists and hit .632 while Brittany Ringel added 11 kills as seventh-ranked UCLA swept San Diego on Friday night in round one of the 2003 NCAA Tournament at Pauley Pavilion, 30-20, 30-17, 30-24. UCLA improves to 22-8 while USD ends the season 17-13.
USD scored the opening point of the match, but it would be a long time before the visiting Toreros would lead again as UCLA rattled off the next seven points off the serve of Heather Cullen for a 7-1 lead. UCLA notched five blocks in the next handful of serves as the Bruin margin reached double figures for the first time on block assists by Wright and Cullen at 17-7. UCLA would eventually win game one on a Brynn Murphy kill, 30-20.
Much like game one, UCLA jumped out to a quick 6-1 lead in game two. USD rallied to close to within two points at 10-8, but the Bruins got a pair of service aces by Colby Lyman as part of a 6-0 run to open the lead back to eight points at 16-8. UCLA led by as much as 15 points on a Lyman kill at 28-13, and would win game two, 30-17.
USD took an early 2-1 lead in game three, the first time UCLA trailed in the match since 1-0 in game one. Those would prove to be the only two San Diego leads of the match as UCLA took the lead for good two points later on a Ringel kill. USD hung tough, trailing by just five points at 18-13 before the Bruins took advantage of some Torero errors and back-to-back aces by Murphy to open a 25-15 lead. USD made a late run, but a Murphy kill would end the game at 30-24 and send the Bruins to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Wright paced UCLA with her 13 kills on 19 swings, good for a .632 hitting percentage, in addition to a match-high eight block assists. Ringel added 11 kills on 29 swings (.345) while Chrissie Zartman tallied a match-high 18 digs out of the libero position. USD's Devon Forster led all players with 14 kills. UCLA held a huge advantage in hitting percentage (.342 to .101) as well as outblocking USD, 13-3.
UCLA will now face UC Irvine on Saturday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. UCI advanced to round two with a five-game victory over Missouri earlier on Friday night.
First serve for the Bruins and Anteaters is set for 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion. The winner will advance to the regional semifinals next weekend in Lincoln, Nebraska.