Dec. 1, 2007
CLEMSON, S.C. - Junior Kaitlin Sather had 19 kills and a career-high 21 digs, while freshman Dicey McGraw posted 12 kills, eight digs and five blocks, as the eighth-seeded Bruins defeated Clemson in four games on Saturday at Jervey Gym. Game scores were 30-19, 30-21, 19-30, 30-22.
The Bruins advance to the Sweet 16 for the fifth straight season and will play at the Stanford Regional next Friday and Saturday. First up is Oregon in the Regional Semifinal on Friday at 7 p.m. The match will be broadcast on TV on ESPNU and over the internet at UCLABruins.com with Darren Preston at the call.
UCLA improves to 22-10 on the season, while Clemson wraps up its year at 29-4.
Junior Nellie Spicer recorded a double-double with 54 assists and 13 digs. Senior Rachell Johnson added 11 kills and six blocks, while junior Ali Daley had 17 digs and eight kills. Freshman Katie Mills posted nine kills and four blocks, with junior Jessica Fine adding 18 digs.
The Bruins led from wire-to-wire in game one, jumping out to an early 4-1 advantage. Spicer led off the match with an ace and Mills and McGraw followed with kills. After the Tigers scored two of the next three points, UCLA came back with three straight to go up 8-3. Johnson and McGraw each had kills and teamed up for a block during the run.
Clemson answered with a 4-0 run to cut its deficit to 8-7, but that is as close as the Tigers would get for the rest of the game. UCLA responded with nine of the next 11 points to go up 17-9. Six different Bruins had points during the run, with Spicer posting a kill, a block and an ace. After a Clemson sideout, the Bruins reeled off another five in a row to go up by 12 at 22-10 for their biggest lead of game one. McGraw and Mills each had a kill and teamed up for a block during the run.
The Tigers could get no closer than eight the rest of the way, as a service error on game point gave the Bruins the 30-19 victory. UCLA hit .256 in game one and held Clemson to a .114 hitting attack. Mills had five kills without an error in the initial set, while McGraw and Sather each had four kills. Spicer had a wonderful first game with three kills, three aces, five digs and a block to go along with 15 assists.
UCLA led from start to finish again in game two, jumping out to another early 4-1 edge. Leading 5-3, the Bruins scored six of the next seven to go up 11-4, with Johnson posting two kills during the run. The Tigers cut their deficit to five on three occasions, but could get no closer.
Leading 21-15, the Bruins netted four straight to take their biggest advantage of the game of 10 at 25-15. Daley started the run with two kills, while Johnson served a pair of aces. At game point, Sather spiked home the clincher to give the Bruins a 30-21 victory. Daley and Sather each had five kills in the second, while Johnson and McGraw added three each. The Bruins hit .224 in the game and held Clemson to an .039 attack.
Just as dominating as the Bruins were in the first two games, Clemson was in total control in the third. UCLA never led and hit -.128, while Clemson recorded seven blocks. The Tigers scored the first four points and had an early 9-3 advantage. The Bruins closed to within four at 10-6, but the Tigers scored four in a row to take a 14-6 advantage. A 3-0 UCLA run was answered by a 5-0 spurt by Clemson to take a double-figure lead for the first time at 19-9. The closest the Bruins got the rest of the way was five, as the Tigers scored six of the final seven points of the game to win the third 30-19.
Game four was the closest of the match until the Bruins pulled away at the end. The game featured nine ties and two lead changes. Neither team led by more than two until with the Bruins up 19-18, they scored four straight to go up 23-18. Mills had a kill and a block during the run, with Sather adding a kill and Daley posting an ace. The Tigers couldn't string together more than two points in a row for the rest of the game. The Bruins took their largest lead of eight on match point, as a Clemson attack error gave UCLA a 30-22 win. Sather had eight kills, while McGraw added four in the final set, as the Bruins hit .271 and 100 points better than the Tigers in the fourth.
Danielle Hepburn led the Tigers with 14 kills, while Jeannette Abbott added 10 kills and 10 digs. Clemson hit .118 for the match with 14 team blocks.