Dec. 2, 2005
LOS ANGELES - The No. 16 seed UCLA women's volleyball team won its opening round contest of the NCAA Championship against visiting Kansas 3-1 (30-14, 26-30, 30-17, 30-24) Friday night at Pauley Pavilion. With the win, the Bruins improve to 19-10 on the season and advance to face San Diego in the second round on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion.
UCLA was led by junior middle blocker Nana Meriwether who finished the match with 18 kills and a .708 (18-1-24) hitting percentage. Meriwether's hitting percentage is the third highest in school history with a minimum of 20 attempts in a match, but is the best mark all-time in postseason play.
Freshman Kaitlin Sather had a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs, and sophomore Rachell Johnson tallied 15 kills. Senior Nancy Barba chipped in with 10 kills, and freshman Nellie Spicer totaled 55 assists.
Kansas senior Paula Caten led the Jayhawks with 12 kills.
UCLA jumped on the Jayhawks early, using a 22-5 run in the middle of the first game to run away with a 30-14 game win.
The Bruins would lose some momentum in the second game by dropping a 26-30 decision to the Jayhawks. The second game was back-and-forth, and saw a total of 13 ties and 10 lead changes. The Bruins led 10-7, but the Jayhawks used a mini run to tie the second game at 11-11. The second game was tied at 20-20 before Kansas outscored the Bruins 10-6 the rest of the way to earn the game win.
UCLA would rebound in the third game by sprinting to an 11-0 lead out of the gates. Kansas would cut the Bruins' lead to 17-9, but would not get any closer than that on its way to a 30-17 game loss.
The fourth game was close early, but a quick 4-0 run had the Bruins up 11-7. Kansas was still hanging tough down 12-9 until three consecutive aces by Spicer would lead the Bruins to a 15-9 cushion. Kansas would trail by scores of 23-20 and 26-23 later in the match, but would not catch the Bruins down the stretch. UCLA outscored the Jayhawks 4-1 in the final possessions to seal the win.
UCLA will next face San Diego (23-5) in the second round of the NCAA Championships on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion. The winner of that contest advances to Omaha, Neb., to face the winner of the Nebraska vs. Duke matchup on Dec. 9.