Aug. 31, 2003
HONOLULU, HI - The 13th-ranked UCLA women's volleyball team improved to 2-0 on the young season on Sunday night at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic, downing No. 6 Minnesota with game scores of 30-27, 30-21, 30-19. Brynn Murphy and Cira Wright both had double-figure kills and hit over .350 in the UCLA victory.
The Bruins came out of the gate hot, hitting .529 on nine kills with no errors on 17 attacks as they sprinted to a 13-8 lead. From that point, however, UCLA's accuracy was not as good, allowing Minnesota to come back and tie the game at 15-15 thanks in part to five Bruin hitting errors and one UCLA service error. UCLA was able to regroup, re-taking the lead and pulling out a 30-27 game one victory. Brittany Ringel and Brynn Murphy posted five kills apiece in the opening game. Ringel was error-free on 10 swings for a .500 attack percentage.
The Bruins built a 14-10 lead early in game two, once again starting the game with accurate hitting. In game two, UCLA started with seven kills and one error on 15 attacks for a .400 attack percentage. Colby Lyman had three early kills, and the Bruins had two block assists by the time UCLA's lead had extended to 20-14. The Bruins hit .333 in the game with 15 kills and three errors on 36 attacks, and posted three blocks in the game, holding the Golden Gophers to a .186 attack percentage. At the break, UCLA had five players with at least five kills, as Cira Wright led the team with nine, Ringel and Murphy had seven apiece, Lyman had six and Heather Cullen had five.
The Bruins sprinted to an early 5-2 lead in game three and never looked back. At one point, UCLA held a 24-12 lead, and closed out the 30-19 win on a Brynn Murphy kill, her 11th of the match.
"Our enthusiasm is carrying us a lot right now," said UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski of his team's animated performance against the Golden Gophers. "Minnesota fought hard in the first game, tying us at 15 and getting close in the low 20s. That was what I had expected the entire match to be, but the last two games didn't happen that way."
For the Bruins, Brynn Murphy had a match-high 11 kills, hitting .370 for the match, while Cira Wright had 10 kills, hit .471, and led all players with four blocks on the evening. Three Bruins turned in double-figure digs, with Chrissie Zartman and Heather Cullen turning in 13 apiece and Colby Lyman contributing 10 digs in the match.
The Bruins conclude their Hawaiian Airlines Classic schedule on Monday evening with a 4 pm HT start against host Hawaii. The Rainbow Wahine are ranked No. 2 in the current AVCA poll, and are 3-1 on the 2003 season.