Dec. 7, 2004
UCLA will play in Washington's Bank of America Arena for the second time in a 14-day span this Friday when the Bruins take on second-seeded Penn State in the third round of the NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament. UCLA was in Seattle for its regular season finale on Nov. 27, a four-game loss to the Pac-10 Champion Washington Huskies. UCLA has advanced to the NCAA Regional Final in four of the last five years (1999, 2000, `01, `03). This is UCLA's fifth Regional Semifinal appearance in that six-year span, but the Bruins have not advanced to the NCAA Final Four since 1994.
Bruins Advance to 5th Regional in 6 Years
A four-game win over Loyola Marymount opened UCLA's 2004 NCAA Tournament, and was followed by a three-game sweep of Long Beach State on Saturday night. Friday night's first-round victory over the Lions featured a 19-kill, .474 attack percentage performance from senior Brynn Murphy, along with an 11-block (1 BS/10 BA) match from Nana Meriwether and yet another 30+ dig match from senior libero Chrissie Zartman, who was one dig shy of her four-game school record with 31 digs in the contest.
On Saturday night, the Bruins dispatched The Beach in three games, 31-29, 30-24, 30-27. Two Bruins, Murphy and Becky Green led all players with 15 kills apiece, while Meriwether was involved in four of the team's five blocks, and Zartman topped her career-high in digs for a three-game match with 28. UCLA held Long Beach to a .223 team attack percentage and hit .276 as a team, highlighted by a .375 performance in game two of the match.
UCLA vs. Penn State (29-2)
The Bruins and Nittany Lions have not played since the second round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament, when UCLA became the first team in history to defeat Penn State in a postseason match in Rec Hall. UCLA holds a 6-3 all-time record against Penn State and has won the last two meetings between the two schools (12/1/01, 8/25/00). UCLA holds a 3-1 advantage in postseason play against the Nittany Lions with the lone loss coming in the 1999 NCAA Regional Final at Rec Hall. Stat Leaders: KILLS- Kate Price (140 kills, 3.94/game); ASSISTS- Sam Tortorello (1471, 14.01/game); ACES- Sam Tortorello (29, 0.28/game); DIGS- Kaleena Walters (600, 5.71/game); BLOCKS- Cassy Salyer (120, 1.15/game).
UCLA vs. Washington (26-2)
Washington swept the season series with the Bruins, taking a 3-0 victory in Pauley Pavilion on Sept. 24 and a four-game win in Bank of America Arena just two weeks ago. UCLA still leads the all-time series by a 38-8 margin, and the Bruins have won 11 of the last 14 meetings. The Bruins are 1-0 all-time in postseason play against the Huskies with a 12/10/88 three-game victory in Pauley Pavilion (NCAA Regional Final). Stat Leaders: KILLS- Christal Morrison (400 kills, 4.35/game); ASSISTS- Courtney Thompson (1470, 14.70/game); ACES- Danka Danicic (29, 0.29/game); DIGS- Candace Lee (571, 5.71/game); BLOCKS- Darla Myhre (137, 1.40/game).
UCLA vs. Saint Mary's (25-3)
The Bruins and Gaels have just one previous meeting on the volleyball court, a Nov. 11, 2001 match at Saint Mary's that resulted in a 30-23, 30-21, 30-21 UCLA victory. Should the Bruins and Gaels both advance to Saturday's NCAA Regional Final, it would be the first postseason meeting between the two schools. Stat Leaders: KILLS- Lindsay Bogason (357 kills, 3.68/game); ASSISTS- Mandy Bible (1369, 13.04/game); ACES- Melissa Stidham (33, 0.31/game); DIGS- Kaui Salzman (393, 3.67/game); BLOCKS- Stacey O'Connor (154, 1.52/game).