Nov. 6, 2009
LOS ANGELES - Sophomore Amanda Gil had a team-high 16 kills, including five in the deciding fifth set, as the seventh-ranked Bruins defeated #17 USC at Galen Center on Friday. Set scores were 25-17, 14-25, 25-16, 17-25, 15-12.
The Bruins win their sixth straight to improve to 19-6 overall and 9-3 in Pac-10 play, as the Trojans fall to 15-9 and 4-8 in league action.
Gil hit at a .560 percentage with only two errors in 25 swings, adding seven blocks. Senior Kaitlin Sather posted her team-best 13th double-double and the 50th of her career with 11 kills and 13 digs, while junior Dicey McGraw had her sixth double-double with 15 kills and 11 digs. Freshman Lauren Cook had 46 assists and sophomore Lainey Gera (23) and freshman Bojana Todorovic (15) each had double figures in digs. The Bruins hit .189 as a team and had no service errors.
The start of the match featured seven ties and four lead changes. UCLA trailed 8-7, but a 5-0 run by the visiting team gave them the lead for good at 12-8. The run began with a kill from Sather and ended with a spike from McGraw, with three USC attack errors sandwiched between. Still on top by two at 13-11, UCLA went on a 6-1 run to take a seven-point advantage at 19-12. Gil started the run with a solo block, which was followed by a McGraw kill and a Trojan attack error. After a USC sideout, a kill by McGraw and successive spikes by Sather made it a seven-point lead.
Following another USC sideout, the Bruins scored another 3-0 run thanks to a Trojan ball handling error and back-to-back kills by Sather and sophomore Sara Sage to make it a set-high lead of nine at 22-13. USC scored four of the next five to cut its deficit to six at 23-17, but a kill by Sather and a Trojan attack error gave the Bruins a 25-17 victory in the opener. Sather had seven of the Bruins' 16 kills, adding six digs, while McGraw had four kills. Gera posted eight digs and Todorovic had seven. The Bruins out-hit the Trojans .283 to .122.
The Bruins held a brief lead at the start of the second, but USC turned the set into a rout to go into the locker room all square. Trailing 5-3, the Bruins scored four straight on back-to-back errors by the Trojans, a kill by Sather and a Sage/Sather combo block to make it 7-5. But it was all USC after that, as the home squad responded with a 4-0 run of their own to take a 9-7 advantage. UCLA was unable to string together consecutive points for the rest of the set, as USC won it 25-14. The Bruins were out-hit .364 to .029. Gil led UCLA with four kills.
UCLA never trailed in the third set to take a 2-1 match lead. Tied at three, the Bruins scored five of six on kills by sophomore Katie Camp and Todorovic, a Cook ace and two USC errors to go ahead 8-4. The Trojans cut their deficit to a pair at 9-7, but UCLA netted the next seven to take a 16-7 advantage. After a USC attack error, a kill by Gil and back-to-back combo roofs by Gil and Sather made it 13-7. The run wasn't done though, as a USC attack error and consecutive spikes by Sather and McGraw made it a nine-point difference.
The Trojans got no closer than seven the rest of the way. The Bruins' biggest lead was 11 at 22-11 following three straight USC attack errors. Back-to-back kills by Camp and Sather to close the set gave the Bruins a 25-16 victory. Gil had five kills and three blocks in the third, while Camp added three kills. The Bruins won the hitting battle .357 to .053.
The Bruins' biggest lead in the fourth was one on a pair of occasions, as the Trojans forced a fifth set. Down 7-5, the Bruins scored four of the next five thanks to a kill from Todorovic and three USC errors to make it 9-8 UCLA. The Bruins also led 10-9, but the Trojans rallied with the next three and never looked back. USC went on to win the set 25-17 thanks to a .324 hitting percentage. McGraw had four kills in the fourth, while Todorovic had three, as the Bruins hit only .088.
In the fifth, UCLA scored three of the first four on a pair of kills by Gil and a combo block by Gil and McGraw. USC rallied back with a 5-1 run to take a 6-4 advantage, but a 3-0 Bruin run on a kill by McGraw, a triple roof by Sather, Camp and McGraw and another spike by McGraw put UCLA up 7-6. The Bruins would not trail for the rest of the set. Tied at seven, a USC ball handling error, a kill by Sather and a Camp/Sather combo block gave the Bruins a 10-7 advantage.
USC got to within one at 10-9, but another 3-0 spurt put UCLA ahead 13-9. A USC service error got the run started, followed by an attack error and a Gil kill. The Trojans sided out the next point, but another kill by Gil gave the Bruins match point at 14-10. USC staved off the first two points, but Gil tallied her fifth kill of the deciding set to give the Bruins their first victory at Galen Center. Sather added three kills in the fifth, as the Bruins out-hit the Trojans .182 to .125.
Alex Jupiter had a match-high 22 kills, with Jessica Gysin (13) and Audrey Eichler (10) also achieving double figures in kills. The Trojans hit .193 as a team.
The Bruins return to Pauley Pavilion for a big Pac-10 homestand against the Washington schools next weekend. UCLA faces #24 Washington State on Friday and fourth-ranked and first-place Washington on Saturday. Both matches start at 7 p.m. Gametracker and free audio and video will be available for both matches on UCLABruins.com, while Saturday's contest against the Huskies will be broadcast on tape delay on Fox Sports Net.