Sept. 8, 2007
IRVINE, Calif. - Junior Ali Daley registered her fifth double-double of the season with a match-high 12 kills and 12 digs, as the fifth-ranked Bruins served 10 aces and captured the UC Irvine/Nike Invitational with a three-game victory over Southern Mississippi on Saturday. Game scores were 30-19, 30-23, 30-18. Junior Nellie Spicer was named MVP of the tournament, while senior Rachell Johnson and freshman Dicey McGraw also earned All-Tournament honors.
The Bruins hit .311 as a team to improve to 7-1 on the season. Southern Miss, which hit just .044, falls to 3-7 on the year.
Junior Elise Carstensen and McGraw each added eight kills, while sophomore Emily Clements had seven. Junior Jade Machado had three of the Bruins' 10 kills, also adding 12 digs. Spicer had 33 assists, while junior Nikki Jagd came in the third game and had 10 assists.
UCLA didn't trail in game one, hitting an outstanding .486 to take the game 30-19. The Bruins won it with offense, defense and with serving, connecting on four aces during the first game. Leading 4-3, Clements sandwiched a pair of aces in between kills by Johnson and Spicer to give the Bruins an 8-3 edge.
The Bruins got the lead up to double figures for the first time at 20-10 on a Daley kill. UCLA maintained the 10-plus point lead until the end of the game, when down 27-15, Southern Miss tallied three in a row to cut it to 27-18. But the Bruins got two of the final three points, with Daley providing two kills and Johnson the game-clincher to give the Bruins the game one victory. Daley ended game one with seven kills, while Johnson had four.
Game two was a closer affair, but again the Bruins never trailed. UCLA wasn't as sharp on offense as in game one, hitting just .167. However, the Golden Eagles hit in the negative at -.023. UCLA took an early 4-1 lead, and with a 5-3 edge, scored four in a row to go up 9-3.
The Bruins' lead stayed between four and six until back-to-back attack errors by Southern Miss put UCLA's lead at seven at 18-11. The Golden Eagles hung tough though, going on a 5-0 run to cut the deficit to 18-16 and forcing the Bruins to call a timeout.
UCLA came out on fire after the break, scoring six of the next seven points to get back up to a 24-17 lead. The Bruins kept the lead above five the remainder of the way, with Daley spiking home the game-winner to give UCLA the 30-23 victory.
Southern Miss grabbed its first lead of the match at 3-2 in game three, but that was quickly erased with two straight kills by McGraw and Daley. It would be the last lead for the Golden Eagles. Leading 11-9, the Bruins scored five of the next six points to go up 16-10. Sather had three kills during the run.
The Bruins' lead didn't drop below three for the rest of the game. At 18-15, UCLA scored four straight to go up 22-15. After a USM sideout, the Bruins scored five consecutive, with two kills by McGraw. The Golden Eagles netted the next two points, but UCLA served out the final three, with a kill by senior Meghan Schoen winning it 30-18.
Mari Ruddick and Amanda Huntoon each led the Golden Eagles with eight kills.
The Bruins return to the court next weekend at the USD Tournament in San Diego. On Friday, UCLA will take on Cal State Northridge at 5 p.m., while on Saturday, the Bruins will face Pittsburgh at 12 p.m. and #18 San Diego at 7 p.m. The matches against Cal State Northridge and San Diego will be broadcast live on UCLABruins.com with Darren Preston at the call.