Oct. 19, 2009
Friday, Oct. 23
7 p.m. - #12 Oregon at #13 UCLA
Saturday, Oct. 24
7 p.m. - Oregon State at #13 UCLA
Gametracker, free audio and video
BRUINS RETURN HOME AGAINST OREGON & OREGON STATE
The 13th-ranked Bruins (14-6, 4-3 Pac-10) are back at Pauley Pavilion this weekend, hosting #12 Oregon (14-3, 4-3) on Friday and Oregon State (11-8, 2-5) on Saturday. Both matches start at 7 p.m. and will feature Gametracker and free audio and video on UCLABruins.com. Friday's contest will also be broadcast on tape delay on Fox Sports Net. The first airing will be on Sunday at 2 p.m. on FSN West. Check your local FSN listings for more air times.
The Bruins begin a three-match road trip next weekend in the Bay Area, facing California on Friday, Oct. 30 and Stanford on Saturday, Oct. 31. Both matches start at 7 p.m.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
The Bruins dropped one spot to 13th in this week's AVCA Top 25 poll. UCLA lost 22 points in this week's rankings. The Bruins were ranked 13th in last week's Volleyball Magazine poll, with a new poll coming out on Tuesday. In the Pac-10 Preseason Coaches poll, the Bruins were ranked fourth behind Washington, California and Stanford.
BRUINS ON THE NET
All UCLA home matches will feature free audio and video at UCLABruins.com. Darren Preston and Michael Sondheimer will call all the action. In addition, Gametracker or live stats will be available for all home matches and most road contests. Links can be found on the schedule page of UCLABruins.com.
SCOUTING THE DUCKS
Oregon pulled off an impressive home sweep of the Bay Area schools last weekend, defeating California in three sets and coming back to beat Stanford in five. The Ducks had alternated losses and wins through their first six Pac-10 matches before bouncing back from a 2-1 deficit to defeat the Cardinal on Saturday. Oregon was 10-0 in non-conference action, including a five-set victory against then-#9 Minnesota on Sept. 18. Senior outside hitter Sonja Newcombe leads the offense with 4.02 kills per set, adding 2.62 digs per set, which is tied for first on the team. The reigning Pac-10 Player of the Week has been even better during conference play with 4.48 kps and 3.22 dps. Junior outside Heather Meyers is second with 3.14 kps, while senior middle blocker Neticia Enesi is third in kps (3.08) and leads the squad with 1.12 blocks per set and a .475 hitting percentage. Senior Nevena Djordjevic quarterbacks the offense and averages 12.00 assists per set. As a team, the Ducks are hitting .296 with 1.92 aces and 2.55 blocks per set. During Pac-10 play, Oregon is swinging at a .268 clip with 1.48 aces and 2.43 blocks per set.
THE MATCHUP: UCLA-OREGON
The Bruins hold a 47-4 all-time lead over the Ducks, but Oregon has won two straight and three of the last four. Last year, the Ducks won in four sets in Eugene and five in Westwood. In the match at Pauley Pavilion on Nov. 1, Dicey McGraw had a team-best 17 kills, Katie Camp posted 16 and Amanda Gil had 13 kills and 13 blocks. The Bruins came back from 0-2 down to force a fifth set, but lost the finale 15-13. UCLA's only win during the last four contests was a four-set victory at the Stanford Regional Semifinal in 2007. The Bruins are 25-1 all-time at home against the Ducks, with last year's loss being the one victory for Oregon. UCLA is a perfect 43-0 all-time against Oregon when winning the first set.
SCOUTING THE BEAVERS
Oregon State dropped both matches to the Bay Area schools last weekend, falling in four to Stanford and three to California. Both victories for the Beavers in Pac-10 play have been five-set triumphs against Oregon and Arizona State. The win against the Ducks was their third against a ranked team following three-set sweeps versus then-#24 Colorado State (Aug. 29) and then-#6 Michigan (Sept. 19). Senior outside hitter Rachel Rourke leads the squad with 4.59 kills per set, posting 5.00 kps during Pac-10 action. Junior outside Jill Sawatzky is second on the squad with 3.48 kps. Senior Camilla Ah-Hoy handles the setting duties and averages 10.30 assists per set, junior middle Kiersten Sambrailo is the top blocker at 1.20 blocks per set and sophomore Betsy Devich is the leading digger with 3.85 digs per set. As a team, the Beavers are hitting .214 with 0.96 aces and 2.90 blocks per set. Oregon State is only swinging at a .173 clip with 0.86 aces and 2.86 blocks per set.
THE MATCHUP: UCLA-OREGON STATE
The Bruins have won three straight against the Beavers and hold a 44-3 series lead. UCLA came back from 2-1 down to beat Oregon State in five in Corvallis on Oct. 4. Emily Clements had 16 kills, while Katie Camp posted 10 kills and nine blocks. On Oct. 31 at Pauley Pavilion, the Bruins swept the Beavers behind nine kills by Dicey McGraw and eight kills and six blocks from Amanda Gil. UCLA is 21-1 all-time at home against Oregon State. The Beavers' last victory was a five-set triumph at Pauley on Oct. 12, 2007.
BRUINS IN THE NCAA RANKINGS
Sophomore Amanda Gil soared to the top of the national rankings in blocks per set following a pair of seven-block performances last weekend. Gil is averaging 1.58 bps, which is a shade above Syracuse's Sarah Morton (1.55). The sophomore is also 36th in the country in hitting percentage at .373. As a team, the Bruins are 16th in the nation in bps (2.75), 28th in kills per set (13.90), 44th in assists per set (12.63) and 46th in digs per set (16.07).
BRUINS IN THE PAC-10 RANKINGS
Following some masterful defensive performances last weekend at the Washington schools, the Bruins moved into first in the Pac-10 in digs per set at 16.07. One of the strongest defensive teams in the conference, UCLA is also second in opponent hitting percentage (.165) and third in blocks per set (2.75). Sophomore Amanda Gil continues to lead all Pac-10 players in bps at 1.58 and also ranks fifth in hitting percentage at .373. Sophomore Lainey Gera checks in this week at fourth in dps (4.42). Freshman Lauren Cook is seventh in assists per set at 10.51 and freshman Bojana Todorovic is ninth in service aces per set at 0.30.
APPROACHING A GRAND CLUB
Senior Kaitlin Sather is on the cusp of making UCLA history as she enters this weekend just eight digs shy of becoming the 19th Bruin to reach 1,000 career digs and the 12th player to post 1,000 in both kills and digs. Sather recorded her eighth double-double of the season on Friday at Washington with 11 kills and 13 digs and came back with a match and season-high 16 kills on Saturday at Washington State. She hit a season-best .560 with only two errors in 25 attempts, adding six digs and five blocks. On the year, Sather is second on the team with 2.68 kills per set and 2.86 digs per set. She is tops on the squad during Pac-10 play with 3.36 kps, also averaging 3.36 dps. Her streak of four straight double-doubles ended in Pullman, but it was her second stretch this season in which she has posted four double-doubles in a row. Sather's most recent streak began on Oct. 2 when she had 13 kills and 10 digs against Stanford. She followed that up with a 13-kill, 16-dig performance against Cal on Oct. 3 and 15 kills and 15 digs versus USC on Oct. 9. Sather also had four straight from Sept. 10-16 against BYU (12 k, 12 d), Virginia (13 k, 13 d), Nebraska (13 k, 16 d) and Pepperdine (12 k, 12 d). The 16 digs against Nebraska and California were season highs. She has produced 11 double-figure digs matches this season and six in seven Pac-10 contests, giving her 49 for her career. Offensively, Sather has a team-leading 11 double-figure kills contests and 80 as a Bruin. She has at least 10 kills in five straight contests and has led the Bruins in kills in a match six times. Sather has 1,346 career kills at UCLA, ranking 15th in school history. Next up on the list is 14th-place Lauren Fendrick, who had 1,356 career kills.
THREAT AT THE NET
Sophomore Amanda Gil is looking down at everyone and not just because she is 6-foot-6. With 14 blocks in two matches last weekend, Gil is now first in the nation in blocks per set at 1.58. On Friday at Washington, the sophomore posted seven blocks and eight kills and recorded seven more roofs to go along with seven kills and a .429 hitting percentage at Washington State on Saturday. During Pac-10 play, Gil has 42 blocks over seven contests and is averaging 1.83 bps, producing at least seven in five of her seven matches. She fell just short of a double-double against Stanford on Oct. 2 with 10 kills and nine blocks, which tied a season high, and also had eight roofs against Cal (Oct. 3) and seven at Arizona (Sept. 26). Gil had seven matches with at least five blocks during non-conference action, including nine at Cal State Fullerton (Sept. 18) and eight apiece against Virginia (Sept. 11) and Pepperdine (Sept. 16). Offensively, Gil has seven double-figure kills matches this season and 19 for her career, ranking third on the team with 2.35 kills per set. She had a season-best 13 against USC on Oct. 9, hitting .478 with only two errors in 23 swings. Prior to her season-best output against the Trojans, the sophomore had 11 at Cal State Fullerton (Sept. 18) and 10 kills in five other contests. Gil, who leads the team and ranks fifth in the Pac-10 and 36th in the country with a .373 hitting percentage, has swung at a .400 clip or better nine times. Her season-best total (with at least 10 kills) came against Virginia when she hit .562 with 10 kills and one error in 16 attempts. Gil has also chipped in with her defense and serving. She has at least four digs in a match eight times, including a career-best seven against Nebraska (Sept. 13). In the serving department, the sophomore has eight aces and only one error.
Freshman Lauren Cook had a pair of double-doubles last weekend to take the team lead in the category with nine. Cook had 47 assists and 10 digs against Washington on Friday and posted 33 assists and 10 digs at Washington State on Saturday. The freshman has double-doubles in three straight, starting the streak with a 47-assist, 10-dig effort against USC on Oct. 9. She has nine double-figure digs contests, with her season-best output coming against Stanford on Oct. 2 when she had 17 to go along with 47 assists. The freshman leads the team with 10.51 assists per set and is third with 2.43 digs per set and 13 service aces. Cook has crossed the 40-assist mark nine times, including five in a row from Sept. 26 to Oct. 16. Her personal high came at Nebraska on Sept. 13 when she had 48 assists with 15 digs. That match concluded an outstanding weekend that saw Cook post three double-doubles to earn Ameritas Players Challenge MVP, AVCA National Player of the Week and Pac-10 POW honors. She began the weekend with 43 assists and 14 digs against BYU (Sept. 10) and had 44 assists and 15 digs versus Virginia (Sept. 11). Cook became just the fifth Bruin to earn AVCA NPOW accolades, joining Annett Buckner (1994), Kristee Porter (1998), Nellie Spicer (2005) and Nana Meriwether (2006). The double-double streak continued the following week when Cook went for 37 assists and 12 digs at Pepperdine (Sept. 16) and 44 assists and 13 digs at Cal State Fullerton (Sept. 18). Besides quarterbacking the offense, Cook has been helping the Bruins with her killing, posting four kills or more eight times. She had a season-high six kills against Virginia and Arizona (Sept. 26). The freshman has posted at least three kills with no errors seven times. Cook had a season-high three service aces against California on Oct. 3 and has at least one ace in nine of her 19 matches.
LAINEY THE LIBERO
Sophomore Lainey Gera registered a new career high in digs on Friday at Washington, posting 28 to surpass the 20-plus digs mark for the sixth time this season. Gera had double figures in digs in seven straight matches before falling one short on Saturday at Washington State. She leads the Bruins with 4.42 digs per set, ranking fourth in the Pac-10. Gera also had seven consecutive double-figure digs contests from Sept. 5-18, posting 25 at Nebraska on Sept. 13. Her other 20-plus digs matches have come against USC (23, Oct. 9), Stanford (22, Oct. 2), BYU (22, Sept. 10) and Arizona (21, Sept. 26). Gera's 16 double-figure digs matches this season give her 22 for her career. In addition to her prowess at digging, Gera has chipped in offensively with her serving and setting. The sophomore's 18 service aces are second on the team, as she has recorded at least one in 12 of the last 17 matches, including three at Pepperdine on Sept. 16, which tied a career high. Gera has also tallied at least five assists in a match seven times, posting a career-high seven at Hawai'i (Aug. 30).
LUCKY SEVEN FOR NUMBER 10
Freshman Bojana Todorovic has been one of the most consistent Bruins of late, producing at least seven kills and seven digs in all seven Pac-10 matches. Todorovic posted her second career double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs at Washington last Friday. She followed that up with 11 digs and eight kills at Washington State the next night. For the year, the freshman is averaging 1.52 kills (sixth on the team) and 2.30 digs per set (fourth), but she is well above that average over her last seven matches. Since Sept. 25, Todorovic is recording 2.56 kps and 2.80 dps, which both rank third on the team during that time frame. She has six double-figure digs matches, including four in a row. Todorovic had a season-best 16 against Fordham on Sept. 19, adding 12 against BYU on Sept. 10. In Pac-10 play, the freshman recorded her first double-double on Oct. 3 against California, going for a career-best 14 kills and 13 digs. She has posted 11 digs in three straight matches. In the kills department, Todorovic has at least 10 in four contests. Along with her two double-double matches, the freshman had 11 at Arizona State on Sept. 25 and 10 at Nebraska on Sept. 13. Todorovic is the team leader in service aces with 21. She had a season-best four at Pepperdine on Sept. 16 and added three against Fordham, posting at least one ace in 13 of 20 matches. Todorovic has also stepped up her blocking of late, recording 10 in her last five matches after notching only four in her initial 15 contests.
Sophomore Katie Camp registered a season-best six blocks on Saturday at Washington State, adding six kills and only one error in nine swings for a .556 hitting percentage. Camp has been steady at the net with at least three blocks in six straight matches. She is second on the team with 0.88 blocks per set. The sophomore has produced at least five blocks in a match four times, tallying five apiece against Nebraska (Sept. 13), Fordham (Sept. 19) and Long Beach State (Sept. 19). On offense, Camp recorded her first two double-figure kills matches of the season against Stanford (11, Oct. 2) and Cal (10, Oct. 3) and is fifth with 1.92 kills per set. The sophomore has at least five kills in six straight contests. Camp also ranks fourth in hitting at .305. Against BYU on Sept. 10, she hit a season-best .571 with nine kills and one error in 14 attempts.
QUICK DRAW McGRAW
After posting only four double-doubles in her first two years, junior Dicey McGraw already has four this year after producing a 14-kill, 10-dig effort against Stanford on Oct. 2. The double-double was her third in a row, a streak that began on Sept. 25 when McGraw had 13 kills and 11 digs at Arizona State. The following night at Arizona, the junior torched the Wildcats for a career-high 20 kills and added 15 digs, which was just one shy of a personal best. McGraw leads the team with 3.30 kills per set and is second with 10 double-figure kills contests, giving her 41 for her career. She has led the Bruins in kills in a match a team-best 10 times and produced at least seven kills in her first 18 contests. Along with her 20 kills at Arizona, McGraw has broken the 15-kill threshold three other times, recording 18 at Nebraska (Sept. 13), 17 against BYU (Sept. 10) and 16 versus Loyola Marymount (Sept. 5). In the match with BYU, she added 12 digs for her first double-double of the season. McGraw has five double-figure digs matches and is fifth on the team with 1.92 digs per set. The junior has set or tied six career highs this year. She had a personal-best three aces and 22.5 points at Nebraska and hit .500 against Santa Clara on Aug. 28. McGraw also tied career bests with two block solos against LMU and five total blocks against Stanford.
BACK IN ACTION
After sitting out three of the previous four matches, freshman Mari Hole returned to the court on Friday at Washington and made an impact with a team-best 12 kills. The Norwegian added eight digs and three blocks. She played just one set on Saturday at Washington State, but had four kills in seven attempts (.429 percentage). The dozen kills against the Huskies tied a season high, which she also produced against Virginia on Sept. 11. Hole has four double-figure kills contests, recording 10 against UNLV (Sept. 4) and Fordham (Sept. 19). The freshman is fourth on the team with 2.19 kills per set. Defensively, Hole posted her first double-figure digs match against Loyola Marymount with 10 on Sept. 5. She has at least five digs in five other contests.
MILESTONE UPCOMING FOR BANACHOWSKI
Head coach Andy Banachowski is four wins away from 1,100 for his career. The UCLA skipper has an overall record of 1,096-298, making him the winningest coach in women's volleyball history.