Nov. 3, 2006
LOS ANGELES - Nana Meriwether had 20 kills and 11 blocks and Nellie Spicer dished 60 assists to go with her 11 digs as fifth-ranked UCLA defeated Arizona State in four games on Friday night at Pauley Pavilion, 27-30, 30-15, 30-23, 30-26.
UCLA improves to 23-2, 10-2 Pac-10, while ASU falls to 11-12, 3-9 Pac-10.
The Bruins came out a little flat to start the match, and the visiting Sun Devils took advantage. UCLA's last lead in the opening game would come at 6-5, and ASU claimed the lead for good at 11-10. UCLA trailed by as many as eight points at 25-17, but made a late rally with an ace by Jordan Smith and two Becky Mehring kills to bring the deficit to four points at 28-24. The Bruins cut the gap to 29-27 before a hitting error gave ASU the game one decision.
Game two, however, was a different story as UCLA quickly claimed control of the match, using a six-point run off the serve of Rachell Johnson to take a double-digit edge at 18-8. The Bruins made another late-game run as UCLA again went on a six-point run en route to a 30-15 game two win, sending the teams into halftime tied at a game apiece.
UCLA continued its domination in game three as the Bruins opened up a 16-4 lead, including four of those points via Meriwether kills. ASU slowly crept back into the game, but never got closer than six points as an Ali Daley kill gave UCLA the 30-23 game three victory.
Game four was tight early as UCLA held a slim 9-8 lead before going on an 8-2 lead, using three-straight ASU hitting errors to take a 17-10 advantage. The lead was still seven at 28-21 before ASU tried a last-minute comeback, scoring five of the next six points as the gap was cut to three at 29-26. However, ASU's Nicole Morton hit her serve into the net as UCLA claimed a 30-26 game four win and a 3-1 victory overall in the match.
Meriwether led all players with her 20 kills, 11 blocks, .581 hitting percentage and 25.5 points. She was one of four Bruins with double figure kills on the night, joined by Kaitlin Sather (14 kills, 6 block assist, 19.0 points), Katie Carter (10 kills, 5 total blocks, 13.0 points) and Becky Mehring (10 kills, 10.5 points). Laura Kroneberger paced UCLA with 19 digs, despite sitting out game one, while Jade Machado added 10 digs off the bench. ASU was paced by Nicole Morton with 18 kills and Sydney Donahue with a match-high 22 digs. As a team, UCLA outhit ASU by a .270 to .151 margin.
The Bruins are back in action on Saturday night as UCLA hosts Arizona at 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion.