Nov. 26, 2007
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - For the third time in her career, junior setter Nellie Spicer has been named to the All-Pac-10 First Team, as announced by the conference on Monday. Senior Rachell Johnson and juniors Ali Daley and Kaitlin Sather were each recognized with honorable mention accolades, while Dicey McGraw and Katie Mills were named to the All-Freshman honorable mention squad.
Spicer becomes the 10th player in UCLA history to earn first-team all-conference honors three times and can join an elite club next season. Just two Bruins, Natalie Williams and Elaine Youngs, are four-time, all-conference first-teamers.
Spicer leads the Bruins and is third in the Pac-10 with 12.80 assists per game. She is also fifth on the team with 2.94 digs per game. Spicer has 19 double-doubles on the season, producing at least 33 assists in every match she has played in and a season-high 60 against San Diego (Sept. 15) and Oregon State (Nov. 8). The junior's season high in digs came against then top-ranked Nebraska on Aug. 25 at the AVCA Showcase when she had 21. Spicer was named to the All-Tournament Team at that tournament, also earning similar accolades three other times, including MVP honors at the Hawaiian Airlines Volleyball Classic and the UC Irvine/Nike Invitational.
Johnson is second on the team with 1.15 blocks per game and third with 3.32 kills per game. She ranks ninth among Pac-10 players and seventh in the league during conference matches with 1.22 bpg. The senior has posted double figures in kills 21 times and has had at least five blocks in a match on nine occasions. Johnson tallied a season-best 19 kills against Nebraska and has been named to three All-Tournament teams this year. Johnson recorded her first two career double-doubles this season against Arizona State, producing 14 kills and a career-high 11 blocks at home against ASU on Sept. 21 and 11 kills and a personal-best 10 digs in Tempe last Friday. This is Johnson's first All-Pac-10 honor.
Daley leads the Bruins in kills (3.85) and digs (3.66) per game, placing ninth among Pac-10 players in digs, aces (0.32) and points (4.63) per game. The junior enters the postseason with double-doubles in each of her last nine matches, giving her 22 on the year. She has led the Bruins in kills 15 times this season and has a team-best 27 matches with double figures in kills. Daley's career high in kills and digs came against Oregon State on Oct. 12 when she became UCLA's first 20-20 player since 2001 with 26 kills and 25 digs against the Beavers. Daley, who was named to a pair of All-Tournament teams this season, earns her first All-Pac-10 recognition.
Sather, a Pac-10 All-Academic selection in each of the last two seasons, earns her second conference honor after being named to the All-Freshman Team in 2005. The junior has led the Bruins in kills in the last six matches and has 24 double-figure kills matches. Her season high in kills (20) came on Oct. 26 against Stanford. She also posted a season-best 18 digs in that match, a number she equaled at Arizona State last Friday. Sather has 18 double-doubles this season, entering the postseason with double-doubles in 11 straight matches. Sather is second on the team with 3.66 kills per game and ranks fourth with 3.05 digs per game.
McGraw has been one of the hottest Bruins of late, posting double-figure kills matches in three straight and double-doubles against Pepperdine last Tuesday and Arizona State last Friday. The freshman is averaging 13.33 kills per match over the last three contests to move her to fourth on the team in kills per game at 2.52. McGraw's career high in kills came against Oregon on Oct. 11 when she notched 18. She also had a personal-best 16 digs to go along with 13 kills against William and Mary on Sept. 8 for her first career double-double. McGraw has nine double-figure kills matches on the season.
Mills has become a steady presence at the second middle blocker position since Pac-10 play began, leading the team with 1.45 blocks per game. Mills has 11 matches with at least five blocks, including a career-high 11 at Pepperdine last Tuesday. The freshman surpassed double-figures in blocks for the first time at Oregon State on Nov. 8, adding 11 kills for her first career double-double. She has led the Bruins in blocks in 14 matches this season and ranks fourth among Pac-10 players in blocks in conference matches at 1.37 bpg. Mills will qualify for the overall Pac-10 leaders list if she plays in each of the next seven games, which will put her in a tie for third in the conference.
The Bruins have had 75 All-Pac-10 selections and 29 All-Freshman Team honorees over the last 21 seasons.
The eighth-seeded Bruins open NCAA Tournament play on Friday when they face Alabama A&M in Clemson, S.C. at 2 p.m. PT. A UCLA victory will give them a second-round date against either Clemson or Alabama on Saturday at 4 p.m. PT. Live audio will be available for both matches at UCLABruins.com with Darren Preston at the call.