Sept. 19, 2012
LOS ANGELES - Senior Rachael Kidder led the top-ranked Bruins with 18 kills to go with six digs, senior Tabi Love added 14 kills and senior Bojana Todorovic posted 22 digs, but UCLA fell in four sets at #2 USC on Wednesday at the Galen Center.
The Bruins fall to 8-2 with the loss, while the Trojans improve to 13-0 in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.
Freshman Becca Strehlow produced 52 assists, seven digs and four kills, sophomore Karsta Lowe had 13 kills and seven digs and junior Mariana Aquino added eight kills. Defensively, juniors Kelly Reeves and Meg Norton had 11 and eight digs, respectively. The Bruins hit .297 for the match.
The Bruins jumped out to an early 6-2 lead on three kills by Kidder, a kill from Lowe and two USC errors. The Trojans came back with an 8-2 run to go up by a pair at 10-8. UCLA responded with a 7-2 run to re-take a three-point edge at 15-12. Kidder had three more kills during this run, Aquino, Love and Lowe also had kills and USC committed an attack error. UCLA still held a two-point lead at 22-20, but two in a row by USC tied things up. The score was tied again at 23, when a USC service error gave UCLA a set point, but the Trojans netted the next two to earn their first set point.
A kill by Aquino equaled the score at 25. Following a USC sideout to earn the home squad a second set point, another Aquino kill tied things up at 26. The Bruins would lose the next point on a questionable tip call at the net to give the Trojans a third set point and this one was the charm, as USC took the opener 28-26. Kidder led the Bruins with six kills, Aquino added four and Love and Lowe each posted three. Todorovic notched seven digs, as the Bruins out-hit the Trojans .333 to .298.
The Trojans led from start to finish in the second set, scoring the first four points and never seeing their lead dip below three for the rest of the set. USC's largest lead of the second was six, as the home squad won 25-20. Love paced the Bruins with six kills in the second, while Kidder and Lowe had three apiece. In a good hitting set for both teams, USC held a .378-.359 advantage.
The third featured 13 ties, but the Bruins prevailed to force another set. USC held an early 6-5 edge, but a 7-2 UCLA run gave the visitors a 12-8 advantage. Kidder had two kills during the run, Lowe added one, Aquino posted an ace and USC made three errors. Despite the Trojans tying it six more times from then on, the Bruins never trailed for the rest of the set.
The Bruins led 18-15, but a 4-1 USC run tied things at 19. UCLA was up by two at 23-21, but the Trojans scored the next pair to even the score at 23. A Love kill gave the Bruins a set point, however the Trojans sided out to tie the score at 24. An Aquino kill gave UCLA a second set point and a USC attack error gave the visitors a 26-24 victory. Kidder led the Bruins with six kills, Love added five and Lowe posted three kills and five digs. Todorovic also had five digs, as the Bruins out-hit the Trojans .351 to .297.
UCLA's biggest lead in the fourth set was one on five occasions. Down 8-7, the Trojans scored the next four to take an 11-8 edge and never looked back. With the score 15-12, USC scored the next five to take a set-best lead of eight at 20-12. The Trojans would go on to win the set 25-17 to take the match in four. Lowe posted four kills in the fourth, while Kidder added three. Todorovic added five digs, as the Bruins were out-hit .267 to .100.
The Bruins entertain Oregon State in their Pac-12 home opener on Friday at 8 p.m. at the John Wooden Center. The match will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Networks. Gametracker and free audio will also be available at UCLABruins.com.