Eighth-Ranked Bruins Make Quick Work of #9 USC

Sept. 9, 2011

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LOS ANGELES - In a scant 82 minutes, the eighth-ranked Bruins won their Pac-12 Conference opener on Friday night, sweeping #9 USC at Galen Center. Scores were 25-19, 25-17, 25-17. Junior Rachael Kidder had 14 kills and no errors in 29 swings, hitting a career-best .483, while adding seven digs.

The Bruins improve to 7-1, sweeping their cross-town rivals on the road for the first time since Oct. 2, 1993. The Trojans fall to 5-3.

Senior Lainey Gera (18) and sophomore Kelly Reeves (11) were each in double figures in digs, with Reeves adding six kills. Senior Lauren Van Orden added 32 assists, six digs and four kills, freshman Zoë Nightingale had seven kills and junior Tabi Love and sophomore Mariana Aquino each had five kills. The Bruins hit a season-best .355.

After dropping three of the first five points of the match, the Bruins posted three in a row on two USC attack errors with a Kidder kill in between to go up 5-3. The Trojans answered with three of the next four to tie the score at six, but UCLA went on runs of 6-1 and 8-2 to take a 14-8 advantage. A 3-0 run on kills by Van Orden, Kidder and Nightingale put UCLA up by three at 9-6, and after a USC sideout, two in a row by Nightingale and one from Kidder made it 12-7. The Trojans sided out again, but then committed a service and attack error to make it 14-8.

With a 3-1 run, USC cut its deficit to four at 15-11, but three in a row for UCLA on kills by Aquino and Kidder and a Trojan attack error gave the Bruins a set-best lead of seven at 18-11. The teams sided out the next 11 points, and after a pair of service errors in consecutive rotations by USC, the Bruins recorded a 25-19 win. Kidder had six kills in the first, while Aquino and Nightingale had three apiece. Gera added eight digs in the set, as the Bruins hit .368 with 15 kills and only one error in 38 swings. The Trojans hit .214.

Just like the first stanza, the Trojans had a brief lead before the Bruins ran away with the second set. Down 4-3, USC committed three straight attack errors to put UCLA up 6-4. While the Trojans would tie it up at six- and seven-all, the Bruins would not trail for the rest of the set. Even at seven, a Kidder kill, a Love/Nightingale combo block and a Nightingale kill made it 10-7. After a Trojan sideout, they committed a service error and an Aquino/Van Orden roof made it 12-8.

The Trojans were within four at 16-12, but would get no closer, as three straight kills by Reeves, Van Orden and Nightingale made it 19-12. Up 23-17, a kill by Reeves and a USC attack error gave the Bruins a 25-17 win. Kidder had four kills in the second and Reeves added four kills and six digs. Gera had eight more digs, as the Bruins had four blocks and out-hit the Trojans .367 to .163.

In set three, the Bruins didn't bother to trail early, as they scored five of the first six and completed the sweep. Gera served an ace, and after a USC sideout, the Bruins netted four in a row on a solo block by Van Orden, a kill by Love, a Van Orden ace and another spike by Love. The Trojans cut their deficit to two at 6-4 and 7-5, but the Bruins answered with four in a row on a Reeves kill, a Kidder solo stuff, a USC attack error and a Nightingale kill to make it 11-5.

The Trojans scored the next two, but a Kidder kill, a Love/Nightingale combo block and two straight USC attack errors put the Bruins up by eight at 15-7. UCLA's lead remained between six and nine for the rest of the set, as the Bruins never allowed USC to score more than two points in a row during the match. USC staved off the first two match points, but a kill by Kidder gave the Bruins a 25-17 win. Kidder had four kills in the third, while Love added three. The Bruins out-hit the Trojans .320 to .000.

The Bruins open up their 2011 home schedule on Monday against Cal State Northridge at the John Wooden Center at 7 p.m. Gametracker, live audio and video will be available at UCLABruins.com.

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