Ninth-Seeded Bruins Host Maryland Eastern Shore on Friday

Nov. 29, 2011

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NCAA First and Second Rounds Tournament Central

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Friday, Dec. 2
5:30 p.m. - Long Beach State vs. San Diego
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio | Video

Friday, Dec. 2
8 p.m. - Maryland Eastern Shore at #9-seed UCLA
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio | Video

Saturday, Dec. 3
7 p.m. - Friday winners
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio | Video

The ninth-seeded Bruins (24-6, 17-5 Pac-12) will host Maryland Eastern Shore (24-6, 12-0 MEAC) on Friday at 8 p.m. at the John Wooden Center in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Long Beach State (23-6, 14-2 Big West) and San Diego (27-4, 12-4 WCC) will face off at 5:30 p.m., with Friday's winners playing in the second round on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased at the John Wooden Center on the day of the match. Pre-sale tickets will also be available through the UCLA Ticket Office (310-UCLA-WIN) or online at All-Session packages for all three matches are $18 for adults and $10 for students and youths. Single-session tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students and youths. All tickets are general admission, first-come first-served.

Gametracker and free audio and video will be available for all matches this weekend at Dave Marcus, Michael Sondheimer and Connor Reeves will call all the action for the UCLA matches. Links can be found on the women's volleyball schedule page.

The winner of Saturday's second-round match will travel to Lexington, Ky. for the Regional round, which will be held on Dec. 9 and 10 at Memorial Coliseum on the University of Kentucky campus. The Regional semifinals will be held on Friday, Dec. 9 at 2 and 4 p.m. PT and will be streamed live on, while the Regional final will be played on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 1:30 p.m. PT and will be televised live on ESPNU. On the other side of the Bruins' bracket is #8-national seed Penn State, which is hosting Liberty, American and Delaware this weekend. On the top half of the Lexington bracket, #1-overall seed Texas hosts Texas State, Arizona and Michigan State, while #16-seed Texas A&M hosts Lipscomb, Kentucky and Dayton.

UCLA is making its 30th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and holds an all-time record of 74-27 (.733). Since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1998, UCLA is 22-4 (.846) in the first and second rounds of the tournament, including a perfect 13-0 in the opening match. Including this season, the Bruins have hosted the first and second rounds for seven of the last nine years. UCLA is 15-1 (.938) in first and second round home matches since `98 and 40-5 (.889) in Westwood in NCAA Tournament contests (29-3 at Pauley Pavilion, 11-2 at John Wooden Center).

The Bruins dropped two spots to fourth in last week's AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll, receiving 1,229 points (118 less than the previous week). There is no new AVCA poll heading into the postseason. UCLA remained at fifth in the final regular season Volleyball Magazine rankings, receiving 163 points (three more than last week). In the Pac-12 preseason coaches poll, the Bruins were fifth with 90 points.

Junior Rachael Kidder is first among all Pac-12 players in conference matches only with 4.79 kills per set and is also second with 5.27 points per set. As a team in Pac-12 matches, the Bruins are first in opponent hitting percentage (.170), second in hitting percentage (.260), assists per set (13.90) and kills per set (14.79), and third in digs per set (15.96). Overall, UCLA is in the top half of the Pac-12 standings in six categories, ranking second in opponent's hitting percentage (.157) and assists per set (13.46), third in kills per set (14.32) and digs per set (15.87), and fifth in hitting percentage (.244) and blocks per set (2.45). Kidder is second in kills per set (4.59) and third in points per set (5.13), junior Bojana Todorovic is second in service aces per set (0.36) and senior Lainey Gera is fourth in digs per set (4.87). The full team and individual rankings can be found on page four of this release.

Junior Rachael Kidder is ranked in the Top 15 nationally in two statistical categories, coming in at 11th in both kills per set (4.59) and points per set (5.13). As a team, the Bruins are in the Top 40 in three categories. They are ninth in assists per set (13.46), 15th in kills per set (14.32) and 44th in hitting percentage (.244).

The Bruins have produced their 13th-straight, 20-win season ... UCLA is 12-0 when hitting .270 or better ... defensively, the Bruins are 22-0 when holding their opponent under a .200 hitting percentage ... UCLA swept all four matches with the Bay Area teams for the first time since 2000 and won a three-set contest at Stanford for the first time in 11 years ... junior transfer Tabi Love surpassed the 1,000-kill mark for her career on Friday against USC ... senior Lainey Gera has exactly 1,900 digs as a Bruin.

The Hawks are making their first NCAA Tournament appearance in the 28-year history of their program after winning the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles to earn the league's automatic bid into the field of 64. Maryland Eastern Shore is 24-6 this season, went 12-0 in the MEAC and carries a 19-match winning streak into Friday's contest. The Hawks beat North Carolina Central (five sets), Hampton (three) and Florida A&M (five) in the MEAC Tournament to advance to the field of 64. UMES, out of Princess Anne, Md., has not faced a team that is in this year's NCAA Tournament. The Hawks are hitting .255 as a team and are averaging 12.66 kills, 1.87 aces, 11.71 digs and 2.26 blocks per set. One of three Southern Californians on the roster leads UMES in kills per set, as freshman Saitaua Iosia (Long Beach) holds 4.14 kps to go with a team-best 48 aces and 2.35 digs per set, which is second on the squad. Sophomore Maline Vaitai is second with 2.78 kps and third with 35 aces. Freshman Jessica Vicic quarterbacks the offense and is posting 10.58 assists per set. Senior Rebecca Prado is first on the team with 3.11 dps, while junior Ndidi Ibe is tops with 0.98 blocks per set. Senior Zoe Bowens (Long Beach) is second with 41 aces, while freshman Victoria Williams (Los Angeles) is averaging 1.18 kps. Iosia and Bowens both played under UCLA assistant coach Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer with club team Mizuno Long Beach. Don Metil is in his fifth year at UMES and holds a 117-58 mark with the Hawks and a 202-123 record in 10-plus seasons of coaching overall. The Bruins and the Hawks have never faced each other. UCLA has played only one school from the 13-team MEAC, sweeping Morgan State at Pauley Pavilion in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Dec. 2, 2000.

The Toreros earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, their 15th appearance, after posting a 27-4 overall record and a 12-4 mark (2nd) in the West Coast Conference. San Diego is no stranger to playing Long Beach State in the first round in Los Angeles, as the two teams met last year at USC, with USD winning in a sweep. The Toreros are 3-2 this year against teams in the NCAA Tournament (beat Missouri State, Duke and North Carolina; lost to Pepperdine twice) and are 1-2 versus nationally-ranked squads (Duke and Pepperdine). San Diego is hitting .240 as a team, averaging 14.14 kills, 1.27 aces, 15.60 digs and 2.54 blocks per set. Five players are averaging at least 2.00 kills per set, led by junior Amber Tatsch's 3.04 kps to go with a team-best 49 aces. Sophomore Chloe Ferrari is second with 2.93 kps and a .384 hitting percentage, followed by junior Carrie Baird (2.42), sophomore Katie Hoekman (2.36) and freshman Sandra Lozic (2.32). Hoekman is first with a .393 hitting percentage and 0.91 blocks per set. Junior Kandiss Anderson leads the squad with 4.28 digs per set. Sophomore Rachel Alvey (9.03 assists per set) and freshman Jianna Bonomi (3.95 aps) have been splitting the setting duties recently. Associate head coach Brent Hilliard is leading the Toreros in 2011, as head coach Jennifer Petrie is taking the season off to spend time with her newborn daughter.

The Bruins are 6-0 all-time against the Toreros and 2-0 in the NCAA Tournament. The most recent matchup between the two teams took place last season in Honolulu, as the Bruins swept the Toreros (25-14, 25-19, 25-21). Lauren Van Orden had 32 assists and nine digs, Rachael Kidder added nine kills and Katie Camp posted eight kills and four blocks. Both NCAA Tournament matchups have occurred at Pauley Pavilion, also the only two contests played in Los Angeles between the teams, as UCLA swept San Diego on Dec. 5, 2003 (first round) and Dec. 3, 2005 (second round). The closest the Toreros have come to defeating the Bruins was in San Diego on Sept. 15, 2007, as USD took UCLA to five sets before losing.

The 49ers are making their 25th consecutive NCAA appearance (26th overall) after going 23-6 during the regular season and winning the Big West Conference's automatic bid with a 14-2 mark. Long Beach State is 2-3 this year against teams in the NCAA Tournament (beat Ohio State and Central Michigan; lost to UCLA, Washington and Hawai'i) and are 1-3 versus nationally-ranked squads (everyone above minus Central Michigan). Long Beach State is hitting .255 as a team, averaging 13.51 kills, 1.06 aces, 14.76 digs and 3.12 blocks per set. Four different players are averaging over 2.00 kills per set, led by senior Caitlin Ledoux's 3.59 kps. Sophomore Haleigh Hampton is second at 2.94 kps, followed by junior Janisa Johnson (2.31) and sophomore Delainey Aigner-Swesey (2.11). Freshman Erin Juley handles the setting duties and is averaging 10.58 assists per set. Senior Lauren Minkel is tops on the squad with 3.90 digs per set, while Johnson is second at 3.10 dps. At the net, Hampton is first with 1.57 blocks per set and freshman Alma Serna is second at 1.33 bps. Brian Gimmillaro is in his 27th year at Long Beach State and holds a record of 726-177.

The Bruins and the 49ers met earlier this season in Honolulu, as UCLA came away with a four-set victory (25-19, 27-25, 21-25, 25-18) on Sept. 1. Kelly Reeves (10 kills, 12 digs) and Lauren Van Orden (43 assists, 12 digs) each had double-doubles, Rachael Kidder (18) and Tabi Love (11) both posted double figures in kills and Lainey Gera (15) and Bojana Todorovic (12) each recorded double figures in digs. With the win, UCLA improved to 56-19 all-time against Long Beach State. The 49ers last win in the series was a sweep in Fullerton on Sept. 19, 2009. The Bruins are 23-4 in Westwood against the 49ers, with the last meeting coming in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament, a 3-0 UCLA win (25-20, 25-20, 25-16). The Bruins are 4-1 against Long Beach State in the NCAA Tournament.

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