Ninth-Seeded Bruins Face #8 Penn State on Friday in Regional Semifinals

Dec. 6, 2011

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

Lexington Regional Tournament Central

UCLA WVB on Facebook | UCLA WVB on Twitter | 2011 Media Guide

Friday, Dec. 9
2 p.m. PT - #9-seed UCLA vs. #8-seed Penn State
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Video (

Friday, Dec. 9
4 p.m. PT - #1-seed Texas at Kentucky
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Video (

Saturday, Dec. 10
1:30 p.m. PT - Friday winners
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Video (

The ninth-seeded Bruins (26-6) will travel to Lexington, Ky. for the Regional round of the NCAA Tournament this weekend. On Friday, UCLA plays #8 Penn State (25-7) at 2 p.m. PT. The winner of that contest will face #1 Texas (24-4) or Kentucky (28-5) on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. PT for the right to be one of four teams headed to San Antonio next weekend. Friday's match will be broadcast online at, while Saturday's Regional Final will air on ESPNU and

All-session tickets for the Lexington Regional are available for purchase by calling the Kentucky Ticket Office at 800-928-2287 or online. All-session tickets for all three matches are $14 for reserved seating, $12 for general admission, $8 for students and seniors and $6 for children under 12 years of age. The price breakdown for single-session tickets is $8/$7/$5/$4. Single-session tickets are only available on the day of the match at the arena.

Gametracker will be available for all Lexington Regional matches. In addition, all three contests will be streamed online at, as well as televised on ESPNU for Saturday's Regional Final. Links can be found on the women's volleyball schedule page.

The winner of the Lexington Regional will advance to San Antonio, Texas for the National Semifinals and Championship round to be played on Dec. 15 and 17, respectively. The Lexington Regional crosses with the Minneapolis bracket, which features #4-seed Iowa State, #5 Purdue, #12 Florida State and #13 Minnesota. On the other side of the bracket, the Gainesville Regional consists of #3 Illinois, Ohio State, Michigan and Florida, while the Honolulu Regional features #7 USC, #10 Hawai'i, #15 Pepperdine and Kansas State.

UCLA is making its 30th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and holds an all-time record of 76-27 (.738). After a two-year hiatus, the Bruins are back in the Regional round for the first time since traveling to Texas for the 2008 Austin Regional. UCLA was the #14 seed and lost to #3 Texas in four sets. The Bruins are making their 24th appearance in a Regional and have a record of 31-12 (.721), going 20-3 in Regional Semifinals and 11-9 in Regional Finals. UCLA last reached a Regional Final in 2007 when they lost at Stanford in four sets. The last time the Bruins were one of the final four teams remaining was in 2006, marking their 11th finals appearance (`94, `92, `91, `90, `89, `88, `85, `84, `83, `81).

The Bruins have played four matches in the state of Kentucky, with all of them coming during the 1983 season, as they opened and closed the year in the Bluegrass State. UCLA began the season with a three-set win against Louisville and a five-set triumph at Kentucky. The 1983 finals were in Lexington and the Bruins advanced to the National Semifinals, where they defeated Pacific in five sets. However, UCLA lost in the National Championship match to Hawai'i in three.

The Bruins dropped two spots to fourth in the Nov. 21 AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll, receiving 1,229 points (118 less than the previous week). There was 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 maintained her second-place spot among Pac-12 players in kills per set at 4.56. She is also fourth in points per set at 5.12. Junior Bojana Todorovic ranks second in service aces per set (0.36), senior Lainey Gera is fourth in digs per set (4.88), senior Lauren Van Orden is sixth in assists per set (10.74) and sophomore Mariana Aquino ranks seventh in hitting percentage (.342) and ninth in blocks per set (1.11). UCLA is first in the conference in opponent hitting percentage at .151. The Bruins are also second in assists per set (13.42), third in kills (14.31) and digs (15.78) per set and fifth in hitting (.247) and blocks per set (2.53).

Junior Rachael Kidder is ranked in the Top 15 nationally in two statistical categories, coming in at 11th in kills per set (4.56) and 12th in points per set (5.12). As a team, the Bruins are eighth in assists per set (13.42), 14th in kills per set (14.31), 39th in hitting percentage (.247) and 47th in blocks per set (2.52).

The Bruins have produced their 13th-straight, 20-win season ... UCLA is 14-0 when hitting .260 or better ... defensively, the Bruins are 24-0 when holding their opponent under a .200 hitting percentage ... the Bruins are 4-0 in neutral-site contests this season ... UCLA is 9-1 in four sets, but 1-3 in five sets ... the Bruins are a perfect 9-0 this season when winning the fourth set of a match ... UCLA is 22-1 when either leading or tying the battle in service aces.

The Nittany Lions extended their NCAA Tournament winning streak to 26 matches by sweeping Liberty and Delaware last weekend in State College, Pa. Penn State, the four-time defending national champions, carry a seven-match winning streak into Friday's contest and hold a 25-7 overall mark, and went 16-4 in the Big Ten Conference (tied for 2nd). The Nittany Lions are hitting .268 as a team, averaging 13.72 kills, 1.74 aces, 14.27 digs and 2.69 blocks per set. Three players are averaging at least 2.00 kills per set, led by sophomores Deja McClendon (3.55) and Ariel Scott (3.54). Sophomore Katie Slay is third on the team with 2.11 kps, but first with a .388 hitting percentage and 1.43 blocks per set. Freshman Micha Hancock quarterbacks the offense and is averaging 10.48 assists per set to go with a team-best 90 aces. Sophomore Ali Longo is the leader in digs per set at 3.39 and is second with 32 aces. Russ Rose is in his 33rd season as the Penn State head coach and has a record of 1,058-171.

The Bruins lead the all-time series with the Nittany Lions 7-4, but Penn State won the last meeting, a sweep of UCLA in Honolulu on Aug. 30, 2008. The Bruins had won three straight in the series prior to that loss, with the most recent victory coming in the 2004 Regional Semifinals in Seattle, as UCLA won in four sets. The Bruins and the Nittany Lions have met nine times at neutral sites (UCLA 6-3) and five times in the NCAA Tournament, with UCLA holding a 4-1 advantage. Including their 2004 triumph, the Bruins are 2-0 in Regional Semifinals, sweeping Penn State in 1983. UCLA also won a second-round matchup in 2001 at Penn State in three sets and a five-setter in the 1994 National Semifinals in Austin. The Nittany Lions' only win against the Bruins in the NCAA Tournament was a three-set sweep at home in the 1999 Regional Final.

The Longhorns, the NCAA Tournament's top overall seed, swept Texas State and Michigan State last weekend in Austin to extend their winning streak to 16 matches. Texas is 24-4 overall and won the Big 12 Conference with a 15-1 mark. The Longhorns are hitting .286 on the season, averaging 13.72 kills, 1.21 aces, 13.40 digs and 2.81 blocks per set. Freshman Haley Eckerman leads the way in kills per set at 3.58 and in aces with 19. Three others are also averaging at least 2.00 kps. Sophomore Bailey Webster is second with 2.82 kps and senior Rachael Adams is fourth at 2.56. Khat Bell is third with 2.67 kps, but she suffered a season-ending knee injury last month. Sophomore Hannah Allison handles the setting duties and is averaging 9.74 assists per set. Defensively, senior Sydney Yogi is first with 3.41 digs per set, while Adams is tops on the squad with 1.20 blocks per set. Jerritt Elliott is in his 11th season as Texas' head coach and has a 265-75 record in Austin and a 315-87 mark in 12-plus seasons as a head coach.

Two of the last three UCLA seasons have been ended by Texas, which defeated the Bruins in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year and in the Regional Semifinals in 2008. Both matches were in Austin and went four sets. UCLA leads the all-time series 15-8, but Texas has won five of the last six. The Bruins' last victory against the Longhorns was a sweep in Austin in 2003. The series is tied at three in neutral-site contests. The Bruins are 2-3 in the NCAA Tournament against the Longhorns. UCLA won back-to-back, Regional Finals in Austin in 1984 and `85. Texas also posted a sweep in the 1988 National Semifinals in Minneapolis.

Kentucky survived a scare in the first round last weekend against Dayton, coming back from 2-1 down to win in five, and then swept #16-seed Texas A&M in College Station to advance to its home Regional. The Wildcats have won 11 of their last 12, with the only blemish being a four-set loss at Tennessee on Nov. 23. Kentucky, which is 17-1 at home this season, is hitting .249 as a team, averaging 14.20 kills, 1.33 aces, 15.30 digs and 2.57 blocks per set. Six players are averaging at least 2.00 kills per set, led by Ashley Frazier's 3.20 kps. The junior is also first on the squad with 40 aces. Senior Becky Pavan is second with 2.50 kps, followed by sophomore Whitney Billings (2.47), freshman Lauren O'Conner (2.26), senior Ann Armes (2.23) and senior Gretchen Giesler (2.11). Junior Christine Hartmann handles the setting duties and is averaging 11.20 assists per set. Junior Stephanie Klefot is first with 4.81 digs per set and second with 30 aces, while Pavan is tops on the squad with 1.10 blocks per set. Craig Skinner is in his seventh season as Kentucky's head coach and holds a record of 158-64. The Bruins have won all three meetings against the Wildcats, with UCLA winning in five sets on Nov. 24, 1995 in Stockton, Calif. in the most recent matchup. The Bruins also have a five-set victory in Lexington in 1983 and a 2-0 triumph in Westwood in 1981.

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
No recent events