Sept. 3, 2007
HONOLULU - Sophomore Emily Clements led all players with 12 kills, Ali Daley added a double-double with 11 kills and 13 digs and junior Nellie Spicer posted a career-high eight kills with 38 assists and seven digs, as the fifth-ranked Bruins defeated #16 Hawai'i in three games, 31-29, 30-18, 30-16, to win the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic on Monday in Honolulu.
Senior Rachell Johnson also had double figures in kills with 10 for the Bruins (4-1), with junior Kaitlin Sather adding nine. Junior Jade Machado tied for the team lead in digs with 13, while UCLA had 10.5 blocks as a team.
The Bruins got off to a quick start in game one, jumping out to leads of 5-1 and 8-2. UCLA kept its lead at five at 15-10 when Hawai'i (3-3) went on a 6-4 run to cut its deficit to 19-16. But two straight points by the Bruins on an attack error and a kill by Sather brought the lead back up to five at 21-16, prompting a Rainbow Wahine timeout.
The Bruins still had a 25-21 advantage until three straight by Hawai'i made it a 25-24 game, as UCLA called its first timeout. Kills by Daley and Johnson got the lead back up to three, but another three-point run by the Rainbow Wahine evened things at 27, as the Bruins called another timeout.
A Johnson kill gave UCLA the lead at 28-27, but a Daley service error tied things up again. The Bruins jumped back in front when Hawai'i was called for a ball handling error, but a kill by Tara Hittle again evened the game. A Sather kill gave the Bruins their second game point at 30-29 and this time they capitalized on it, as Sather spiked home the game winner to give the Bruins a 31-29 victory.
After a close start to game two, the Bruins broke things open, thanks to a .455 hitting attack. With Hawai'i leading 3-2, the Bruins scored four in a row on two kills by Spicer and two Rainbow Wahine attack errors to take a 6-3 lead. Up 9-6, UCLA went on its biggest run of the match, scoring six in a row and nine of 10. Clements had five kills during the run to put the Bruins up 18-7. Hawai'i could get no closer than eight the rest of the way before eventually falling 30-18.
Hawai'i could not find its hitting stroke in the third, hitting in the negative, as UCLA rolled to its largest margin of victory in a game so far this season. The Rainbow Wahine's largest lead in game three was 2-1, at which point the Bruins scored three in a row and never trailed the rest of the way. Up 7-5, a four-point streak gave the Bruins an 11-5 lead. Hawai'i got a sideout on the next ball, but a run of five in a row for UCLA upped its lead to 16-6. Sather totaled three kills during the 9-1 spurt.
The Rainbow Wahine trimmed the deficit to seven at 20-13 with a 7-4 run, but could get no closer. With UCLA leading 22-14, it went on a 6-0 run to take a commanding 28-14 lead. The teams traded the final four points of the game to give the Bruins a 30-16 victory.
Hittle led the Rainbow Wahine with 11 kills, while Aneli Cubi-Otineru added 10, as Hawai'i hit just .083 for the match.
The Bruins return to the court and make their 2007 Southern California debut next weekend at the UC Irvine/Nike Invitational. UCLA will face the host Anteaters on Friday at 7 p.m., with that match broadcast live on UCLABruins.com with Darren Preston at the call. On Saturday, the Bruins take on William and Mary at 11 a.m. and Southern Mississippi at 5 p.m. Gametracker will be available for all matches at UCI's website, ucirvinesports.com.