Aug. 29, 2009
HONOLULU - Nine different Bruins recorded kills, led by 10 from senior Kaitlin Sather and eight apiece from junior Dicey McGraw and sophomore Sara Sage, as ninth-ranked UCLA swept Western Michigan on Saturday night. Set scores were 25-17, 25-14, 25-15.
The Bruins improve to 2-0 on the season, while the Broncos fall to 0-2.
UCLA had a .426 hitting percentage, its highest single-match total since 2004 (.436 vs. Samford). McGraw, who added six digs, hit .412 with only one error in 17 swings, while Sage had no miscues in 11 attacks for a .727 percentage to go along with four blocks. Freshman Lauren Cook posted 34 assists and seven digs, while sophomore Lainey Gera had 14 digs. Sophomore Amanda Gil recorded five kills and five blocks and freshman Mari Hole added all five of her kills in the third set.
The Bruins took an early lead, but the Broncos came back strong to take an 11-7 advantage. With UCLA on top 6-5, Western Michigan scored six of the next seven points to take a four-point edge. But UCLA had a huge rally in the middle of the set to win the opener. The Bruins netted six of the next seven to take a 13-12 lead. The run started with combo blocks by Cook and Gil and McGraw and Gil. One sideout later, the Bruins received a McGraw spike, a Western Michigan attack error and back-to-back kills by Sather and senior Emily Clements to take a one point lead.
The Broncos tied the set at 13, but a great rally followed on a point that saw the ball pass over the net around 20 times. Behind some great digs by Gera, the Bruins finally scored the point on a Sather kill to go up 14-13. That point spurred on UCLA to score 10 of the next 12 to take a 24-15 advantage. Sather had six of the 10 points on five kills and an ace, with Cook adding a pair of spikes. The Broncos wiped away two of the Bruins' set points, but a service error gave UCLA the 25-17 win. Sather had six kills in the opener with no errors in 14 swings for a .429 hitting percentage. Cook had three kills and a block and Gera added nine digs. The Bruins out-hit the Broncos .289 to .125.
UCLA never trailed in the second set. With the score tied at five, the Bruins tallied nine of the next 11 to take a 14-7 lead. The first three points of the run came on a Sather kill, a Gil/McGraw block and a spike by freshman Bojana Todorovic. After a Western Michigan sideout, the Bruins received a Bronco service error, a kill by Sage and back-to-back spikes by McGraw to go up 12-6. Following another sideout, Sather and Clements registered consecutive kills to make it 14-7.
The Broncos could get no closer than five the rest of the way. The Bruins scored the last four points of the set to win it 25-14. Gil had a kill, and after a Western Michigan attack error, Sage had a kill and teamed up with McGraw on a block on set point to win by 11. McGraw posted five kills in the second, Sage had four and Sather added three. The Bruins had only one error as a team, hitting .552 to the Broncos' .133 percentage.
UCLA again led wire-to-wire in the third, scoring four of the first five points. Gil had a kill and block, while McGraw and Todorovic also had kills during the opening run. After the Broncos closed to within two at 5-3, the Bruins ran off six in a row to take an 11-3 lead. Sage had two kills and a block, while Sather had a kill and a roof. Western Michigan scored the next two points, but four in a row by the Bruins made it 15-5.
After a Bronco service error, Sage had a kill and teamed up with Hole on a block, which was followed by a Hole kill to make it a 10-point lead. Hole would go on to record each of the Bruins' next four points on kills, as UCLA increased its lead to a set-high 12 at 19-7. The Broncos could get no closer than eight for the remainder of the set. The Bruins clinched the match on a kill by freshman Rachael Kidder to record the 25-15 victory. Hole led UCLA with five kills in the third, Sage had four with three blocks and Todorovic posted three kills. The Bruins out-hit the Broncos .481 to .071 in the third.
Western Michigan, which hit .112 as a team, was led by Jessica Brown's 11 kills.
The Bruins close out the tournament on Sunday when they face #7 Hawai'i at 8 p.m.