#3 UCLA Hosts Jiangsu Wednesday, Travels to UCSB Invite This Weekend

Aug. 28, 2012

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Wednesday, Aug. 29
7 p.m. - Jiangsu (China) at #3 UCLA
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio

Friday, Aug. 31
7 p.m. - #3 UCLA vs. Northeastern
Online Coverage: Live Stats | Video

Saturday, Sept. 1
7 p.m. - #3 UCLA at UC Santa Barbara
Online Coverage: Audio | Live Stats | Video

The defending national champion and third-ranked Bruins host Chinese club team Jiangsu in an exhibition at the John Wooden Center on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The match will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Networks. UCLA then heads to the UCSB Invitational where it will face Northeastern on Friday at 7 p.m. and UCSB on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Wednesday's match against Jiangsu will be the first of 14 live broadcasts of UCLA women's volleyball on the Pac-12 Networks. Anne Marie Anderson and Tammy Blackburn will have the call on Wednesday.

In its inaugural season, the Pac-12 Networks brings an unprecedented level of exposure to its acclaimed member institutions that have combined to collect a record 450 NCAA titles. The 82 televised Pac-12 women's volleyball matches are just a portion of 217 exciting events including football, men's and women's soccer, men's water polo, field hockey and cross country telecast over 100 days this fall, putting the Conference of Champions on a national stage.

The Pac-12 Networks launched Aug. 15 and will consist of one national and six regional networks devoted solely to the Pac-12. In addition to the hundreds of live televised Pac-12 sporting events, Pac-12 Networks subscribers will have access to their carrier's TV Everywhere platform, providing access to all Pac-12 Networks programming on any device through their broadband service. Fans can find out if they can get Pac-12 Networks by visiting Pac-12.com or by contacting their television provider.

To see if your television provider is currently signed up as a partner who carries the Pac-12 Networks, please click here to be directed to the channel locator. For additional questions regarding the Pac-12 Networks, visit Pac-12.com.

Gametracker will be available for Wednesday's match against Jiangsu at UCLABruins.com. This weekend at the UCSB Invitational, live stats will be provided, with links available on the women's volleyball schedule page. In addition, Wednesday and Saturday's contests will be broadcast live on the internet at UCLABruins.com with Darren Preston and Connor Reeves at the call. A total of 14 regular-season matches will be broadcast for free at UCLABruins.com.

The Bruins head to Honolulu next weekend for the Verizon Volleyball Challenge. UCLA will face Idaho on Friday, Sept. 7, San Diego State on Saturday, Sept. 8 and #6 Hawai'i on Sunday, Sept. 9. All matches will begin at 8 p.m. PT.

The Bruins fell two spots to third in both national polls this week. UCLA lost 141 points, but still earned one first-place vote in the AVCA Coaches poll. In the Volleyball Magazine rankings, the Bruins lost 14 points. The Bruins were ranked as the preseason #1 for just the third time in program history. On the last two occasions, UCLA won the National Championship in 1990 and finished runner-up in 1992. The Bruins are one of six Pac-12 teams ranked in the Top 25 (#5 USC, #9 Stanford, #12 Washington, #17 Oregon and #25 California). Three remaining non-conference opponents are also ranked in the Top 25 (#6 Hawai'i, #13 Pepperdine and #24 Colorado State). UCLA was also ranked #1 in the preseason Pac-12 Coaches poll.

Jiangsu comes stateside as part of the AVCA College Volleyball Showcase. Jiangsu, a club team comprised of top Chinese players, will play six times in the U.S. over the next two weeks. Jiangsu begins its competition on Tuesday at USC. They will also take on Stanford (Sept. 5) and California (Sept. 6), as well as Pepperdine (Aug. 31) and Arizona (Sept. 1) in Malibu. The starting lineup for Jiangsu includes five Junior National Team members and two competitors from the National Team. The head coach, Yongye Xue, is a former Men's National Team player and led the team to a second-place finish in the China Women's National Championship in 2011 and the championship of the 2012 China Women's National Grand Prix.

The Huskies, who play at New Hampshire on Tuesday, went 3-0 as the host of the Beanpot Classic in Boston last weekend, defeating Alabama in five, Holy Cross in three and Sacred Heart in four. Northeastern returns 12 letterwinners and all seven starters from last year's team which went 21-6 and went 11-3 (2nd) in the Colonial Athletic Association. Five players averaged at least 2.00 kill per set last weekend, with junior Nichole Kurz leading the way with 2.78. Junior Kelly Bacon (2.58), senior Nicole Bishop (2.33), sophomore Jillian Briner (2.17) and junior Janelle Tucker (2.17) also surpassed the mark. Briner (5.50 assists per set) and junior Ina Kamenova split setting duties (6.08). Defensively, sophomore Natalia Skiba (6.08 digs per set) and Kurz (1.67 blocks per set) lead their respective categories. The Huskies hit .211 as a team with 13.50 kps, 15.25 dps, 2.67 bps and 22 aces. Ken Nichols is in his 13th year as Northeastern's head coach and has a record of 225-145. The Bruins have never faced the Huskies.

The Gauchos completed the opening weekend with a 2-1 record at the Loyola Marymount Tournament, defeating Iona in four and LMU in three, but falling to Connecticut in three. UC Santa Barbara returns six letterwinners and three starters from last year's squad which went 19-12 and finished second in the Big West Conference with an 11-5 record. Last weekend, junior Leah Sully paced the team with 3.50 kps, followed by freshman Jaylen Villanueva's 2.29 kps. Villanueva (6.14 aps) and sophomore Ali Santi (5.60) split the setting duties. Freshman Taylor Formico averaged 7.00 dps, while Sully had 6.00 dps. At the net, junior Jenna Wilson (1.50 bps), junior Katey Thompson (1.30) and freshman Britton Taylor (1.00) each averaged over a block a set. The Gauchos hit .112 as a team with 11.90 kps, 22.90 dps, 2.60 bps and 16 aces. Kathy Gregory is in her 37th year as the Gauchos' head coach and holds a record of 847-383.

The Bruins and the Gauchos have met 69 previous times, with UCLA holding a 60-9 advantage. However, the two teams have not met since Dec. 6, 1998, when the Gauchos defeated the Bruins in four sets in Santa Barbara to win the NCAA Tournament second-round matchup. UCLA is 23-6 all-time at UCSB, but has dropped the last three. The Bruins' last win in the series was a five-set win at Pauley Pavilion on Oct. 14, 1998 and their most recent victory in Santa Barbara was a sweep on Nov. 7, 1995.

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