Oct. 3, 2012
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Friday, Oct. 5
5:30 p.m. - Arizona State at #6 UCLA
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio
Sunday, Oct. 7
2 p.m. - Arizona at #6 UCLA
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio
#6 BRUINS RETURN HOME TO HOST ARIZONA SCHOOLS
The defending national champion and sixth-ranked Bruins entertain Arizona State on Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Arizona on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the John Wooden Center. Both matches will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Networks.
BRUINS ON THE NET
Gametracker and free audio will be provided for both matches this weekend. Links will be available on the women's volleyball schedule page at UCLABruins.com.
The Bruins head to the Bay Area next weekend to take on seventh-ranked Stanford on Friday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. and California on Sunday, Oct. 14 at 2 p.m. Both contests will be televised by Pac-12 Networks.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
The Bruins fell two spots to sixth in this week's AVCA Coaches poll, losing 84 points. UCLA is one of five Pac-12 teams ranked in the Top 7 in the nation (#2 Oregon and Washington, #5 USC and #7 Stanford). The Bruins were ranked as the AVCA 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 dropped one position to fifth in the latest Volleyball Magazine rankings, losing nine points.. UCLA was also ranked #1 in the preseason Pac-12 Coaches poll.
NEWS AND NOTES
Sophomore Karsta Lowe is 40th in the nation in hitting percentage at .383, while sophomore Zoë Nightingale is tied for 47th in blocks per set at 1.29 ... Lowe ranks fourth among Pac-12 players in hitting, sophomore Megan Moenoa (10.54) and freshman Becca Strehlow (10.44) are fourth and fifth, respectively, in assists per set, and senior Bojana Todorovic is fifth in digs per set at 4.09 ... the Bruins as a team are hitting .301, which is third among conference squads and eighth in the country. UCLA is also 21st nationally in kills per set (14.43), 22nd in assists per set (13.51) and 27th in blocks per set (2.76) ... the Bruins hit .519 as a team against Idaho on Sept. 7, which was the highest hitting percentage in a match for UCLA in the rally scoring era (since 2001) ... UCLA has hit over .300 seven times this season and is undefeated when eclipsing the mark ... the Bruins are 5-0 on Fridays ... six of UCLA's 10 victories have been sweeps ... the Bruins have not dropped a third set this season ... UCLA is 8-0 when winning the second set of a match ... all 10 victories have come when the Bruins have had less hitting errors, a higher hitting percentage and more blocks ... UCLA is 10-0 when holding its opponent under a .200 hitting percentage ... junior Kelly Reeves surpassed the 600-career dig mark at Hawai'i and now has 658 as a Bruin ... after being held below the mark all last season, senior Tabi Love has cracked the 20-kill mark four times this year (20 at Nebraska, career-high 26 at Hawai'i, 24 at Colorado State, 25 at Washington) ... Strehlow is averaging 12.89 aps during Pac-12 play, which is second among conference players ... Moenoa has at least one block in every contest ... Todorovic reached 20 digs in a match for the fifth time in her career (third this year) with a season-best 22 at USC. She is 16th all-time on UCLA's career digs list (1,051). Next up is Jessica Fine (15th, 1,105). The senior also became the 18th Bruin to tally 100 aces for her career at Hawai'i ... senior Rachael Kidder is nine kills shy of 1,200 for her career. Her 1,191 rank her 21st on UCLA's all-time list. Next up are Jenny Johnson (20th, 1,212) and Brynn Murphy (19th, 1,242) ... junior Mariana Aquino has four matches with at least five blocks this season, while Nightingale leads the team in that category with seven ... junior Meg Norton has at least six digs in five of her last six contests ... in six fewer matches, Lowe has already doubled her kill total from last season (53 in 2011 and 107 in 2012).
SCOUTING THE ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS
Arizona State (13-4) is 2-2 to start Pac-12 play, beating Washington State in four and California in three, while falling in four to both Arizona and Stanford. The Cardinal were the first ranked team the Sun Devils have played this season. Arizona State is hitting .236 as a team and is averaging 14.51 kills, 1.45 aces, 14.83 digs and 2.27 blocks per set. Freshman Macey Gardner (5.05 kills per set) and senior Erica Wilson (4.26) are averaging 64 percent of the team's kills. The duo are handling even more of the workload in their four Pac-12 matches, totaling 70 percent of the team's kills. Wilson is also first on the squad with 26 aces, while Gardner is second with 2.42 digs per set. Freshman Allison Palmer handles the setting duties and is posting 12.00 assists per set. Defensively, junior Stephanie Preach is first with 4.63 dps, while junior Alexis Pinson is first with 1.09 blocks per set. Jason Watson is in his fifth year at Arizona State and has a record of 61-79 in Tempe and 135-97 in seven-plus seasons as a head coach.
THE MATCHUP: BRUINS VS. SUN DEVILS
The Bruins lead the all-time series with the Sun Devils 64-8 and have won three straight, including a pair of sweeps last season. UCLA posted a 25-15, 25-21, 25-17 victory in Tempe on Oct. 7 and a 25-23, 25-19, 29-27 win in Westwood on Nov. 20. Rachael Kidder had 14 kills in the road contest and 21 in the home tilt. The Bruins are 34-1 all-time at home against the Sun Devils and have won 16 straight in Los Angeles (12 by sweep). Arizona State's lone victory in Westwood was in five on Oct. 14, 1995. The Bruins are 57-0 when winning the opening set against ASU.
SCOUTING THE ARIZONA WILDCATS
After winning its Pac-12 opener against Arizona State, Arizona (9-6) has dropped three straight, all in four sets to Washington, Stanford and California. The Wildcats are 0-3 against ranked teams this season, falling to Pepperdine, Washington and Stanford. Arizona is hitting .249 as a team and is averaging 14.06 kills, 1.13 aces, 14.89 digs and 2.28 blocks per set. Three players are averaging at least 2.00 kps, led by sophomore Madi Kingdon's 4.43 to go with 2.75 dps, which is second on the club. Sophomore Taylor Arizobal is second with 3.19 kps and freshman Halli Amaro is third at 2.19. Junior Chanel Brown (8.72 assists per set) and freshman Lauren Fuller (5.85) are splitting the setting duties. Junior Candace Nicholson is tops on the squad with 4.30 dps, while freshman Olivia Magill (1.09) and sophomore Rachel Rhoades (1.04) are both averaging over a block per set. David Rubio is in his 21st year at Arizona and has a record of 388-231 in Tucson and a 510-297 mark in 25-plus seasons as a head coach.
THE MATCHUP: BRUINS VS. WILDCATS
The Bruins lead the all-time series with the Wildcats 51-19, but Arizona swept both matches last season, winning in five in Tucson and in three in Westwood. Rachael Kidder had 26 kills and 14 digs in the road match (Oct. 8), but Arizona won 25-22, 10-25, 19-25, 25-18, 15-12. Kidder had 15 more kills in the home contest (Nov. 18), but the Bruins lost 23-25, 23-25, 20-25. Prior to last year's losses, UCLA had won six straight. The Bruins are 26-8 at home in the series.