Fifth-Ranked Bruins Head to the Desert

Oct. 30, 2012

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Friday, Nov. 2
8 p.m. - #5 UCLA at Arizona
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Online Coverage: Gametracker

Saturday, Nov. 3
7 p.m. - #5 UCLA at Arizona State
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio

The defending national champion and fifth-ranked Bruins begin a four-match road trip this weekend, facing Arizona on Friday at 8 p.m. and Arizona State on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Arizona contest will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.

Gametracker will be provided for both matches this weekend, as well as audio for the Arizona State match. Links will be available on the women's volleyball schedule page at

The four-match homestand concludes next week at Colorado on Friday, Nov. 9 and at Utah on Saturday, Nov. 10. Both contests start at 6 p.m. PT and will be live streamed online via Pac-12 Digital.

The Bruins moved up one spot this week to fifth in both national polls. In the AVCA Coaches poll, UCLA earned 68 additional points to move back into the Top 5. UCLA is one of five Pac-12 teams ranked in the Top 8 in the nation (#1 Stanford, #2 Oregon, #6 USC, #8 Washington). 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 were at fifth in this week's Volleyball Magazine poll, earning nine additional points. UCLA was also ranked #1 in the preseason Pac-12 Coaches poll.

Senior Tabi Love was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 7.00 kills per set to lead the sixth-ranked Bruins to victories over Washington State and fifth-ranked Washington. She produced 24 kills against the Cougars and 25 versus the Huskies.

On Friday, Love added five digs to her 24 kills, which marked the most for a Bruin in a three-set match this season. She was flawless in the opening set, posting eight kills and no errors in 13 attempts. She added nine kills and three digs in the second and seven kills in the third, leading the Bruins in kills in all three sets and hitting .412 for the match.

On Sunday, Love had another strong opening set, producing 10 of the Bruins' 19 kills to go with three digs. She also led the Bruins in kills in the second with six and the third with seven, finishing the match with two kills and three digs in the fourth. Love produced six digs and a pair of blocks.

Love leads the Bruins with 4.55 kills and 4.94 points per set, and has a .320 hitting percentage on the season. She has seven matches this season with at least 20 kills after failing to surpass the mark last year.

This season marks the second in which the Pac-12 has handed out weekly Offensive, Defensive and Freshman of the Week awards. Love earned her first-ever Pac-12 POW honor and it was the third Offensive POW for the Bruins over the last two years.

UCLA enters the week in the top five nationally in three categories, ranking second in kills per set (14.91) and fifth in both assists per set (13.92) and hitting percentage (.302). The Bruins are also 18th in blocks per set at 2.79, making them one of two teams (Penn State) that are ranked in the Top 20 in hitting, kills, assists and blocks per set ... UCLA leads all Pac-12 teams in hitting percentage and is second in kps and aps. The Bruins also have the highest hitting mark in the conference in league matches at .304 ... UCLA has hit over .300 14 times this season and is undefeated when eclipsing the mark. The Bruins went over the .300 mark 12 times all last year ... 12 of UCLA's 17 victories have been sweeps ... UCLA is 13-0 when holding its opponent under a .200 hitting percentage ... 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).

Senior Tabi Love enters this week's play at 13th nationally in kills per set (4.55) and 22nd in points per set (4.94). Sophomore Zoë Nightingale is 30th in blocks per set (1.36) and sophomore Karsta Lowe is 40th in hitting percentage (.376) ... Love is third among all Pac-12 players in kps and first in conference matches only (5.02). Love is fourth in pps, Nightingale is fourth in bps and sophomore Megan Moenoa is fourth in assists per set (10.55) ... junior Kelly Reeves surpassed the 700-dig mark against Colorado on Nov. 9 and now has 728 for her career. She is also 14 kills away from 500 ... after being held below the mark all last season, Love has cracked the 20-kill mark seven times this year. Her 24 kills against Washington State and 25 versus Washington were the first times she had posted at least 20 at home. The previous five occasions were on the road (20 at Nebraska, career-high 26 at Hawai'i, 24 at Colorado State, 25 at Washington, 25 at Stanford). She has also played all six rotations in the last five matches and has 28 digs (1.75 dps) and two aces ... freshman Becca Strehlow recorded her second double-double of the season on Oct. 17 against Utah with 41 assists and 11 digs ... Moenoa has at least one block in every contest and has also produced at least five digs in 10 of her last 11, including 12 to go with 34 assists against Washington State for her second-career double-double ... senior Bojana Todorovic, who has 56-career, double-figure digs contests, is now in the Top 10 in UCLA history in digs with 1,161. She sits eighth on the list and is 39 shy of 1,200. Jenny Johnson is seventh in Bruin lore with 1,214 digs. Todorovic is also 16th in Bruin history with 104 aces ... with her last kill against Washington, Kidder recorded the 1,300th of her career. She ranks 18th on UCLA's all-time list. Next up on the list are Elisabeth Bachman (17th, 1,308) and Lauren Fendrick (16th, 1,356) ... over her last nine matches, junior Mariana Aquino is hitting .500 with 40 kills and just three errors in her last 74 attempts. Aquino has seven contests this season with at least four kills and no errors ... Nightingale, who set a career high with 11 kills against Washington, is averaging 1.53 blocks per set over her last 11 contests (58 blocks in 38 sets). The sophomore has produced at least five blocks in 12 matches, which leads the team ... junior Meg Norton is averaging 2.39 dps over her last seven, with at least four digs in every contest and a career-high 18 at Stanford on Oct. 12 ... in the same number of matches as last year, Lowe has 72 more kills and 16 blocks in 2012.

Senior women's volleyball player Rachael Kidder has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2012 Senior CLASS Award®, given to the top student-athlete who excels both on and off the court. Fans may vote for Kidder, which will consist of 1/3 of the total determination of the winner.

To vote for Kidder, go here.

To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

The 10 finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 candidates announced in September. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website through November 26. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner.

The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship, which will take place December 13 and 15 in Louisville, Kentucky.

After starting Pac-12 play at 1-5, Arizona (12-11) has split its last six contests to move to 4-8 in league action. The Wildcats' wins have been against Arizona State, Utah, Colorado, Oregon State, while six of their eight defeats have been to ranked squads. Arizona is hitting .232 as a team, averaging 13.45 kills, 1.18 aces, 14.44 digs and 2.21 blocks per set. Three players are averaging over 2.00 kps, led by sophomore Madi Kingdon's 4.20 to go with 2.69 dps, which is second on the squad. Sophomore Taylor Arizobal is second with 2.94 kps and 19 aces, while freshman Halli Amaro is third with 2.24 kps. Junior Chanel Brown (7.20 assists per set) and freshman Lauren Fuller (5.62) have been splitting setting duties, with Brown topping the squad with 24 aces. Junior Candace Nicholson is first in dps at 4.15, while freshman Olivia Magill is first with 1.05 bps. David Rubio is in his 21st year at Arizona and has a record of 391-236 in Tucson and a 513-302 mark in 25-plus seasons as a head coach.

The Bruins snapped a two-match losing streak to Arizona with a 25-16, 25-20, 27-25 victory at the John Wooden Center on Oct. 7. Rachael Kidder and Tabi Love each had 13 kills, while Zoë Nightingale added seven blocks, as the Bruins hit .333 as a team. UCLA is 22-11 in Tucson, but lost last year in five sets (Oct. 8, 2011). Each of the last two contests at Arizona have gone five, as UCLA won on Oct. 15, 2010. The Bruins lead the all-time series 52-19.

Like its in-state rival, Arizona State (15-10) enters the week at 4-8 in Pac-12 play. The Sun Devils have dropped seven of their last nine, but defeated California in five on the road last Sunday. ASU is hitting .217 as a team, averaging 14.07 kills, 1.21 aces, 14.91 digs and 2.07 blocks per set. Freshman Macey Gardner leads the team with 4.71 kps and is second with 2.47 dps, while senior Erica Wilson is second with 4.24 kps and first with 30 aces. Freshman Allison Palmer quarterbacks the offense and is averaging 11.43 assists per set. Junior Stephanie Preach is tops on the squad with 4.59 dps, while junior Alexis Pinson is first with 0.95 bps. Jason Watson is in his fifth year at Arizona State and has a record of 63-85 in Tempe and 137-103 in seven-plus seasons as a head coach.

UCLA leads the all-time series with Arizona State 65-8 after recording a 25-22, 25-13, 25-15 victory on Oct. 5 at the John Wooden Center. Tabi Love paced the Bruins with 15 kills, as UCLA hit .400 as a team. The Bruins have won four straight against ASU, all sweeps, including last year in Tempe (Oct. 7, 2011). Arizona State, which is 6-27 at home against UCLA, last beat the Bruins in four in Tempe on Oct. 16, 2010. UCLA is 58-0 all-time when winning the first set versus Arizona State.

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