Seventh-Ranked Bruins Block Their Way to Win Against #4 USC

Nov. 23, 2012

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LOS ANGELES - Seventh-ranked UCLA had 17.5 blocks, including a career-high 14 from sophomore Zoë Nightingale, and on Senior Night, seniors Rachael Kidder (18 kills), Tabi Love (16 kills) and Bojana Todorovic (18 digs) helped the Bruins to a four-set win over #4 USC on Friday at the New Pauley Pavilion. Set scores were 19-25, 25-23, 25-17, 25-19.

The Bruins finish the regular season with an overall record of 22-7 and a 14-6 mark in Pac-12 play, while the Trojans fall to 27-5 and 15-5 in league.

Kidder was just shy of a double-double with nine digs to go with four blocks. Junior Kelly Reeves was one dig shy of tying a career best with 18, while junior Meg Norton added 13 digs. Sophomore Megan Moenoa recorded 32 assists, six digs and four blocks, junior Mariana Aquino added six blocks and a .625 hitting percentage with only one error in eight attempts and sophomore Karsta Lowe posted five kills.

The Trojans opened the match with three in a row and held a 5-1 lead before the Bruins rallied with five straight to take their first advantage of the contest. A USC service error, back-to-back kills by Love, a Kidder ace and a combo block by Nightingale and freshman Becca Strehlow made it 6-5 home team. UCLA still led 7-6, but USC countered with five in a row to go back ahead 11-7.

The Trojans' lead would remain between two and six for the rest of the set. UCLA cut its deficit to a pair at 19-17, but USC scored six of the last eight to win it 25-19. Love had nine of the Bruins' 14 kills in the opening set, hitting .500 with only one error in 16 attempts, as UCLA was out-hit .345 to .100.

UCLA led early in set two 2-1, but a 6-0 USC run gave the visitors a 7-2 edge. The Bruins came back with a 6-2 run to trim their deficit to one at 9-8. Love had two kills during the run, Moenoa posted a kill and an ace, Kidder recorded a kill and USC committed a service error. With USC still on top 12-9, a 5-0 UCLA run put the home squad back up by two. A kill by Lowe, a Kidder/Nightingale combo block, a Nightingale kill and back-to-back combo blocks from the duo of Moenoa and Nightingale put the Bruins up 14-12.

With UCLA ahead 16-15, USC scored three straight to go back up 18-16. A kill by Aquino and a USC attack error evened things up at 18, and seven sideouts later with the Trojans up 22-21, a Kidder kill, a USC ball handling error and a Love/Nightingale combo block gave the Bruins two set points. The Trojans saved the first try, but a Love kill finished off a 25-23 victory. Kidder paced the Bruins with five kills, while Love added three. Reeves notched seven digs and Todorovic had five, as the Trojans still out-hit the Bruins .240 to .200.

USC scored the first three of set three, but a 4-0 UCLA run on a Lowe/Nightingale combo block, a Kidder kill and back-to-back combo roofs from Moenoa and Nightingale and Kidder and Nightingale made it 4-3. USC sided out to tie the score at four, but a 4-1 UCLA run on kills by Norton and Nightingale and combo roofs from Moenoa and Nightingale and Aquino and Love made it 8-5. The Bruins would lead for the rest of the set. Up 8-7, a 5-1 run on two kills from Aquino, a Love kill, a combo block by Aquino and Lowe and a Trojan attack error made it 13-8.

The Trojans would get to within a pair on a few occasions, but no closer. At 18-16, the Bruins scored seven of the last eight of the set to win the third 25-17. Kills by Reeves and Kidder, with a USC attack error in between, made it 21-16. After a USC sideout, a Kidder kill, a Lowe/Nightingale combo block and a Trojan attack error gave the Bruins a bunch of set points. UCLA's ninth block of the set, from Kidder and Nightingale, clinched a 25-17 victory. Kidder had four kills, Aquino posted three and Nightingale notched six blocks. Reeves and Todorovic each had six digs, as the Bruins out-hit the Trojans .303 to .000.

UCLA held an early 3-1 lead in the fourth, but a 5-1 USC run put the visitors up 6-4. The Bruins responded with five of the next six on two kills by Kidder, a Moenoa kill and two Trojan errors to go back up 9-7, but USC countered with a 6-2 run to re-take the lead at 13-11. A kill by Moenoa and two in a row for Love put the Bruins ahead 14-13, and despite ties at 14, 15 and 16-all, UCLA held on to its lead for the rest of the set.

A USC service error and three straight kills by Kidder made it 20-16. The Trojans scored the next two, but back-to-back USC errors and consecutive Nightingale solo blocks gave UCLA a bunch of match points. USC saved the first try, but an attack error on attempt number two finished a 25-19 victory for the Bruins. Kidder had seven kills in the fourth, while Love added three. Norton and Todorovic each recorded five digs, as the Bruins out-hit the Trojans .237 to .167.

The Bruins and 63 other teams await their postseason fate, as ESPNU airs the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday at 1 p.m.

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Saturday, Aug 29
vs. Virginia
Los Angeles, CA
(25-19, 25-21, 25-16)
Sunday, Aug 30
vs. Loyola Marymount
Los Angeles, CA
(15-25, 23-25, 27-29)
Friday, Sep 04
vs. American University
Honolulu, HI
(25-19, 25-19, 25-18)
Saturday, Sep 05
vs. Iowa
Honolulu, HI
(25-20, 25-16, 25-13)
Sunday, Sep 06
at Hawai'i
Honolulu, HI
(25-16, 25-27, 25-17, 28-26)
Friday, Sep 11
vs. San Diego
Santa Barbara, CA
(25-13, 24-26, 25-21, 25-23)
Saturday, Sep 12
vs. SMU
Santa Barbara, CA
(25-20, 25-22, 25-16)
Sunday, Sep 13
at UC Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA
(25-19, 27-25, 25-23)
Friday, Sep 18
at UC Irvine
Irvine, CA
(25-23, 25-17, 25-21)
Friday, Sep 18
at Long Beach State
Long Beach, CA
(25-20, 19-25, 25-17, 25-14)
Wednesday, Sep 23
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
(22-25, 12-25, 19-25)
Sunday, Sep 27
at California
Berkeley, CA
(25-20, 27-25, 25-16)
Friday, Oct 02
vs. Washington
Los Angeles, CA
(29-31, 16-25, 15-25)
Sunday, Oct 04
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
(25-20, 25-18, 30-28)
Friday, Oct 09
at Utah
Salt Lake City, UT
(17-25, 25-12, 25-15, 25-16)
Sunday, Oct 11
at Colorado
Boulder, CO
(26-24, 25-15, 25-19)
Friday, Oct 16
vs. Arizona
Los Angeles, CA
(25-16, 25-18, 25-22)
Sunday, Oct 18
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
(25-21, 25-16, 30-28)
Friday, Oct 23
at Oregon
Eugene, OR
(25-22, 19-25, 28-26, 29-27)
Sunday, Oct 25
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR
(25-16, 25-21, 19-25, 23-25, 15-5)
Friday, Oct 30
at Washington State
Pullman, WA
(25-13, 25-20, 23-25, 25-16)
Sunday, Nov 01
at Washington
Seattle, WA
(20-25, 26-24, 15-25, 20-25)
Wednesday, Nov 04
vs. Colorado
Los Angeles, CA
(25-23, 26-24, 25-17)
Friday, Nov 06
vs. Utah
Los Angeles, CA
(25-16, 25-20, 21-25, 25-16)
Thursday, Nov 12
vs. Oregon
Los Angeles, CA
(25-17, 17-25, 25-27, 25-23, 12-15)
Sunday, Nov 15
vs. Oregon State
Los Angeles, CA
(25-18, 25-19, 25-27, 25-19)
Friday, Nov 20
at Arizona State
Tempe, AZ
(25-22, 22-25, 19-25, 28-26, 15-10)
Sunday, Nov 22
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
(22-25, 27-29, 27-25, 25-21, 10-15)
Wednesday, Nov 25
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
(25-18, 17-25, 25-19, 12-25, 15-12)
Friday, Nov 27 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. Stanford
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Dec 04 - TBA PST
vs. NCAA First Round
Saturday, Dec 05 - TBA PST
vs. NCAA Second Round
Friday, Dec 11 - TBA PST
vs. NCAA Regional ...
Saturday, Dec 12 - TBA PST
vs. NCAA Regional ...
Thursday, Dec 17 - TBA PST
vs. NCAA National ...
Omaha, NE
Saturday, Dec 19 - TBA PST
vs. NCAA National ...
Omaha, NE