Oct. 21, 2008
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
#4 California (17-1, 7-0 Pac-10) at #10 UCLA (14-4, 4-3 Pac-10)
Friday, October 24
Los Angeles, Calif.
Live: Audio, Gametracker
#5 Stanford (15-3, 6-1 Pac-10) at #10 UCLA (14-4, 4-3 Pac-10)
Sunday, Oct. 26
Los Angeles, Calif.
Live: TV - Fox Sports Net Prime Ticket, Audio, Gametracker
BRUINS HOST CAL AND STANFORD
The 10th-ranked Bruins host #4 California and #5 Stanford on Friday and Sunday as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend. UCLA will wear pink and white jerseys for both matches and play with pink volleyballs. First serve on Friday is at 7 p.m., while Sunday's contest, which will be aired live on Fox Sports Net Prime Ticket, will begin at 12:30 p.m. Paul Sunderland, Holly McPeak and Karch Kiraly will call all the action. Live audio and Gametracker will also be available at UCLABruins.com.
BREAST CANCER AWARENESS WEEKEND
This weekend is Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend at Pauley Pavilion, as UCLA entertains California and Stanford. The Bruins will wear pink and white jerseys for both matches and play with pink volleyballs. The jerseys and volleyballs will be auctioned off on UCLABruins.com, with all proceeds benefitting The Revlon/UCLA Breast Center. Fans will be able to purchase pink t-shirts for $10 (proceeds go to Revlon/UCLA Breast Center) prior to each match, which will gain you free admission to both contests this weekend. In addition, the first 250 fans to the Cal and Stanford matches will receive a Breast Cancer Awareness bracelet.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
The Bruins remained at 10th for the second straight week in this week's CBS College Sports Network/AVCA poll. The Pac-10 has seven teams ranked in the Top 25, including six in the Top 15 (#4 California, #5 Stanford, #6 Washington, #7 Oregon, #14 USC, #24 Oregon State). In this week's Molten/Volleyball Magazine Top 25 poll, the Bruins were ranked ninth.
BRUINS IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
The Bruins rank in the nation's top 40 in four statistical categories in rankings released on Tuesday. UCLA is 27th in blocks per set at 2.58, 33rd in kills per set (13.81), 38th in assists per set with 12.70 and 39th in hitting percentage at .250. Individually, freshman Amanda Gil is 17th in the nation in bps at 1.35 and senior Nellie Spicer is 29th in aps at 10.86.
BRUINS IN THE PAC-10 RANKINGS
Thanks to a spectacular digging effort last weekend in Arizona, the Bruins moved from third to first in the Pac-10 in digs per set at 15.12. UCLA remained at fourth and fifth, respectively, in blocks (2.58) and hitting percentage (.250) and moved up to fifth in kills per set (13.81). Individually, freshman Amanda Gil is second in the conference in bps (1.35) and eighth in hitting percentage (.336), while freshman Katie Camp is eighth in bps (1.12) and 10th in hitting percentage (.328). Senior Nellie Spicer is third in assists per set (10.86) and senior Jessica Fine is third in digs per set (4.38).
THE KEYS TO VICTORY
The Bruins are 11-0 this season when hitting at least .250 in a match and are also 11-0 when holding their opponents below a .200 attack percentage. In addition, UCLA has not lost when out-hitting its opponent. Another tell tale sign of whether a match is going to go the Bruins' way is by looking at the aces, digs and blocks totals. UCLA is 9-0 when leading its foe in aces and digs and 8-0 when winning the blocking battle at the net.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN BEARS (17-1, 7-0 PAC-10)
California enters Friday's contest on a 12-match winning streak after knocking off Bay Area rival Stanford on Sunday in four sets. The Golden Bears dropped their first set in Pac-10 play in the opener, but won the next three to beat the Cardinal in Stanford for the first time in 29 years. Cal's offense is led by junior Hana Cutura, who has a Pac-10-best 4.54 kills per set to go along with 2.39 digs per set. The Golden Bears have four others averaging more than two kps (senior Am'ra Solomon, 2.86; senior Morgan Beck, 2.32; junior Mindi Wiley, 2.13; freshman Tarah Murrey, 2.09). The conference leader in assists is sophomore Carli Lloyd, who averages 12.07 assists per set. The top passer for Cal is junior Kristen Kathan, who holds a 4.09 digs per set average. As a team, the Golden Bears are hitting .319 with 15.10 kills, 1.36 aces, 13.16 digs and 2.56 blocks per set. Head coach Rich Feller, who led Cal to its first Final Four last season, holds a 182-109 record in his 10th year in Berkeley. Overall, Feller has a 481-276 mark in his 25th season of coaching.
THE MATCHUP: UCLA-CALIFORNIA
In two wild, five-set matches last year, both teams won on the other's home court. For Cal, the victory was its first ever at UCLA and only its second all-time against the Bruins. UCLA still holds a 50-2 series advantage. In the first match on Sept. 27, 2007 in Berkeley, the Golden Bears won the first two sets from the Bruins, but UCLA took the next three to pull off the comeback victory. Ali Daley had a team-best 18 kills and 21 digs to pace the Bruins, while Nellie Spicer posted 52 assists and 13 digs. On Oct. 27, 2007, Cal won for the first time in Westwood, coming back from a 2-1 deficit to triumph in five. Daley (14 kills, 17 digs) and Spicer (49 assists, 10 digs) again had double-doubles. Cal's only other win in the series was a three-set victory in Berkeley on Sept. 23, 2005. The Bruins won the first 46 matches against the Golden Bears and are 24-1 at home against Cal.
SCOUTING THE CARDINAL (15-3, 6-1 PAC-10)
Stanford fell to second in the Pac-10 following Sunday's home loss to California. Like the Golden Bears, the Cardinal had not lost a set in Pac-10 play prior to Sunday's match. Stanford is hitting a conference-best .322 and averages 14.19 kills, 0.97 aces, 14.24 digs and 2.59 blocks per set. The Cardinal's leading hitter is sophomore Alix Klineman, who is posting 3.55 kills per set. Senior Cynthia Barboza is second on the team with 3.27 kps, while senior Foluke Akinradewo is third with 2.73 kps. Akinradewo is also first in the Pac-10 in hitting percentage (.447) and blocks per set (1.49). Stanford employs two setters in sophomore Cassidy Lichtman (7.07 aps) and junior Joanna Evans (5.36 aps). The top defender is sophomore Gabi Ailes, who averages 3.78 digs per set. John Dunning is in his eighth year as Stanford head coach and owns a 223-36 record. In over 23 seasons of coaching, Dunning is 660-138.
THE MATCHUP: UCLA-STANFORD
The Cardinal own a 15-match winning streak against the Bruins and lead the all-time series 38-34. The teams met three times last season, including a Dec. 8 matchup in the Stanford Regional Final. The Cardinal came away with a four-game victory in that contest, with Nellie Spicer posting 59 assists and a career-high 25 digs. In the regular-season contest in Palo Alto on Sept. 28, the Bruins were swept. Spicer (36 assists, 11 digs) and Ali Daley (12 kills, 10 digs) both had double-doubles. At Pauley Pavilion on Oct. 26, Stanford defeated UCLA in four. Spicer recorded 53 assists, while Kaitlin Sather led the Bruins with 20 kills and 18 digs. The Bruins and Cardinal have split 32 meetings in Westwood, with UCLA's last victory against Stanford coming on Oct. 19, 2000 at Pauley Pavilion (3-0).
Senior Nellie Spicer continues her climb up UCLA's career assists chart and is just a few weeks away from moving into second place on the list. Spicer averaged 13.14 assists per set in two victories last weekend at Arizona and Arizona State. The senior has recorded at least 40 assists in eight straight matches, including a season-best 61 in a five-set contest against Washington on Oct. 10 for her 10th career 60-plus assists game. Spicer leads the Bruins with eight double-doubles this season, including four during Pac-10 play. Her latest was on Friday at Arizona when she posted 51 assists and 14 digs for her 58th career double-double. Spicer also has conference double-doubles against Oregon (40 assists, 15 digs), Oregon State (44/14) and Washington (61/13). During non-conference play, the senior had a pair of double-doubles at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic (32 assists, 10 digs vs. Ohio and 45/11 at Hawai'i) and at the Northwestern Wildcat Classic (33/10 vs. Georgetown and 47/13 at Northwestern), with all four matches resulting in Bruin victories. Spicer has set the Bruins to at least a .300 hitting percentage eight times (all UCLA wins), including a season-best total of .400 at Cal State Northridge on Sept. 16. Spicer, who is third in the Pac-10 with 10.86 assists per set, has eight double-figure digs matches this season and 58 for her career. Her season high in digs came on Oct. 3 at Oregon with 15. Spicer has also contributed to the Bruin offense in the kill department, matching a career high with eight kills in three different contests this season (Hawai'i, 8/31; Washington, 10/10; Arizona State, 10/18). This year, Spicer has been named to All-Tournament teams three times, including being named Most Valuable Player of the Nevada Tournament and the Wildcat Classic. The senior enters this week's play with 5,381 career assists and is less than 300 shy of second-place Ann Boyer, who had 5,667 assists at UCLA. Spicer also has the chance to become the third player in UCLA history to earn three first-team All-American accolades. She received a second consecutive first-team All-American honor as a junior to become the sixth Bruin to accomplish the feat (Annett Buckner, Liz Masakayan, Daiva Tomkus, Natalie Williams, Elaine Youngs). Williams and Youngs are the only Bruins to earn three first-team All-American awards.
THE DALEY NEWS
Senior Ali Daley is turning it on during the last month of Pac-10 play, registering six double-figure kills matches and four double-doubles. Daley had a pair of double-figure kills contests last weekend, posting 14 at Arizona and 10 at Arizona State. She added a season-high 17 digs against the Wildcats to post her sixth double-double of the season and 35th of her UCLA career. Daley had a fantastic hitting percentage in the two matches against the Arizona schools, swinging at a .328 clip, which is more than 100 points higher than her season average. Daley has four straight matches with at least 10 kills (10 on the season) and is averaging a team-leading 3.00 kills per set during conference action. Overall, the senior is second on the squad with 2.88 kps and is also first with 14 service aces. Daley has at least one ace in each of her last three matches, including three against Arizona. In the back row, Daley is second on the season with 2.69 digs per set and has raised that total during Pac-10 play to 3.07 dps. She has seven double-figure digs matches this season (41 for her UCLA career) and four during conference action. In the double-double department, Daley had two during non-conference games at Hawai'i (12 kills, 14 digs) and at Northwestern (14/11). Her first Pac-10 double-double came at USC (11/15) and she added two more against Washington (14/13) and Washington State (13/12) during the Bruins' last homestand. The senior surpassed the 1,000 career digs mark at USC (1,078 entering this week's play) and is 158 away from 1,000 as a Bruin. After eclipsing 1,000 career kills last season, Daley is also just 74 kills shy of becoming the 24th member of UCLA's 1,000-kill club.
SHE IS SO FINE AT DIGGING
Senior Jessica Fine continues to stand out on the volleyball court, not just because of the fact she wears a different color jersey than her teammates, but also due to her defensive prowess. One of the top passers in the Pac-10, Fine is first on the team and third in the conference with 4.38 digs per set. The senior moved from seventh to third in the Pac-10 standings thanks to a 29-dig performance at Arizona on Friday and a 22-dig effort the next evening at Arizona State, averaging 7.29 digs per set in the two matches. During conference play, Fine is averaging 5.66 dps and has posted at least 20 digs in six of seven Pac-10 matches. Her season high in digs came on Oct. 10 against Washington when she had 30. It was the third time Fine has reached the 30-dig plateau in her career. The senior has a team-best 12 double-figure digs matches this season (32 for her career) and has 13 career contests with at least 20 digs. Fine has led the Bruins in digs in each of the last 10 contests. The senior is also second on the team with 13 service aces.
GIL SOARING ABOVE THE REST
And not just due to the fact that she is the tallest member of the Bruins at 6-6. Amanda Gil is one of the early candidates for National Freshman of the Year, as she enters this week's play first in the nation among all freshmen in blocks per set at 1.35. Gil, who is 17th overall in the nation and second in the Pac-10 in bps, has nine matches with at least five blocks this season, with five of them coming during league action. Gil tied a season high with nine blocks in her first conference match at USC (Sept. 26) and added eight more in a win at Oregon State on Oct. 4. Gil also had a nine-block contest at Cal State Northridge (Sept. 16) and eight apiece against Hawai'i (Aug. 31) and Nevada (Sept. 5). The freshman has led the Bruins in blocks a team-best 11 times. Along with her status as top blocker on the team, Gil is first in hitting percentage (.336), second in points per set (3.31) and third in kills per set (2.85). She had a pair of double-figure kills matches last weekend with 15 at Arizona and 11 at Arizona State to give her eight contests with at least 10 kills this season. Her season high in kills came at Northwestern on Sept. 20 when she had 20. Gil has hit over .300 in 11 matches, totaling a season-best .647 hitting percentage (12 kills, one error, 17 attempts) at Cal State Northridge. The freshman has been named to three All-Tournament teams this season at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic, the Nevada Tournament and the Northwestern Wildcat Classic.
QUICK DRAW McGRAW
Chalk up two more double-figure kills matches for sophomore Dicey McGraw, who has equaled her freshman total of 11 in just 18 contests this season. McGraw recorded 13 kills at Arizona on Friday and 14 at Arizona State on Saturday to give her 22 career double-figure kills matches. McGraw leads the Bruins with 3.08 kills per set and has been the team leader in kills in a squad-best seven matches this season. The sophomore's season high in kills is 16, accomplished twice at Northwestern (Sept. 20) and against Washington (Oct. 10). McGraw added 10 digs in the contest against Northwestern to record her first double-double of the season and the fourth of her career. McGraw had a streak of four straight double-figure kills matches from Sept. 19-26. She earned All-Tournament honors at the Northwestern Wildcat Classic after she totaled three matches with at least 10 kills (12 vs. Virginia, 10 vs. Georgetown and 16 vs. Northwestern). McGraw has hit above .400 on four occasions this year, including a season-best .440 at Cal State Fullerton on Sept. 10.
SETTING UP CAMP ABOVE THE NET
Joining fellow freshman Amanda Gil in the middle, Katie Camp has made as much an impact as her counterpart, as she is second on the team with a .328 hitting percentage and 1.12 blocks per set. Camp had 11 kills and no hitting errors in 15 swings on Oct. 11 in a win against Washington State, posting a season-high .733 hitting percentage. It marks the fourth time this season that Camp has recorded zero hitting errors (with at least five kills) in a match and the second time she has posted at least a .700 percentage. The freshman had a season-high 13 kills and no errors in 18 attempts (.722) in a win against Virginia on Sept. 19. That match marked the second of three straight contests in which Camp did not have a hitting error (CS Northridge on Sept. 16, Virginia and Georgetown on Sept. 19), as she hit over .550 in all three contests. The 11 kills against Washington State were also Camp's fifth match with at least 10 kills and second in Pac-10 play. She had 10 kills in a win at Oregon State on Oct. 4, falling just short of a double-double by adding nine blocks. At the net, Camp has six contests with at least five blocks, which is second on the team, recording nine in a win at Hawai'i on Aug. 31. She has led the Bruins in blocks seven times this season.
NEWS AND NOTES
Freshman Nikki Casale made her collegiate debut last weekend in the fourth set of Friday's victory at Arizona. Casale also appeared in all three sets of Saturday's win at Arizona State and recorded an ace in the opening game. In all, Casale had six serving attempts in four sets ... sophomore Juliane Piggott had a career-high seven blocks at Arizona. She added nine kills and two aces for 14.5 points. Piggott is fifth on the team with 2.05 kills per set and has started three straight matches.