Oct. 12, 2006
LOS ANGELES - UCLA extended its season-opening winning streak to 20 matches on Thursday night in Pauley Pavilion, posting a three-game sweep of No. 7 California with game scores of 30-26, 30-17, 32-30. The Bruins are now 20-0 (7-0 Pac-10) while the Golden Bears fall to 14-3 (3-3 Pac-10). Tonight's win matches UCLA's best season start since 1993, when the Bruins opened the season 20-0 before losing a five-game match at Arizona.
Katie Carter had a team-high 12 kills, followed by Nana Meriwether with 11. Jordan Smith had a team-high 21 digs and the Bruins posted 14.5 blocks to Cal's seven with Rachell Johnson leading the way with eight blocks (two solo, six assists). As a team UCLA, had 53 kills to Cal's 44, hit .270 to Cal's .096 and out-dug the Golden Bears by a 68-61 margin.
The Bruins led for the majority of the opening game of the match, holding the lead from 2-1 until Cal used a Bruin handling error to tie the game at 17-all. The Golden bears would take an 18-17 lead, which would not hold, as a Nellie Spicer kill put the Bruins back on top at 19-18, a lead UCLA would never relinquish.
The Bruins sprinted out of the gate in game two, opening up an 18-6 lead and never looking back. Spicer spread out the Bruin offense in the game with Katie Carter putting down four kills with Ali Daley and Nana Meriwether contributing three kills apiece. Rachell Johnson was the team's point leader in game two with two kills on three swings, four digs and four blocks with two solos and two assists for five points.
Cal came out of the break firing on all cylinders and taking an early 9-5 lead. UCLA tied the game at 18-18 on a Cal attack error and the teams traded points from there. An Ellen Orchard kill gave Cal match point at 29-28, but UCLA responded with a Rachell Johnson kill to extend the game. A Bruins service error gave Cal a second game point, but UCLA answered with kills from Kaitlin Sather and Nana Meriwether before a triple block by Sather, Meriwether and Colby Lyman sealed the three-game win for the Bruins.
UCLA returns to action on Friday night with a 7 pm match against No. 6 Stanford. Friday will be Breast Cancer Awareness Night at Pauley Pavilion with t-shirts and pink breast cancer awareness ribbons distributed at the gates.