Oct. 20, 2006
LOS ANGELES - UCLA women's volleyball (21-1, 8-1 Pac-10) snapped an 11-match losing streak to cross-town rival USC (18-2, 7-2 Pac-10) on Friday night and spoiled the Women of Troy's final volleyball match to be played in the Lyon Center with a 25-30, 30-20, 30-24, 30-22 win. The Bruins will now take at least a share of the Pac-10 lead into the halfway mark of the conference season and walk away with the first five women's volleyball points for the 2006-07 Lexus Gauntlet standings.
The Bruins took an early lead, scoring the first two points of the match on a Nana Meriwether kill and a block by Meriwether and Colby Lyman, but USC worked back to a tie at 5-5, scoring the tying point on a Bruin attack error, one of eight for UCLA in the game. After trading points to 7-7, the Women of Troy put together a four-point run to take a 10-7 lead and USC would not trail again. For the Bruins, Meriwether was involved in both of UCLA's blocks in the opening game of the match and was the Bruins kill leader with four. The Bruins hit just .174 as a team to USC's .308 in game one.
UCLA sprinted out to a 6-0 lead early in game two, ending three of the first six rallies with blocks and forcing the Women of Troy to use an early timeout. The Bruins would never trail in the match, and USC would not be able to cut the gap to less than five points, eventually falling 30-20. The Bruins hit an impressive .500 as a team in the game and held USC to a .256 attack percentage, thanks in part to four blocks by the Bruins.
Game three saw UCLA take another early lead and score the first four points of the game, but USC scored four straight to tie the score at 7-7. Following a Bruins timeout, the teams would trade points until the Women of Troy took an 11-9 lead, but UCLA fought back, tying the game at 12 to start another series of alternate points that took the game to a score of 16-all. After two consecutive points by the Bruins gave UCLA an 18-16 lead, USC's Mick Haley spent his first timeout of the game. The move did not switch momentum, as UCLA scored the next two points to take a 20-16 lead. UCLA would extend that lead to 25-20 on a block by Meriwether and Katie Carter, forcing Haley to use his second and final timeout of the game.
The Bruins used a pair of blocks, one from Meriwether and Colby Lyman and another from Meriwether and Ali Daley, to take an early 4-2 lead in game four. From there, the teams kept it close and a Bethany Johansen kill tied the game at 22-22 before an Ali Daley kill started a Bruin run that would result in eight consecutive points and the match victory. During that run, UCLA opened with a Daley kill to send Lyman back to the service line. The remainder of the rally featured two hitting errors and a ball handling error by USC and three blocks, finishing with a block from Rachell Johnson and Nellie Spicer to give UCLA 16.5 blocks on the match.
UCLA finished with three players in double-figure kills, led by Meriwether with 19, Kaite Carter with 17 and Daley with 12. Meriwether led all players with 10 blocks, one solo and nine assists in the match for a total of 24.5 points.
The Bruins out-blocked USC 16.5-10, hit .290 to USC's .218 and the teams were tied with two service errors apiece.
UCLA returns to action next Thursday, October 26, with a 7 pm match at Washington State.