Dec. 4, 2009
LOS ANGELES - The eighth-seeded Bruins were swept in their regular-season match with Long Beach State, but UCLA turned the tables on Friday at Pauley Pavilion in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, sweeping the 49ers, 25-20, 25-20, 25-16. Senior Kaitlin Sather and junior Dicey McGraw each led the Bruins with a match-high 12 kills.
The Bruins improve to 24-8 overall and will face Baylor, which swept Georgia Tech in Friday's first contest, in the second round on Saturday at 7 p.m. Gametracker and free audio will be available at UCLABruins.com. Long Beach State concludes its season at 22-9.
McGraw hit .407 with only one error in 27 attempts, adding eight digs. Sophomore Lainey Gera was tops in digs with 17, while freshman Bojana Todorovic also reached double figures with 13 to go along with nine kills and three aces. The Bruins hit .293 as a team with eight aces and seven blocks.
The Bruins led throughout most of the opening set, but didn't pull away until late. UCLA held an early 5-3 edge, but Long Beach State scored four of the next five to take a 7-6 lead. However, the Bruins rebounded with the next three on a kill and ace by sophomore Katie Camp and a 49er attack error to take a 9-7 advantage and never trailed for the rest of the set.
The Bruins maintained the lead at 15-14 before going on runs of 3-0, 5-1 and 8-2 to go ahead by a set-high seven at 23-16. Camp, freshman Lauren Cook and Sather had consecutive kills to make it 18-14. After a Long Beach sideout, Camp spiked another one and a 49er error put the Bruins up 20-15. The 49ers again sided out, but another 3-0 mini-run on a kill by McGraw, a combo block by Sather and sophomore Amanda Gil and a Cook spike made it 23-16. The 49ers cut it to four to force UCLA into a timeout, but a kill by Gil on the Bruins' fourth set point gave the home squad a 25-20 victory. Camp and McGraw each had four kills to pace the Bruins, who out-hit the 49ers .306 to .233.
The 49ers held an early 6-3 lead in the second set, but the Bruins went on a 6-2 run to take their first advantage of the second at 9-8. McGraw had two kills during the run, Sather had one and Cook and Camp teamed up for a block. The 49ers re-took the lead at 12-11, but the Bruins scored the next three to take a 14-12 advantage and never looked back. The 3-0 run consisted of kills by Gil and Todorovic and an ace by Gera.
Long Beach squared it at 14 and 15, but UCLA had another 3-0 run on a kill and ace by Todorovic and a McGraw/Camp combo block to go up 18-15. With the score 19-17, the Bruins tallied four straight on a kill by McGraw, an ace by Cook, a Todorovic spike and a 49er attack error to take a 23-17 lead. A Todorovic kill on the Bruins' second set point gave them another 25-20 victory. Todorovic led UCLA with five kills in the second, McGraw posted four and Sather had three. The Bruins held a .214-.184 hitting advantage in the second.
A close third set turned into a rout to give the Bruins the sweep. The teams exchanged the first 14 points until the 49ers scored back-to-back to take a 9-7 lead. After two more sideouts made it 10-8, the Bruins scored five in a row to take a 13-10 advantage. UCLA notched successive kills by Cook, Todorovic, Camp and Sather before getting a Sather/Camp combo block to go up by three.
The 49ers got as close as one at 13-12 and 15-14, but the Bruins pulled away, closing out the set with a 10-2 run to win it 25-16. UCLA turned a one-point advantage at 15-14 to a seven-point gap at 21-14 thanks to a pair of kills by McGraw, two aces by Todorovic, a kill by Camp and a combo roof by Camp and freshman Rachael Kidder. The Bruins netted the final three points of the match on a kill by McGraw, a combo block by Gil and Sather and a spike by Sather to advance to the second round. Sather had seven kills in the third, McGraw posted four and Gil added three. The Bruins out-hit the 49ers .356 to .128.
Ashley Lee had a double-double with 24 assists and 13 digs. Naomi Washington recorded nine kills to lead the 49ers, who hit .178 as a team.