Utah Makes Sixth-Ranked Bruins Work for 20th Victory

Nov. 10, 2012

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - Senior Rachael Kidder led the sixth-ranked Bruins with 19 kills, senior Tabi Love added 16 kills and nine digs and senior Bojana Todorovic posted 15 digs, as UCLA tallied 20 victories for the 14th-straight season in a five-set win over Utah on Saturday at Crimson Court. Set scores were 25-19, 21-25, 25-13, 19-25, 15-13.

The Bruins move to 20-5 overall and 12-4 in Pac-12 play, while the Utes fall to 12-17 and 3-13 in league action.

Like Love, junior Kelly Reeves was just shy of a double-double with nine kills and 11 digs. Freshman Becca Strehlow recorded 52 assists, seven digs, seven blocks and seven kills. Sophomore Zoë Nightingale added seven kills and eight blocks, junior Meg Norton had five digs and sophomore Karsta Lowe notched five kills. The Bruins hit .260 for the match.

The Bruins never trailed in taking the opening set. UCLA scored the first three points on kills by Reeves and Love and a Utah attack error. The Utes came back to tie the score at five, but a 7-2 Bruin run put the visitors up 12-7. Kills by Strehlow and Kidder made it 7-5, and after a Utah sideout, a Nightingale/Strehlow combo block and a Todorovic ace put the Bruins up 9-6. Following another sideout, a kill by junior Mariana Aquino, a Strehlow ace and a Kidder kill made it a five-point difference.

Utah cut its deficit to 13-11, but two is as close as the home squad would get the rest of the way. Leading 18-15, the Bruins scored six of the next seven. A Nightingale kill, a combo block by Aquino and Strehlow and a Utah ball handling error made it 21-15, and following a Ute sideout, a Kidder kill, another combo roof from Aquino and Strehlow and an Aquino kill gave the Bruins a bunch of set points. Utah saved the first three, but a Reeves kill finished off a 25-19 win. Kidder led the Bruins in the opener with four kills, as UCLA out-hit Utah .231 to .125. Strehlow added three blocks, while Todorovic posted six digs.

Trailing 6-4 early in the second set, a 6-1 UCLA run gave the visitors a 10-7 lead. A Utah service error, kills by Reeves and Kidder and an Aquino/Kidder combo block made it 8-6. After a Utah sideout, kills from Kidder and Love put the Bruins up by three. The largest lead of the set for UCLA was four at 14-10 and 16-12.

The Utes ran off three in a row to get to within one at 16-15. UCLA still led by a pair at 21-19, but the Utes scored the last six of the set to go into intermission even. Kidder had four kills to lead the Bruins in the second set, while Love and Lowe each added three. The Bruins were out-hit .267 to .156.

Utah held an early 3-1 lead in set three, but the Bruins came back with four of the next five. A Reeves kill, a Nightingale/Reeves combo block and back-to-back kills from Love put UCLA ahead 5-4. The Utes squared the set at 5, 6 and 7-all, but could not regain the lead. An 8-1 run put UCLA up 15-8. Two Kidder kills with a bad Utah set in between made it 10-7. After a Ute sideout, five in a row for UCLA on kills by Kidder and Strehlow, back-to-back Utah attack errors and a bad set made it a seven-point difference.

The Bruins never saw their lead dip below five for the rest of the set. Up 17-11, the Bruins scored four in a row on kills by Reeves and Nightingale and two Utah errors to make it 21-11. A Utah service error on the Bruins' second set point gave them a 25-13 victory. Kidder and Love each had four kills in the third, while Nightingale posted three blocks, as the Bruins out-hit the Utes .440 to .074.

Utah held an early 3-2 lead, but three in a row for the Bruins on two kills by Love and a Nightingale/Strehlow combo block put the visitors up 5-3. The Utes came back with the next three to go back ahead 6-5 and remained in the lead for the rest of the set. Utah's largest lead of the set was five at 11-6 and 12-7.

Down 19-15, the Bruins scored three straight on two Kidder kills and a Todorovic ace to get to within one at 19-18. However, Utah scored six of the last seven of the set to win the fourth 25-19 and force a fifth set. Love led UCLA with five kills, while Kidder added three, as the Bruins were out-hit .278 to .105.

The Bruins scored the first two of set five on an Aquino kill and a Utah attack error, but the Utes netted the next two to even the score. Fourteen sideouts later and tied at nine, a Love kill and a red card on the Utah coach awarded the Bruins a point and put them up 11-9. The teams sided out the last eight points of the contest, as a Kidder kill on the Bruins' second match point finished off a 15-13 victory. Kidder had four kills in the deciding set, as the Bruins out-hit the Utes .550 to .500.

The Bruins return home next week, playing their final match of the season at the John Wooden Center against California next Thursday, Nov. 15 at 5 p.m. UCLA then returns to Pauley Pavilion next Friday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. against Stanford. Both matches will be streamed online live via Pac-12 Digital, along with Gametracker, with links available on the women's volleyball schedule page at UCLABruins.com.

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