Sept. 1, 2004
NORTHRIDGE, CA - The UCLA women's volleyball team opened its 2004 season with a 3-1 victory over Cal State Northridge at the Matadome on Wednesday night. Game scores were 30-13, 24-30, 30-26, 30-23. UCLA had three players with double figure kills, led by Becky Green with 15. Early in the game, the teams traded points, and were tied as late as 9-9 before UCLA turned in a 20-4 run to close out the game. That stretch included a showcase of new NCAA volleyball rules that allow the libero to serve for one player each rotation as UCLA senior libero Chrissie Zartman served the Bruins to eight straight points in the game. In game two, the Bruins took an early 8-4 lead, but the Matadors fought back, rallying to tie the score at 19-19 before head coach Andy Banachowski called his first timeout of the game. The Matadors would continue their rally, however, forcing the Bruins into their final timeout of the game trailing 23-19. UCLA mounted a brief rally, but was unable to come back and win the game, falling by a score of 30-24 to go to the locker rooms tied at one game apiece. After the break, the teams returned to the court for another tight battle. The teams were tied at 18-18 and traded points from there with UCLA holding a slim lead at 22-20 when Northridge called its first time out. The Matadors were able to stay within one point as late as 24-23 before the Bruins were able to end the game on a Nana Meriwether kill for a 30-26 final and a two games to one lead. In the fourth and final game of the match, the teams were tight early, but the Bruins pulled out to a 15-7 lead behind the service of Becky Green. UCLA would then sprint out to a 27-14 lead before a string of attack errors cut the lead to 27-18 and prompted a Bruin timeout before UCLA was able to close out the game and the match on a Brynn Murphy kill, winning game three 30-23 Becky Green led the Bruins with 15 kills, and she was joined in double figures by Brynn Murphy with 12 and Nana Meriwether with 10. Meriwether had an impressive Bruin debut, checking in with 10 kills, a .600 attack percentage and a team-high nine blocks (one solo, eight assists) on the evening. Chrissie Zartman led the Bruins in digs with 18. UCLA travels to College Station, Texas, this weekend for the McDonald's/Texas A&M Invitational, where UCLA will play Southern Mississippi, Samford and host Texas A&M. Bethune Cookman was also scheduled to play the Bruins on Friday evening, but the Lady Wildcats will not be traveling to Texas due to travel concerns related to Hurricane Frances.