LONG BEACH, Calif. - Senior Kelly Reeves had 13 of her career-high 21 kills in the last two sets, adding 15 digs to lead a group of three Bruins who had double-doubles, as #11 UCLA came back from 2-1 down to beat Long Beach State in five on Wednesday at the Walter Pyramid.
Reeves, who added three aces, posted her third straight double-double. Junior Karsta Lowe had 20 kills and tied a career high with six blocks. Senior Mariana Aquino recorded 10 kills and seven blocks, freshman Claire Felix had seven kills, redshirt freshman Haley Lawless posted a personal-best nine digs and four kills and junior Zoë Nightingale tallied six blocks and four kills.
Junior Monica Stauber and freshman Jordan Robbins each had double-doubles, as Stauber went for 28 assists and a career-high 11 digs and Robbins posted 28 assists and a personal-best 13 digs. Defensively, sophomores Karly Drolson (20) and Maddy Klineman (10) each had career highs in digs. The Bruins hit .196 as a team.
The first set featured 13 ties and five lead changes. Trailing 10-8, the Bruins scored six of the next eight to go ahead 14-12. Aquino had two kills and teamed up with Reeves on a block during the run, Lowe added a kill and the 49ers recorded service and attack errors, forcing Long Beach State into a timeout. It was a great breather for the host team, which scored the next five out of the break to take a 17-14 edge. Long Beach’s largest lead of the set was four at 19-15. UCLA scored four of the next five on two Nightingale kills and kills from Felix and Reeves to get to within one at 20-19, but a 3-0 49er run put their advantage back up to four at 23-19.
A 3-0 Bruin run on kills by Robbins and Lowe and an Aquino solo block made it 23-22, but a sideout gave the 49ers two set points. The first was saved on an Aquino kill and an Aquino/Klineman combo block equaled the score at 24. The 49ers scored next to earn a third set point, but a Felix kill and a Klineman ace gave the Bruins their first set point. However, Long Beach State recorded the next three points to close out a 28-26 victory. Lowe led the Bruins with five kills in the first, while Aquino, Felix and Nightingale added three apiece. Klineman tallied seven digs, while Robbins had six. The Bruins were out-hit .205 to .188.
UCLA (9-1) had an early 3-1 lead in set two on a Reeves kill and ace and a 49er attack error, but Long Beach State came back with an 8-2 run to go ahead 9-5. The 49ers’ largest advantage was five at 18-13, but UCLA scored five of the next six to get to within one at 19-18. Lowe, Felix, Aquino and Reeves had kills, while Aquino added a solo block. Long Beach State would get its lead back up to three at 23-20, but UCLA came back to save six set points to win the second and even the match heading into intermission.
A LBSU (5-5) attack error and a Robbins kill made it 23-22, but the 49ers sided out to earn two set points. However, a Lowe kill and an Aquino/Lowe combo block tied things up at 24. The teams traded the next eight points, with a Lowe kill, a 49er service error, a Reeves kill and a LBSU attack error saving the next four set points. A combo block by Lowe and Nightingale gave the Bruins their first set point and Lowe finished the second with her team-best seventh kill to wrap up a thrilling 30-28 victory. Lowe had no errors in eight attempts, while Reeves added four kills. Lowe and Nightingale each had three blocks. UCLA out-hit Long Beach State .242 to .200.
The Bruins were in front at the start of set three 3-1 on a Nightingale/Reeves combo block, a Reeves ace and a Klineman kill, but a 5-2 Long Beach run put the home team up by one at 6-5. A Felix kill and 49er attack error put the Bruins ahead again by one at 7-6, but Long Beach State countered with a 6-1 run to take a 12-8 edge. The 49ers would build their lead to as many as five at 17-12 before the Bruins closed the gap.
Trailing 18-14, a 4-1 UCLA run on two Reeves kills, an Aquino kill and a solo block by freshman Jennie Frager trimmed the deficit to one at 19-18. However, the 49ers scored six of the last seven points of the set to take the third 25-19. Seven different Bruins had kills in the set, led by Reeves’ three. UCLA was out-hit .178 to .043.
The 49ers held slim one-point leads in set four at 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 and 5-4, but a 5-1 Bruin run put the visitors up for good. A combo block by Aquino and Lawless, two Reeves kills and two Long Beach attack errors gave UCLA a 9-6 edge. After the 49ers netted two of the next three, a Reeves kill and ace and a solo block by Frager put the Bruins up by a set-best five at 13-8.
The Bruins’ lead fluctuated between two and four for the rest of the set, with neither team scoring more than two points in a row at any stretch after the total got to double figures for both sides. A Stauber kill on the Bruins’ third set point closed out a 25-22 victory. Reeves led the Bruins with seven kills in the fourth, while Lowe added four. Drolson posted six digs, as the Bruins out-hit the 49ers .270 to .129.
Long Beach led 4-3 early in the fifth when UCLA went on a 6-0 run to go ahead 9-4. The first half of the run came on a Lawless kill, an Aquino/Felix combo block and a Reeves kill. The second half of the run began and ended with Reeves kills, with another Aquino/Felix block putting the Bruins up by five. A 4-1 run got the 49ers back to within two at 10-8, but that streak was stopped on Reeves’ 20th kill of the night to make it 11-8.
With the score 12-11, kills by Lawless and Love gave the Bruins three match points, but the 49ers saved them all to tie the score at 14. An Aquino kill gave UCLA a fourth match point and on Lawless’ third attempt on the long rally, she put it down to complete a 16-14 victory. Reeves had six more kills and five digs in the fifth, Lawless added three kills and five digs and Lowe posted three kills, as the Bruins out-hit the 49ers .294 to .250.
The Bruins open up Pac-12 Conference play next Wednesday, Sept. 25 at fifth-ranked USC at 7 p.m. The match will be televised live on ESPNU. Free audio will also be available at UCLABruins.com.