LOS ANGELES - Junior Karsta Lowe led all players with 22 kills, sophomore Maddy Klineman added 15 and senior Mariana Aquino had 10 kills and no hitting errors, as the Bruins defeated Washington State in four sets on Saturday at Pauley Pavilion. Set scores were 25-18, 18-25, 25-19, 25-16.
Lowe had eight digs to come up two shy of a double-double. Klineman added six digs and a career-high four blocks, while Aquino hit .588 in 17 attempts to go with six digs, which tied a personal best. Junior Megan Moenoa registered a double-double with 52 assists and 11 digs, adding a career-best five kills, leading the Bruins (12-8, 3-7 Pac-12) to a .265 hitting percentage.
The Cougars (15-8, 2-8) only lead in the opening set was 1-0, as the Bruins scored four of the next five on kills by Klineman and Lowe, a Klineman/Lowe combo block and a Washington State attack error. The visitors would equal the score at 6-all and 7-all, but could not regain the lead. At 7-all, a 5-1 run on two kills from Lowe, one apiece by Aquino and Klineman and a WSU attack error put the Bruins ahead 12-8.
With the Cougars within three at 16-13, the Bruins went on a 7-2 run to take a set-best lead of eight at 23-15. During the initial 3-0 run, a Nightingale kill, a WSU attack error and a combo roof by Aquino and Moenoa made it 19-13. After a sideout, Aquino had a kill and teamed up with Lowe on a block to go up 21-14. Following another sideout, an Aquino kill and a Cougar attack error put the Bruins ahead by eight. On UCLA’s third set point, a Klineman kill completed a 25-18 victory. Lowe led the Bruins with six kills in the first, while Aquino and Klineman each added four kills. UCLA had 23 digs in the opening stanza, with six by both Klineman and Reeves and five from Drolson. The Bruins out-hit the Cougars .250 to .047.
The Cougars led wire-to-wire in set two, scoring six of the first seven points. Lowe netted the next three points on two kills and an ace to get to within a pair at 6-4, but the Bruins would get no closer. Washington State’s largest lead of the set was eight at 22-14 and 23-15, as the Cougars won the set 25-18. Lowe had six of the Bruins’ 11 kills in the second, while Drolson added five digs, as Washington State won the hitting battle .394 to .121.
Washington State raced out to a 9-4 lead in the third, but UCLA made a huge run to come back and win the set. Trailing by four at 13-9, the Bruins went on a 13-2 run to take a 22-15 advantage. The first three points came on back-to-back Lowe kills and a Nightingale kill to get the Bruins to within one at 13-12. After a WSU sideout, UCLA reeled off seven in a row to take a 19-14 advantage. Klineman had a kill and ace during the run, Reeves added a kill and a solo block, Moenoa and Nightingale teamed up for a roof and the Cougars committed two attack errors to put the home squad up by five.
After a Cougar sideout, the Bruins closed out the 13-2 run with a Reeves kill, a bad set by Washington State and a Drolson ace to make it 22-15. The Cougars scored the next three to make it 22-18, but kills from Moenoa and Lowe gave the Bruins six set points. On attempt number two, Lowe recorded her team-best eighth kill of the set to clinch a 25-19 victory. Seven different Bruins had at least one kill, including Drolson, who also added five digs. The Bruins out-hit the Cougars .282 to .250.
The Bruins never trailed in the fourth set to complete the victory. The start of the set was the Aquino and Klineman show, as they teamed up for the first seven UCLA points on an Aquino kill and two aces, three Klineman kills and the two of them teaming up for a block to go up 7-3. The Cougars closed to within a pair at 10-8, but the Bruins went on runs of 3-0 and 8-1 to break it open. A Klineman kill, a bad Cougar set and a Klineman/Nightingale combo block put the Bruins ahead 13-8.
After the Cougars sided out, Klineman had four of the next five points on kills, with a Washington State attack error putting the Bruins ahead by a set-best nine at 18-9. UCLA’s lead stayed between seven and nine for the rest of the set, as a Lowe kill wrapped up a 25-16 victory in the fourth. Klineman had eight kills and no errors in 11 attempts in the fourth, while Aquino added three kills. Moenoa recorded five digs, as the Bruins out-hit the Cougars .400 to .167.
The Bruins hit the Bay Area next weekend, facing Stanford on Friday at 8 p.m. and California on Sunday at 3 p.m. Both matches will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Networks.