#9 UCLA Sweeps #12 Florida State, Advances to National Title Match
Dec. 15, 2011
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Junior Rachael Kidder had a double-double with 21 kills and 12 digs, senior Lauren Van Orden added 43 assists and eight digs and senior Lainey Gera produced 17 digs, as the ninth-seeded Bruins advanced to their first National Championship match since 1994 with a three-set sweep of #12 Florida State on Thursday at The Alamodome. Set scores were 25-16, 25-17, 25-21.
The Bruins improve to 29-6 on the season and will face Illinois for the National Championship on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. PT. The contest will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and online at ESPN3.com. The Seminoles wrap up their season at 28-7.
Kidder hit .462 for the match in posting her eighth double-double of the season and 10th of her career. Junior Tabi Love was also in double figures in kills with 12, while sophomore Kelly Reeves added seven kills, 10 digs and three aces. Sophomore Mariana Aquino had six kills and four blocks, junior Bojana Todorovic added six digs and freshman Zoë Nightingale posted three kills and three blocks. The Bruins hit .328 for the match.
The Bruins never trailed in the opening set, jumping out to an early 6-2 lead and forcing Florida State into a quick timeout. Love had three kills during the run, Reeves added two and Kidder posted one. The Seminoles went on a 4-2 run to cut their deficit to a pair at 8-6, but UCLA rallied with seven of the next 10 to take a 15-9 lead. Kidder had three kills during the run, Aquino, Kidder and Love posted one apiece and FSU committed an attack error.
The Seminoles sided out to make it 15-10, but a 5-1 Bruin run put them up by a set-best nine at 20-11. A Reeves kill and an FSU attack error made it 17-10, and after a Seminole sideout, Reeves posted three straight points on a kill and back-to-back aces to make it a nine-point difference. The closest the Seminoles would get the rest of the way was seven. Leading 23-16, an Aquino kill gave the Bruins a slew of set points and an Aquino/Reeves combo block clinched a 25-16 win. Love led the Bruins with six kills, while Kidder and Reeves each had five kills and five digs. UCLA out-hit Florida State .400 to .184.
UCLA didn't trail in the second set either, scoring the first three points on an FSU attack error and kills by Aquino and Love. The Bruins' largest lead in the first half of the second set was four, but the Seminoles charged back to cut their deficit to one on two occasions at 12-11 and 13-12. However, UCLA responded with five in a row and eight of the next nine to break it open.
Three straight Kidder kills, a Nightingale/Van Orden combo block and an FSU attack error made it 18-12. After a Seminole sideout, consecutive kills by Kidder and Love and another Nightingale/Van Orden combo roof gave the Bruins a set-best lead of eight at 21-13. Up 23-17, UCLA scored the final two points on kills by Love and Kidder to win it 25-17. Kidder paced the Bruins with 10 kills, while Love added three. Gera posted seven digs, as the Bruins out-hit the Seminoles .357 to .114.
The third set featured nine ties and five lead changes early on, but the Bruins began to pull away as the set got into double figures. With UCLA up 5-4, Florida State scored three in a row to take a 7-5 edge. UCLA countered with a 3-0 run of its own on a Kidder kill, a Reeves ace and a Nightingale kill to take an 8-7 lead, but Florida State came back with three of four to go ahead 10-9. The Bruins were the team with the next run, as a Nightingale solo block, a Love kill and an Aquino/Van Orden combo block gave them a 12-10 lead and they never trailed for the rest of the set.
After a Florida State sideout, UCLA scored four of five to take a 16-12 lead. Kidder had a kill during the run, while Aquino and Reeves both had a kill and teamed up for a block to go ahead by four. The Seminoles closed to within two on a pair of occasions, but could get no closer. With the score 20-18, the Bruins scored four of five on kills by Kidder and Love and aces from Gera and Van Orden to go up 24-19 and earn five match points. Florida State held off the first two attempts, but an Aquino kill finished off a 25-21 victory. Kidder had six kills in the third, Love added three kills and Gera posted six digs. The Bruins out-hit the Seminoles .238 to .216.
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