Women's Volleyball Guts Out Five-Game Win at Arizona
Oct. 12, 2000
TUCSON, AZ - UCLA pulled out its first five game match since the season opener on Thursday night in Tucson, downing No. 5 Arizona 3-2. Game scores were 15-13, 15-17, 15-17, 15-8, 16-14. The Bruins improve to 11-5, 6-2 Pac-10 with the victory, while the Wildcats fall to 14-2, 7-1 Pac-10.
Once again, the Bruins started slowly in the first game of the match, as Arizona sprinted out to 4-0 and 8-2 leads. At that point, freshman middle blocker Ella Harley went back to serve for the Bruins and started a switch in the momentum, serving seven straight points to give UCLA a 9-8 lead. From there, it was a back-and-forth game with ASU stretching to a 13-10 lead before UCLA started fighting back. Bruin head coach Andy Banachowski removed setter Erika Selsor for freshman middle blocker Cira Wright, who shared a block assist with senior Elisabeth Bachman on her first rally of the match. UCLA continued to battle from that point, scoring five unanswered points to win the game 15-13. The game ended on a left-handed kill by Kristee Porter, her seventh kill of the game.
Game two was a close contest, with neither team taking more than a two-point lead. When the Bruins started a run to take an 11-9 lead, an Arizona timeout switched the momentum and the Wildcats tied the game at 11-11 behind the service of Rachel Williams, at which point Banachowski called his first timeout of the game. That timeout, however, was unable to switch the momentum and the Wildcats sprinted out to a 14-11 lead, the largest by either team in the game, before Banachowski called his second timeout at that point. The Bruins were able to rally back and tie the match at 14-14, but not before Arizona failed to convert on seven game points. The Bruins took a 15-14 lead behind the service of Porter thanks to a solo block by Lauren Fendrick, but Arizona came back to tie the match and take a 16-15 lead. UCLA earned a sideout on UA's eighth game point, but a bizarre service error by Harley, in which she wound up underneath a bad toss for her jump floater serve, gave Arizona its ninth game point, which their setter Dana Burkholder converted on a dump for the 17-15 win.
Game three was another back-and-forth game, as the game was tied at 5-5, but Arizona built a 10-5 lead thanks in part to three consecutive Bruin errors. Following a UCLA time out, the Bruins got a sideout to put Michelle Quon at the service line, and used two consecutive Porter kills and a service ace to close the gap to 10-8 and force an Arizona timeout. From there, the Wildcats extended their lead to 13-9 before a second UCLA timeout. At that point, UCLA scored five straight points to take a 14-13 lead, but were blocked on their first game point. After ties at 14-14 and 15-15, the Cats earned their second game point with a block of Porter. The Cats would serve for the match twice more before converting on their fourth game point for a second straight 17-15 game win.
Needing a victory in game four to extend the match, the Bruins did exactly that. The Bruins pounded out a 15-8 victory. UCLA hit .371 to Arizona's .200 in the game.
The Bruins struggled early in the fifth game, giving up 4-1 and 7-4 leads. As the teams switched sides, Arizona had an 8-5 lead. UCLA clawed back into the game, tying it at 11-11. Arizona then inched out to a 13-11 lead and earned their first rally for the match on a strength of a kill from Lisa Rutledge. From there, however, the Bruins took advantage of a service error by Rachel Williams and an attack error by Rutledge to tie the game at 14-14. An Arizona timeout did not stop UCLA's momentum, as Ashley Bowles downed a kill deep on Arizona's side to give the Bruins their first match point with Erika Selsor at the service line. UA called their second and final timeout at that point, but the Bruins put it away on Porter's XXth kill of the match.
'We played tough tonight,' said Banachowski, 'and we played well. We did a lot of different things tonight, using Cira Wright in the front row for Erika. We used that a lot more in the rally scored fifth game, having Bowles set. I thought Erika got some deflections in game four when Arizona's hitters were getting tired, and we were able to score in transition. It was an exciting game.
In the win, Porter posted her second career 20-20 performance, recording 35 kills and a career-high 26 digs in the match. It was Porter's fifth 30-kill match of the season. Bachman gave UCLA two players with over 20 kills, as she finished with 21 kills and eight blocks, while two other Bruins, Bowles and Fendrick, had 18 kills apiece. For the second consecutive match, Selsor had a night over 70 assists, this time pairing 77 assists with 14 digs and three kills.
The Bruins travel to Tempe, AZ, next for a Friday evening match at Arizona State. First serve is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The match will be broadcast live on FOX Sports Net, and can be seen in the Los Angeles area on FOX Sports West 2 with Jim Watson and Angie Kammer calling the action.