Volleyball's Outstanding Effort Falls Short in NCAA Regional Final
Dec. 12, 2004
SEATTLE - The 15th-seeded UCLA women's volleyball team gave the host Washington Huskies all that they could handle on Saturday night at Bank of America Arena, but the Bruins were unable to advance, as UW defeated the Bruins in five games. Game scored were 27-30, 30-19, 30-28, 24-30, 15-9. The Huskies advance to play Stanford in the National Semifinal on Thursday in Long Beach. The Bruins were led by senior outside hitter Brittany Ringel, who had 17 kills in the match.
The Bruins had an impressive opening game of the match, ripping off a seven-point run to take a 22-17 lead before closing out a 30-28 opening game victory capped by a Chrissie Zartman service ace at game point. UCLA ran an evenly distributed offense, with Brynn Murphy and Brittany Ringel recording four kills apiece in the game.
Washington took an early 8-2 lead in game two, but the Bruins fought back to within one point at 12-11, but UCLA was never able to tie the Huskies as Washington rolled to a 30-19 second game win and taking the match to the break tied at one game apiece. In the game, the Huskies hit .205 as a team to UCLA's -.132.
Game three was closely contested, with the teams trading points early. With Washington taking a 20-16 lead, the Bruins spent their firs time out of the game and the team responded with a Krystal McFarland kill and a block by Nana Meriwether and Colby Lyman teaming for a block that cut the Husky lead to two points and forced UW into their first timeout of the game. The Bruins fought back to tie the game at 28-28, but were unable to close out the game as a Sonja Tomasevic kill and a Darla Myhre block giving UW the 30-28 win.
The Bruins started the fourth game ice cold, digging an early 12-3 hole. By that point in the game, UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski had spent both of his timeouts, but UCLA climbed back into the match with consecutive scoring runs of five, four, three and two points to take a 17-15 lead over the Huskies. UCLA would never look back, holding the lead the rest of the way and taking a stunning 30-24 fourth game victory to force a fifth and deciding game.
Washington recorded the first point of game five, but the Bruins tied the game at one. Washington then took a 3-1 lead before UCLA used three consecutive Brittany Ringel kills to take a 4-3 advantage. After Washington scored the next two points for a 5-4 lead, the Bruins countered for a 6-5 lead of their own. Washington tied the game at 6-6, then UCLA used a Brynn Murphy kill and a Brie Hagerty attack error to force the media timeout and switch sides leading 8-6. The momentum belonged to UCLA heading into the 75-second break, but all that would change when the teams returned to the floor.
Kaitlin Leck gave Washington a kill coming out of the time out, beginning a crushing six-point rally that included one Bruin hitting error around four Hagerty kills. UCLA was unable to recover from that run and would score just one more point in the match, falling 15-9.
UCLA's Chrissie Zartman and Nana Meriwether were named to the All-Tournament team, and UCLA had five players complete their collegiate careers on Saturday night. Brittany Ringel had a spectacular final match, leading the team with 17 kills in the contest. Heather Cullen, who had a big match for the Bruins against Penn State on Friday night, played sparingly against the Huskies, but recorded two attacks in the match. Krystal McFarland completes her career with 3,671 assists to rank fourth in UCLA history. Brynn Murphy finishes with 1,242 career kills to rank 17th in UCLA women's volleyball history.
Zartman, the most honored defensive player in Pac-10 women's volleyball history, completes her remarkable UCLA career with 2,064 digs and a 4.46 career digs per-game average. Those numbers obliterate the previous UCLA and Pac-10 digs records. Her career digs total ranks fourth in NCAA Division I history, while her per-game average is the fifth-best average in NCAA history.