Volleyball Rallies From Two-Game Deficit to Beat #4 Washington in Five Games
Sept. 28, 2006
LOS ANGELES - Katie Carter tied her career-high with 23 kills and Nana Meriwether had 15 kills and a season-best 15 blocks as third-ranked UCLA remained undefeated on the season with a come-from-behind 28-30, 23-30, 30-21, 31-29, 15-13 win over fourth-ranked Washington in front of 1,476 fans on Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion.
UCLA stands 16-0, 3-0 Pac-10, while UW falls to 12-2, 2-1 Pac-10.
Game one was tight as the teams would be tied 14 times and swapped the lead four times. The Bruins took a 24-20 lead on block assists by Rachell Johnson and Colby Lyman, but UW rallied to tie the game at 26-26. A kill by Carter tied the game at 28-28 and gave UCLA the serve, but a Johnson service error and Meriwether hitting error gave game one to the visiting Huskies, 30-28.
Game two was all Huskies as UW never trailed in the game, opening up a six-point edge at 21-15. UCLA closed to within three points at 22-19, but UW called timeout and subsequently went on a five-point run to take a commanding 27-19 lead. Washington eventually won game two, 30-23, to take a two games to none lead in the match.
The Bruins came out of halftime fighting back, leading almost the entire way. After swapping siedouts to start game three, UCLA got back-to-back blocks, with Meriwether and Becky Mehring combining on the first one while Lyman and Meriwether teamed up for the second one. The Bruins were on a roll the entire game, leading by nine points several times before pushing the lead to double digits at 29-19 when Johnson and Kaitlin Sather came together for a block. Mehring ended the game with a kill and a 30-21 win in game three.
UCLA never trailed in game four, although the teams were tied seven times. The Bruins took a 16-12 lead on a kill by Johnson and held what seemed to be an insurmountable 27-20 lead after back-to-back UW hitting errors. UCLA had eight game points at 29-21 after a Carter kill, but the Husky offense suddenly clicked as Washington erased every one of those game points to tie the game at 29-29, including four kills by UW's Christal Morrison in a five-rally stretch. UCLA's Rachell Johnson finally ended the streak with a kill to give the Bruins another game point at 30-29, and this time UCLA took advantage as Ali Daley knocked home one of her two kills on the match to give UCLA the 31-29 game four win and send the teams to a decisive fifth game.
The Bruins came out hot at the start of game five, and would never trail in the final game, as UCLA used kills by Carter and Meriwether, plus a block by Meriwether and Lyman, top jump out to a 4-0 lead. UCLA held that same four-point edge at 8-4 on a block by Meriwether and Sather as the teams switched sides of the court. UW narrowed the gap to one point at 12-11 on a Spicer error, but back-to-back UW errors gave UCLA match point at 14-11. Once again, Washington would not go quietly, scoring two-straight points of their own to cut the score to 14-13 and force UCLA to use its final timeout. Unlike game four, UCLA would not let Washington tie it up as Meriwether ended her dominant evening with a kill to give the Bruins the victory.
Carter's 23 kills came on 56 attacks en route to a .321 hitting percentage and a team-best 25.0 points on the night. Meriwether's 15 kills came on 31 swings for a .355 percentage while adding 2 block solos and 13 block assists for 23.5 points. UCLA outblocked UW by a 19.5-13.5 edge, getting five block assists apiece from both Spicer and Lyman. Jordan Smith posted 23 digs from her libero position while Lyman added 17 digs and Spicer dished 55 assists. Mehring also tallied double-figure points with eight kills, two aces and two blocks for 11 points. UW put five players in double-figure kills, led by Stevie Mussie with 23 and Morrison with 20.
The Bruins are back in action on Friday night, September 29, as UCLA hosts Washington State at 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion.
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