Panthers No Match for Bruins in Saturday Matinee Victory

Sept. 15, 2007

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Junior Kaitlin Sather led all players with 16 kills, senior Rachell Johnson added 11 and junior Nellie Spicer had 40 assists, as the fifth-ranked Bruins won their eighth in a row with a 30-22, 30-22, 30-20 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday at the USD Tournament in San Diego.

The Bruins win their eighth straight in improving to 9-1, while the Panthers fall to 5-7. UCLA takes on the host Toreros for the championship of the USD Tournament at 7 p.m. All the action can be heard on with Darren Preston at the call.

Freshman Dicey McGraw was also in double figures in kills with 10. Junior Jade Machado added 10 digs, while senior Meghan Schoen was one off a career high with six blocks. The Bruin defense registered nine blocks and held Pittsburgh to a .096 hitting percentage.

Pittsburgh scored the first two points of the game, but UCLA quickly tied things up with a kill by Sather and a block by Spicer and Schoen. The Panthers maintained their lead at 8-5 before a run by Johnson put the Bruins on top. Johnson had three straight kills and a block with Spicer which gave UCLA a 9-8 advantage. It marked the start of a 9-2 run to give the Bruins a 14-10 lead.

UCLA still held an 18-14 lead when four straight points extended its advantage to a game-high eight. McGraw started the run with a kill, while Johnson had two and Spicer posted another during the spurt. The Bruins' lead never dipped below six for the rest of the game, scoring the final two points on another Johnson kill and an ace by freshman Juliane Piggott to take the first game 30-22. Sather and Johnson each had six kills, while McGraw added five.

The Bruins took control of the second game early, scoring six straight points after falling behind 2-1 to take a 7-2 advantage. Sather had two kills and a block during the run. After a Pittsburgh sideout, the Bruins netted another three in a row on a Piggott kill, a Sather ace and a block by Piggott and Schoen to go up 10-3.

The Panthers scored four of the next five points to cut their deficit to four at 11-7, but could get no closer than that for the rest of the game. Leading 19-15, the Bruins netted three straight to go back up by seven on a kill by Johnson and two Pittsburgh errors. UCLA took its biggest lead of the game on the final point when an attack error by Pittsburgh gave the Bruins a 30-22 victory. Sather added seven more kills during the second game, with Johnson posting four.

The Bruins were in cruise control right from the start in game three, scoring the first four points and eight of the first nine. Before the Panthers could take a breath, they were trailing 15-3 when they called their second timeout of the game. The Panthers made a late run to get the deficit down to seven, but the Bruins closed it out to win the third by a 30-20 score.

Meagan Dooley led the Panthers with 13 kills.

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