Repeat Performance Not in the Cards for Bruins
Sept. 28, 2007
STANFORD, Calif. - On Thursday, the fifth-ranked Bruins dropped the first two games only to come back and win in five. UCLA couldn't capture the same magic on Friday however, falling in straight sets to #2 Stanford at Maples Pavilion. Game scores were 30-20, 30-23, 31-29.
Junior Ali Daley led the Bruins with 12 kills and 10 digs for her eighth double-double of the season, while senior Rachell Johnson and junior Kaitlin Sather each added 10. Junior Nellie Spicer also had her eighth double-double of the year with 36 assists and 11 digs. Junior Jade Machado had 19 digs, one night after posting a career-high 20, while junior Jessica Fine recorded 16 digs.
The Bruins see their 12-match winning streak snapped, falling to 13-2 and 3-1 in Pac-10 action. The Cardinal improve to 14-0 overall and 3-0 in league play.
The Bruins' offense was non-existent in the first game, hitting negative for most of it before finishing at .074. UCLA never led, dropping the first four points. The Bruins got the next two to get on the board, but a 3-0 run by Stanford gave them a 7-2 advantage. The Cardinal maintained at least a five-point lead the rest of the way, reaching a double-figure advantage for the first time at 17-7. Stanford's lead reached as high as 14 at 24-10 before a 5-1 run by the Bruins cut it to 25-15. Freshman Katie Mills had two kills, with Sather and Daley adding one each during the run. UCLA got as close as nine, but could get no closer before eventually falling 30-20.
UCLA hit better in game two, but again never led, falling behind 3-0 and 7-2. Trailing 10-5, the Bruins netted five straight to even the game at 10. Daley and Johnson had two kills during the run and freshman Juliane Piggott served an ace to force Stanford into a timeout. The Cardinal responded out of the break with six of the next seven to take a 16-11 lead, making the Bruins call a timeout.
Stanford's lead reached as many as seven at 20-13 before UCLA had a 4-0 run to get back into it. Johnson had two blocks during the run to cut the deficit to 20-17. The Bruins got as close as 21-19, but Stanford broke it open again with another 5-0 run to lead 26-19. From that point, UCLA got no closer than five, with Stanford pulling out the 30-23 victory. The Bruins' hitting improved at .279 for game two, but could not compare to the Cardinal's attack. After hitting Stanford hit .341 in game one, it was an almost identical total of .362 which propelled them to a game two victory.
Game three started out all aces for the Bruins, with Piggott serving three straight aces to take an early lead. Still on top 5-1, the Cardinal rallied for the next five points to take a 6-5 edge. With the game tied at eight, the Bruins netted three in a row, the last two on kills by Johnson and Piggott, to take an 11-8 lead. The Cardinal stayed close, but the Bruins still had a five-point lead at 27-22 and it appeared that the match would be going to a fourth game. But Stanford fought back, scoring the next five points to even things at 27. The Cardinal had a match point at 29-28, but the Bruins salvaged the first chance. But up 30-29, Stanford connected on its second match point to claim a 31-29 victory.
Alix Klineman led the Cardinal with 19 kills and 19 digs. Foluke Akinradewo added 12 kills and Cynthia Barboza posted 11 kills and 17 digs.
The Bruins return home to open a three-match homestand, taking on #4 USC on Friday at 7 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion. The match will be broadcast live over the internet at UCLABruins.com with Darren Preston at the call. Gametracker will also be available. Friday's match will be the first of numerous meetings between the two rival schools, which compete for the Lexus Gauntlet trophy. On the backs of two women's volleyball victories last season, UCLA brought the trophy back to Westwood in 2006-07.
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