UCLA Wraps Up First Half of Pac-10 Play at Washington and Washington State

Oct. 15, 2007


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#7 UCLA (15-3, 5-2 Pac-10) at #5 Washington (17-1, 6-1 Pac-10)
Thursday, Oct. 18
Seattle, Wash.
Bank of America Arena
7 p.m.
Live: Gametracker
TV (Tape-Delay): FSN Prime Ticket (Airings: 10/20 at 8 p.m.; 10/21 at Noon; 10/22 at Noon and 11:30 p.m.; 10/23 at 6 p.m.; 10/25 at Noon)

#7 UCLA (15-3, 5-2 Pac-10) at Washington State (9-12, 0-7 Pac-10)
Friday, Oct. 19
Pullman, Wash.
Bohler Gym
7 p.m.

The seventh-ranked Bruins (15-3, 5-2 Pac-10) close out the first half of Pac-10 Conference play this week with road matches at #5 Washington (17-1, 6-1) on Thursday and Washington State (9-12, 0-7) on Friday. Both matches start at 7 p.m. Thursday's match will be aired on a tape-delay basis by Fox Sports Net. The first showing of that match will be on Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. on FSN Prime Ticket. Paul Sunderland will handle the play-by-play duties with analysts and former UCLA volleyball standouts Holly McPeak and Karch Kiraly.

Beginning Thursday against Washington, UCLA women's volleyball will be featured three straight weeks on Fox Sports Net's Pac-10 Match of the Week. All three games will be aired on tape delay on FSN, starting with the Oct. 18 match in Seattle. The first showing of that match will be on Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. on FSN Prime Ticket. Other tape-delayed television contests include UCLA's home match against Stanford on Oct. 26 and the Nov. 2 game at USC. Speaking of the Trojans, the Bruins' victory on Oct. 5 against their cross-town rival will be re-aired on LA-36 this Friday at 2:30 p.m. and Saturday at 9:30 p.m. Additionally, the Bruins are being featured regularly on the Lexus Gauntlet show, which airs on Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. on FSN Prime Ticket.

UCLA's loss to Oregon State dropped the Bruins three spots to seventh in this week's CSTV/AVCA Top 25 poll. It marks the first time since last Nov. 13 that UCLA has been ranked out of the top five in the AVCA poll. The Bruins lost points for just the third time in the eight rankings, but have still been ranked in the AVCA top five in 22 of the last 24 polls. In last week's Molten Volleyball Magazine poll, the Bruins improved one spot to sixth.

In taking a closer look at the UCLA women's volleyball jerseys, you will notice that the 'C' is a different color than the 'U', 'L', 'A' this season. The different color 'C' signifies the roman numeral for 100 and celebrates the 100 NCAA Championships won by the Bruins. Women's volleyball has a hand in three of those national titles, winning NCAA championships in 1984, 1990 and 1991.

Washington lost its undefeated status when it fell at California in five games on Thursday, only to come back one night later and knock Stanford from the ranks of the unbeaten with a five-game victory in Palo Alto. The Huskies went 16-0 to open the season before their loss to the Golden Bears. Washington is hitting .314 as a team and is led by senior Stevie Mussie, who is averaging 4.49 kills and 2.55 digs per game. Senior Christal Morrison is second at 3.88 kpg and 2.61 dpg, while freshman Becky Perry is third at 3.47 kpg. Defensively, sophomore Tamari Miyashiro is averaging 5.51 dpg. At the setter spot, freshman Jenna Hagglund is posting 13.41 assists per game. Head coach Jim McLaughlin is in his seventh year at Washington and holds a record of 160-46. In nine-plus seasons overall, he is 242-89. The Bruins lead the all-time series with the Huskies 40-11, but will have a tough task on Thursday, as Washington has won 36 in a row on its home floor. UCLA is 19-8 in Seattle, with the last win coming on Oct. 3, 2003. Last year, the teams split the season series, with the Bruins winning at home in five and the Huskies taking a four-game victory on their floor.

Washington State is still looking for its first Pac-10 victory, having dropped seven in a row to start league play. Overall, the Cougars' losing streak is at 10 after posting a 9-2 start to the season. Washington State is hitting .170 as a team and is led by senior Adetokunbo Faleti, who has a team-best 3.72 kills per game. Right behind her is sophomore Jackie Albright, who is posting 3.24 kills and 2.33 digs per game. Sophomore Kelly Hyder is the top defensive player at 4.96 digs per game, while senior Maureen Perez leads the setting with 11.37 assists per game. Fourth-year head coach Brian Heffernan has a career mark of 38-77. The Bruins hold a 35-7 lead in the series with the Cougars, having won eight straight. Washington State's last win against UCLA came in Pullman on Oct. 25, 2002 (3-2). The Bruins are 16-5 all-time in Pullman.

UCLA posted another 14-block effort against Oregon State last Friday, giving them at least 14 in five of their last seven matches. The best blocking match of the season came on Oct. 5 in a four-game win over USC. The Bruins had 15.5 blocks, led by freshman Katie Mills' season-high nine. Junior Kaitlin Sather added six and junior Nellie Spicer had five. Against the Beavers, six different Bruins had at least three blocks, with Mills and Sather leading the way with five apiece. Mills' outstanding blocking of late has moved her into the team lead at 1.37 blocks per game. Senior Meghan Schoen is second at 1.12 bpg, while senior Rachell Johnson is third at 1.06. As a team, the Bruins are sixth in the Pac-10 at 2.83 blocks per game.

Junior setter Nellie Spicer continues to live up to her status as arguably the best setter in the country. Spicer surpassed the 3,900-assist mark against Oregon State and now has 3,917 for her career. At her current pace, the junior who is fourth on UCLA's all-time assists list, will move into third against California next Saturday. Julie Bremner holds that spot with 4,089 assists. Spicer posted her eighth straight double-double with 52 assists and 13 digs against the Beavers last Friday. It was also her 11th of the season and 39th for her career. Spicer played despite being hampered with a finger injury which she suffered during an Oct. 9 practice. The junior has earned All-Tournament honors in all four tournaments the Bruins played in during the preseason, earning MVP accolades at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic and the UC Irvine Invitational. Spicer is fourth in the Pac-10 in assists at 12.42 apg and was 29th in the nation in last week's NCAA rankings. She is also third on the Bruins in digs per game at 2.89.

At her current pace, junior outside hitter Ali Daley is going to have more double-doubles than an In-N-Out drive-thru window. Daley, who posted her 11th double-double of the season against Oregon State on Friday, set career highs in kills with 26 and digs with 25 to post her first-ever 20-20 match. She was the first Bruin to attain a 20-20 contest since Ashley Bowles on Nov. 2, 2001. With her next double-double, Daley will have already doubled her total of six from last season. The junior led the Bruins in kills in both contests last week, the 11th and 12th times she has done that this year. The 25-dig match was also the second time in the last five contests Daley has had at least 20, posting 21 at California. Daley has twice earned All-Tournament Team honors this season at the AVCA College Volleyball Showcase and the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic. Her 4.12 kpg and 15 double-figure kills matches lead the team. She is third in the Pac-10 in aces, fifth in points, eighth in kills and ninth in digs per game.

A person can really stand out on a volleyball court when they are wearing a different colored jersey than their teammates. For junior Jade Machado, sure see stands out because she carries the libero tag and hence the different jersey, but so far this season she is also standing out because of her great defensive play. Machado had a career-high 29 digs against Oregon State last Friday, bettering her personal best by nine. Machado has had double figures in digs in her last seven matches, including 15-plus in each of the last five. The streak began with 20 digs against Cal on Sept. 27. One night later, she had 19 against Stanford before her 18-dig performance against USC on Oct. 5. Machado is averaging 4.54 digs per game in Pac-10 play and a team-leading 3.98 dpg on the season, which leads her closest teammate by more than half a dig. The junior also ranks seventh in the Pac-10 in dpg.

Junior Kaitlin Sather posted her seventh double-double of the season and 24th of her career against Oregon State last Friday. The junior had 15 kills and 13 digs to go with five blocks against the Beavers. Sather has had double figures in kills in each of the last 10 matches, with her season high coming against Arizona on Sept. 20. She had 17 kills along with a season-high hitting percentage of .467 against the Wildcats. Sather has 13 double-figure kills matches this year and has led the Bruins in that category four times. Against USC on Oct. 5, the junior had a season-high 15 digs and tied a career best with six blocks. The junior is second on the team in kills per game at 3.35 and is fourth with 2.57 digs per game.

Stepping up in the absence of graduated senior Nana Meriwether, senior Rachell Johnson has made a huge impact in the middle of the Bruins' lineup in her final campaign in Westwood. Johnson set a personal high with 11 blocks against Arizona State on Sept. 21, adding 14 kills for her first career double-double. The senior has four matches with at least five blocks this season and is averaging 1.06 blocks per game. Offensively, Johnson is third on the team at 3.34 kills per game, recording 18 kills against Oregon last Thursday with a .571 hitting percentage. The 18 kills were just one off her season best of 19 set against Nebraska on Aug. 25. Johnson followed that with a 14-kill effort against Oregon State to give her 13 double-figure kills matches this season. The senior is the only regular starter hitting above .300 this season at .308 and has hit better than .400 on six occasions. Johnson did not miss any action after suffering a sprained ankle in the fourth game of the Oct. 5 match against USC.

Freshman Katie Mills continues to earn her spot as the number two middle blocker, starting her sixth straight match and posting at least five blocks in four of those contests. Mills' career high in blocks came on Oct. 5 against USC when she had nine. She has also recorded an eight-block match against Cal on Sept. 27 and had six and five, respectively, against Oregon and Oregon State last week. In her last six starts, Mills has 31 blocks and leads the team at 1.37 bpg. Her blocks per game average would be fifth among Pac-10 players, but she has not played in the necessary amount of games (66.7%) to qualify for that category. Offensively, the freshman had a career-high 11 kills against California and posted nine in two other contests.

Freshman Dicey McGraw had a career-high 18 kills against Oregon last Thursday. The total bettered her previous best of 13 set against William and Mary on Sept. 8 and San Diego on Sept. 15 ... the loss to Oregon State last Friday was just the second time the Bruins had fallen to the Beavers at home and the third time in 44 overall matches ... the five-game loss to Oregon State was the first setback in a match that went the distance this season ... the Bruins have not lost the first match of a week this season, sporting an 8-0 record.

Sophomore Emily Clements injured her right knee in the first game of the match against Cal State Northridge on Sept. 14 and will miss the remainder of the season. Clements will be eligible to apply for a medical redshirt, having played in less than 30 percent of UCLA's matches and will still have three years of eligibility left beginning with the 2008 season ... junior transfer Laura Holloway, who has yet to play this year, will sit out this season with injuries and redshirt. Holloway will have two years of eligibility remaining at the start of the 2008 campaign.

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