Bruins Drop Five-Game Heartbreaker to California

Oct. 27, 2007

LOS ANGELES - Junior Nellie Spicer had 49 assists to move into third on UCLA's all-time career assists list, but the seventh-ranked Bruins dropped a five-game heartbreaker to #9 California on Saturday at Pauley Pavilion. Game scores were 27-30, 30-20, 27-30, 30-27, 17-15.

Spicer, who now has 4,113 assists for her career, also added 10 digs and seven kills. Senior Rachell Johnson led the Bruins with 18 kills, while juniors Ali Daley (14 kills, 17 digs) and Kaitlin Sather (13 kills, 15 digs) each had double-doubles. Junior Jade Machado added 16 digs and freshman Jazmin Machado had 14.

The Bruins fall to 16-6 overall and 6-5 in Pac-10 play, while the Golden Bears improve to 17-5 and 7-4 in league action.

UCLA led wire-to-wire in game one, scoring the first three points to take an early lead. The Bruins' largest lead was seven at 13-6 and 16-9, but the Golden Bears went on a run to even the match. Cal netted nine of the next 11 points to tie things at 18.

Still tied at 21, the Bruins made another run, going on a 6-2 spurt to take a 27-23 advantage and force the Golden Bears into a timeout. Junior Elise Carstensen had two kills during the run, with Daley and Sather each adding one. Cal closed to within one on two occasions, but could not tie it back up, losing the first 30-27 when Spicer and freshman Katie Mills clinched the game with a block.

Game two was Cal's turn to go wire-to-wire. The only time the score was tied was at 5-all, at which the Golden Bears scored three straight to take an 8-5 lead. The Bruins cut it back down to one twice, but could get no closer. Leading 15-13, California scored five straight to take a 20-13 advantage. The lead reached double figures for the first time when Cal clinched the game at 30-20. The Bruins hit just .050 in the second, while the Golden Bears had a .371 attack.

The Bruins led for the good part of game three, but the Golden Bears started with the lead at 3-1. However UCLA countered with nine of the next 11 to go up 10-5. Daley had three kills and an ace during the 9-2 run. The Bruins got their lead up to as many as eight, but Cal staged a big comeback to even the game.

Trailing 26-18, the Golden Bears scored eight in a row to even the game at 26. Daley finally ended Cal's run with a kill and back-to-back attack errors make it 29-26 to give the Bruins game point. Cal staved off the first try, but a Spicer kill gave UCLA the 30-27 win in game three.

UCLA again found themselves down early at 3-1, but a long run put the Bruins up. Trailing 4-2, the Bruins scored eight straight to take a 10-4 lead. Daley and Sather each had two kills during the run. The rally of the night came with the Bruins leading 13-11. Sather made an unbelievable save near the Bruins' bench to get it over the net, the ball came back over and Mills completed the rally with a kill.

The Bruins still had a 16-12 advantage, but Cal went on a huge run to re-take the lead. The Golden Bears scored three straight and 10 of the next 11 to take a 22-17 advantage. The Bruins scored the next four points out of a timeout to make it 22-21, but couldn't get back in the lead to see Cal even the match at two games apiece. The Golden Bears scored the next four and went on to win the game 30-27.

Cal opened game five with three straight attack errors to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead. The Golden Bears came back though to take their first lead of the game at 7-6. After the Bruins got the lead back at 8-7, the Golden Bears scored four unanswered to take an 11-8 advantage.

Out of UCLA's timeout, a Mills kill and a ball handling error by Cal got the Bruins to within 11-10. The Golden Bears scored back-to-back points to take a 13-10 lead, but the Bruins bounced back with four in a row for match point at 14-13. After a kill by Angie Pressey tied it at 14, UCLA got another match point following a Daley kill. But the Golden Bears staved off that point and scored three straight to win game five 17-15.

Pressey led all players with 26 kills, while Hana Cutura added 21 for California.

The Bruins return to action on Friday when they travel across town to take on USC at the Galen Center. Match time is at 7 p.m. Gametracker and live audio will be available on