10th-Ranked Bruins Drop Regular-Season Finale at Arizona
Nov. 24, 2007
TUCSON, Ariz. - Juniors Kaitlin Sather and Ali Daley each had double-doubles, while freshman Dicey McGraw added 13 kills, but the 10th-ranked Bruins fell in their regular-season finale in four games at Arizona on Saturday. Game scores were 30-26, 26-30, 21-30, 29-31.
UCLA falls to 20-10 overall and 9-9 in Pac-10 play, while Arizona concludes its season at 14-17 and 4-14 in league action.
Sather had 17 kills and 17 digs for her 10th straight double-double, while Daley posted 15 kills and 16 digs. Senior Rachell Johnson and freshman Katie Mills each had nine kills. Junior Nellie Spicer added 52 assists, while junior Jessica Fine recorded 28 digs.
Game one was a back-and-forth affair, with the Bruins ultimately recording the 30-26 victory. The initial set featured 11 ties and five lead changes. After Arizona grabbed the lead at the start, UCLA took its first advantage at 4-3 on a kill by Sather. Leading 8-7, the Bruins stretched their lead to a game-high four at 11-7. Mills had two kills and a block during the 4-0 run. The lead was still four at 14-10 when the Wildcats came back with six straight points to re-take the advantage at 16-14.
The Bruins got the lead back at 18-17, but allowed three straight to Arizona to make it 20-18. The Wildcats' biggest lead of the game came at 23-20, which is when UCLA went on a 5-1 run to take the lead for good at 25-24. Daley had two kills during the run, with Mills and Sather adding one each. Although the Wildcats got to within one on two occasions, leading 27-26, the Bruins netted the final three points to win it by four. McGraw had two of the final three points on kills for the Bruins, who hit .310 in the first game. Sather had five kills and two blocks in the first game, while Mills added four kills and two blocks.
Things were reversed in game two, as the Wildcats evened the match with a 30-26 victory. The Bruins held the advantage early on, leading by as many as two on a pair of occasions. But Arizona took its first lead of the game at 8-7 after scoring three in a row and never trailed again. UCLA was within one several times, but at 12-11, Arizona went on a 6-1 run to take an 18-12 advantage. The Bruins couldn't get any closer than two before losing by four. The Bruins struggled to a .130 hitting attack, while the Wildcats nearly doubled them at .250.
The Bruins led early in game three 5-2, but saw that lead evaporate with a 7-3 Arizona run to make it 9-8. UCLA answered back with five of the next six points to re-take a three-point edge at 13-10. But the Wildcats countered with four in a row to take a 14-13 lead, an advantage they would not relinquish for the rest of the game. The Bruins tied it again at 14, however at 17-16, the Wildcats scored five straight and seven of the next eight to go up 24-17. UCLA could get no closer than six, as Arizona scored the final three points to win comfortably 30-21. The Bruins again struggled with their hitting, mounting only a .100 attack.
For the first half of game four, neither team led by more than two points, as the teams combined for 13 ties and six lead changes. With the game tied at 18, Arizona ran off three in a row to take a 21-18 lead and force the Bruins into a timeout. UCLA came out refreshed after the break, scoring four of the next five to even the match at 22. Daley and Johnson each had two kills during the run.
But the Bruins could not re-take the lead, seeing the Wildcats score the next five points to go up 27-22. Leading 29-25, Arizona had four match points, but committed errors on the first three to make it 29-28. McGraw then followed with a kill to even the game at 29. However a kill by Dominique Lamb and a Bruin error on Arizona's fifth match point gave the Wildcats a 31-29 win. UCLA hit .309 in the final game, but were still outdone by Arizona's .365 percentage.
Lamb led the Wildcats with 20 kills. Tiffany Owens added 16 kills and 14 digs, while Jacy Norton posted 15 kills.
The Bruins find out where their postseason journey begins on Sunday when ESPNU airs the NCAA selection show at 5 p.m. The first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament take place on Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 1 at 16 campus sites.