Balanced Attack Leads Bruins to Victory Over Oregon
Dec. 7, 2007
STANFORD, Calif. - Junior Ali Daley led the Bruins with 15 kills and 13 digs to lead four players in double figures in kills, as eighth-seeded UCLA advanced to the Regional final with a four-game win over Oregon on Friday at Maples Pavilion. Game scores were 30-23, 30-19, 28-30, 30-24.
The Bruins improve to 23-10 and will face the winner of the Stanford-Cal Poly match on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. The match will be broadcast live on ESPNU and can be heard over the internet at UCLABruins.com with Darren Preston at the call.
Junior Kaitlin Sather had 13 kills and 17 digs, freshman Dicey McGraw added 13 kills and nine digs and senior Rachell Johnson posted 12 kills while hitting at a .688 clip. Freshman Katie Mills nearly had a double-double with nine kills and nine blocks, while junior Nellie Spicer had a great all-around match with seven kills, 55 assists and 14 digs. Junior Jessica Fine recorded a team-high 26 digs. UCLA hit .286 for the match with 15.5 blocks.
The Ducks came out of the gate on fire with the first four points of the match, but the Bruins rallied back for the next three to get to within one. A Daley/Mills block, a Mills solo roof and a kill by Sather accounted for the run. Oregon countered with four of the next five to go up 8-4, but UCLA again came back with a 6-1 run to take its first lead at 10-9. The Bruins wouldn't trail for the rest of the game, although the Ducks would tie it again at 10 and 11. But tied at 11, the Bruins scored six of the next seven to go up by five at 17-12. Daley had two kills and an ace during the run, while McGraw and Mills also had kills.
The Ducks closed to within a pair on two occasions, but could get no closer. Leading 18-16, UCLA netted four straight to go up by six at 22-16. McGraw had two kills, Spicer posted a kill and Sather finished the run with an ace. Oregon got back to within three at 23-20, but the Bruins scored seven of the final 10 points to win game one 30-23. Sather had six kills, while McGraw added five, as the Bruins hit .385 in the first game.
UCLA led wire-to-wire in game two, producing another great hitting game with a .372 percentage. The Bruins jumped out to an early 4-1 lead and never looked back. UCLA's advantage stayed between two and six for most of the game until a late run gave the Bruins a victory margin of double figures. At 24-19, UCLA recorded the final six points to take the set 30-19. Johnson and Mills each had four kills in game two, while Daley and McGraw added three apiece.
Oregon had the advantage to start game three, jumping out to a 10-6 lead. But a 6-1 run by the Bruins put them in the lead 12-11. Daley had three kills during the run. The Ducks got the lead back at 15-14, but a 3-0 run put the Bruins in front again at 17-15. Johnson had a block and a kill during the three-point swing. UCLA didn't see its lead slip below four until late in the game when Oregon rallied to take the set.
Trailing 25-21, the Ducks scored four straight to knot the game at 25. The Bruins regained a two-point lead at 28-26, but Oregon netted the final four points of game three to take it 30-28. Daley had five kills in game three and Johnson added four, but the Bruins' hitting dipped to .163.
The Bruins were on top to start game four, taking a 4-1 lead early. Trailing 10-9, the Ducks scored the next four to take a 13-10 advantage. Oregon held the lead for a while, although it never led by more than three. UCLA tied it on four occasions until it re-took the lead at 20-19 following successive Oregon attack errors, forcing the Ducks into a timeout.
Out of the break, the Bruins scored the next two on kills by McGraw and Sather to go up 22-19. UCLA didn't relinquish the lead for the rest of the game. Leading 26-24, the Bruins finished out the game with four in a row to win it 30-24. Sather spiked home the match-clincher to move the Bruins onto the Regional final. Daley had four kills in the final game, as the Bruins hit .255 in the deciding fourth.
Gorana Maricic led the Ducks with 30 kills and 14 digs, while Heather Meyers had 13 kills. Oregon hit .166 for the match.