Ninth-Ranked Bruins Host Arizona State, Arizona

Nov. 10, 2008

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Arizona State (12-13, 3-9 Pac-10) at #9 UCLA (16-8, 6-7 Pac-10)
Friday, November 14
Los Angeles, Calif.
Pauley Pavilion
7 p.m.
Live: Gametracker, Audio

Arizona (14-10, 4-8 Pac-10) at #9 UCLA (16-8, 6-7 Pac-10)
Saturday, November 15
Los Angeles, Calif.
Pauley Pavilion
7 p.m.
Live: Gametracker, Audio

The ninth-ranked Bruins (16-8, 6-7 Pac-10) host Arizona State (12-13, 3-9) on Friday and Arizona (14-10, 4-8) on Saturday at Pauley Pavilion. First serve is at 7 p.m. Gametracker and live audio will be available at

All UCLA home matches, along with the first two weekends of the NCAA Tournament, will feature live audio broadcasts at Darren Preston and Michael Sondheimer will call all the action for each contest. In addition, Gametracker or live stats will be available for all home matches and most road contests.

The Bruins held steady at ninth for the third straight week in this week's Bison/AVCA poll. UCLA has been ranked 10th or better in each poll this season. The Pac-10 has six of the country's Top 10 teams (#2 Stanford, #5 Washington, #7 California, #8 Oregon and #10 USC). In last week's Molten/Volleyball Magazine poll (Nov. 4), the Bruins were ranked 11th.

The Bruins moved into the Top 20 in the nation in blocks per set and remained in the Top 40 in three other statistical categories in rankings released by the NCAA on Monday. UCLA is 20th in blocks per set at 2.60. The Bruins are also 26th in assists per set (12.89), 27th in kills per set at 13.90 and 36th in hitting percentage at .253. Individually, freshman Amanda Gil is 14th in the nation in blocks at 1.41, while fellow freshman Katie Camp is 42nd in hitting percentage (.358). Senior Nellie Spicer is 25th in the country at 11.05 assists per set and senior Jessica Fine crept into the Top 50 in digs per set, ranking 49th with 4.64 dps.

The Bruins remained in first in the Pac-10 in digs per set, a spot they have held for the last month. UCLA is averaging 15.39 digs per set, over a half dig more than second-place Stanford (14.86). The Bruins are third in blocks per set (2.60), fifth in hitting percentage (.253), assists (12.89) and kills (13.90) and sixth in service aces (1.10). Individually, freshman Amanda Gil is second in the conference in bps (1.41) and ninth in hitting percentage (.319), while freshman Katie Camp is sixth in hitting percentage (.358) and ninth in blocks (1.04). Senior Nellie Spicer is fourth in assists per set (11.05) and senior Jessica Fine is third in digs per set (4.64).

Arizona State dropped a pair of home contests to the Bay Area schools last weekend, getting swept by Stanford and losing in four to California. After a 1-1 start to Pac-10 play, the Sun Devils dropped six straight, including five sweeps. But ASU won two in a row against Oregon State and Arizona before falling twice last weekend. Sophomore Sarah Reaves leads the Sun Devils with 4.24 kills per set and is second with 3.08 digs per set. Senior Margie Giordano is second with 3.29 kps, while junior Paige Mittelstaedt is third at 2.37 kps. Junior Marina Mercer is in charge of the offense and averages 10.33 assists per set, while sophomore Sarah Johnson is the top defensive player with 4.02 digs per set. As a team, the Sun Devils are hitting .216 with 12.91 kills, 0.99 aces, 14.80 digs and 2.51 blocks per set. Jason Watson is in his first year as Arizona State's head coach and has an overall record of 86-31 in three-plus seasons of coaching.

UCLA claimed its 12th-straight victory against Arizona State with a three-set sweep in Tempe on Oct. 18. Scores were 25-17, 27-25, 25-17. Dicey McGraw led the Bruins with 14 kills, Amanda Gil had 11 and Ali Daley posted 10. Daley had just one hitting error in 25 swings, while Nellie Spicer had none, tying a career high with eight kills. Spicer added 41 assists, while Jessica Fine recorded 22 digs. The Bruins hit an amazing .472 in the first and third sets combined. UCLA is 30-1 all-time in Westwood against Arizona State, having won 12 in a row at home. The Sun Devils' only win against the Bruins in Los Angeles was a five-set victory on Oct. 14, 1995. ASU's last win in the series overall was a four-set win in Tempe on Sept. 21, 2002.

Arizona sprung an upset of then-#6 California last Friday in five sets before falling in three to Stanford on Saturday. The Wildcats led 2-0 against the Golden Bears, lost the third and fourth, but came back to win 15-11 in the fifth. Arizona had lost four straight and seven of eight before its win against Cal, with the only win coming against USC. The Wildcats' last two victories have each been five-setters. Arizona has three players averaging at least 2.00 kills per set, led by sophomore Whitney Dosty's 3.04 kps. Sophomore Tiffany Owens is second on the team in kps (2.97) and digs per set (2.65), while senior Brooke Buringrud is third with 2.01 kps. Sophomore Paige Weber handles the setting duties and holds a 10.29 assists per set average, while junior Alanna Resch is the top digger with 4.06 dps. As a team, the Wildcats are hitting .224 with 12.73 kills, 1.29 aces, 13.30 digs and 2.62 blocks per set. David Rubio is in his 17th year at Arizona and holds a 319-185 record. In 21-plus seasons of coaching, Rubio is 441-251.

The Bruins defeated the Wildcats in four sets on Oct. 17 in Tucson, 25-15, 20-25, 25-21, 25-22, to increase their all-time lead in the series to 46-17. Amanda Gil had 15 kills and five blocks, Ali Daley added 14 kills and 17 digs and Nellie Spicer posted 51 assists and 14 digs. Dicey McGraw also had 13 kills, while Jessica Fine recorded 29 digs. The Bruins hit .248 for the match, including .400 in the opening set. UCLA has won four of the last five against Arizona, but the Wildcats hold a 10-6 victory margin in the last 16 meetings. Arizona's last win against UCLA in Westwood came on Oct. 21, 2005, a four-set victory. The Bruins are 22-7 all-time at home against the Wildcats.

Senior Nellie Spicer will move into second place on UCLA's career assists list during Friday's match against Arizona State. Spicer has 5,658 assists for her career and is just 10 away from passing Ann Boyer's mark of 5,667. The senior recorded her 13th match this season with at least 40 assists on Sunday at Washington, posting 46 to move her season assists per set average to 11.05. That total ranks fourth in the Pac-10 and 25th in the nation. Spicer has a team-leading 11 double-doubles, including seven during Pac-10 play. The senior provided double figures in assists and digs in conference wins against Oregon State (Oct. 4) and Arizona (Oct. 17). Spicer has 61 double-doubles for her career. On four occasions this year, Spicer has produced at least 50 assists, with the last effort coming against Oregon on Nov. 1 when she had 58. Her season best in assists came against Washington on Oct. 10. Spicer notched 61 assists in the five-set contest to give her 10 career 60-plus assists matches. The senior has set the Bruins to at least a .300 hitting percentage nine times (all UCLA wins), including a season-best total of .400 at Cal State Northridge on Sept. 16. Spicer has 11 double-figure digs matches this season and 61 for her career. Her season high in digs came on Oct. 3 at Oregon with 15. She has also contributed to the Bruin offense in the kill department, matching a career high with eight kills in three different contests this season (Hawai'i, Aug. 31; Washington, Oct. 10; Arizona State, Oct. 18). This year, Spicer has been named to All-Tournament teams three times, including being named MVP of the Nevada Tournament and the Wildcat Classic. Spicer has the chance to become the third player in UCLA history to earn three first-team All-American accolades. She received a second consecutive first-team All-American honor as a junior to become the sixth Bruin to accomplish the feat (Annett Buckner, Liz Masakayan, Daiva Tomkus, Natalie Williams, Elaine Youngs). Williams and Youngs are the only Bruins to earn three first-team All-American awards.

Another milestone will be set during Friday's match against Arizona State, as senior Ali Daley enters the contest just five kills shy of becoming the 24th member of UCLA's 1,000-kill club. Daley has seven double-figure kills matches in her last 10 contests to go along with nine double-doubles. The senior's most recent double-double came against Oregon on Nov. 1 when she had 12 kills and 12 digs to record her 38th double-double of her UCLA career. Seven of Daley's double-doubles have come during Pac-10 play, as well as nine double-figure kills matches, pacing the Bruins with 3.00 kills per set in league action. Daley has become the go-to hitter for the Bruins of late. After averaging 8.1 attempts per set during non-conference play, Daley's total has risen to 9.8 during Pac-10 contests. The senior is second on the team with 2.91 kills per set and 2.77 digs per set and is first with 16 service aces. She has 13 double-figure kills matches this season (56 as a Bruin), which is second on the team, and 11 double-figure digs contests (45 career). Daley's season high in kills came against California on Oct. 24 when she had 17. She also has a pair of matches with 17 digs against Cal and Arizona (Oct. 17), which are both season bests. Daley has led the Bruins in kills for a match six times, including four times during Pac-10 play. Along with closing in on 1,000 kills at UCLA, Daley has 910 digs as a Bruin, putting her 90 away from 1,000.

Senior Jessica Fine continues to stand out on the volleyball court, not just because of the fact she wears a different color jersey than her teammates, but also due to her defensive prowess. One of the top passers in the Pac-10, Fine is first on the team, third in the conference and 49th in the nation with 4.64 digs per set. The senior has produced at least 15 digs in 13 of her last 14 matches, crossing the 20-dig threshold 10 times and the 30-dig plateau twice. Fine posted 30 digs on Nov. 1 against Oregon, marking the fourth time in her career that she has produced at least 30 digs. She also had 30 against Washington on Oct. 10. Fine is averaging 5.51 digs per set during Pac-10 Conference play, thanks in part to a pair of 30-dig matches, a 29-dig effort at Arizona (Oct. 17) and a 27-dig performance at USC on Sept. 26. Fine has a team-best 18 double-figure digs matches this season (38 as a Bruin) and has 16 career contests with at least 20 digs. Fine has led the Bruins in digs in each of the last 16 contests and 20 times this season. With 923 career digs, the senior is on pace to break the 1,000 mark in a few weeks, which would make her the 17th Bruin to accomplish the feat. Fine is also tied for second on the team with 14 service aces.

And not just due to the fact that she is the tallest member of the Bruins at 6-6. Amanda Gil enters this week's play first in the nation among all freshmen in blocks per set at 1.41. Gil, who is 14th in the nation and second in the Pac-10 in bps, has a team-best 13 matches with at least five blocks, with nine of them coming during league action. Gil had a career-high 13 blocks against Oregon on Nov. 1, with two block solos and 11 assists. The freshman became the 16th Bruin to post at least 13 blocks in a match and the first to do so since Nana Meriwether (2006). Gil added 13 kills against the Ducks for her first career double-double. The freshman has led the Bruins in blocks a team-best 15 times this season. Along with her status as top blocker on the team, Gil is second in hitting percentage (.319) and points per set (3.32) and third in kills per set (2.70). She has six double-figure kills matches in 13 Pac-10 contests and has produced nine kills in three of the other seven league games. Gil's season high in kills came at Northwestern on Sept. 20 when she had 20. The freshman has 10 matches with at least 10 kills this season, which is third on the team. Gil has hit over .300 in 13 matches, totaling a season-best .647 hitting percentage (12 kills, one error, 17 attempts) at Cal State Northridge. The freshman has been named to three All-Tournament teams this season at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic, the Nevada Tournament and the Northwestern Wildcat Classic.

Chalk up two more double-figure kills matches for sophomore Dicey McGraw, who has a team-best 16 contests this season with at least 10 kills. McGraw had a team-best 14 kills in a win at Washington State on Friday and followed that up with 10 more kills at Washington on Sunday. The sophomore has led the Bruins in kills in a team-best 10 matches this season. Her season high in kills came against Oregon on Nov. 1 when she had 17. Nine of McGraw's 16 double-figure kills matches have come during Pac-10 play, which include a 16-kill effort against Washington (Oct. 10) and a pair of 14-kill performances against Arizona State (Oct. 18) and California (Oct. 24). She has 27 double-figure kills contests for her career. McGraw leads the Bruins with 3.08 kills per set. The sophomore recorded her first double-double of the season and fourth of her career with 16 kills and 10 digs at Northwestern on Sept. 20. McGraw earned All-Tournament honors at the Northwestern Wildcat Classic after she totaled three matches with at least 10 kills (12 vs. Virginia, 10 vs. Georgetown and 16 vs. Northwestern). McGraw has hit above .400 on five occasions this year, including a season-best .440 at Cal State Fullerton on Sept. 10.

Joining fellow freshman Amanda Gil in the middle, Katie Camp has made as much an impact as her counterpart, as she is first on the team with a .358 hitting percentage (sixth in the Pac-10 and 42nd in the nation) and second with 1.04 blocks per set (ninth in the Pac-10). Camp posted her eighth double-figure kills match and fifth of Pac-10 play on Sunday against Washington with a team-high 13. Camp is fourth on the team with 2.17 kills per set. The freshman's season high in kills came against California (Oct. 24) when she had a team-high 19 with a .538 hitting percentage to go along with six blocks. She followed that up with seven more kills and no hitting errors in 14 swings (.500) against Stanford on Oct. 26. That marked the fifth time this season that Camp has recorded zero hitting errors (with at least five kills) in a match. The freshman has hit better than .500 seven times, including a season-best .733 percentage in a win at Washington State (Oct. 11). At the net, Camp has produced at least five blocks in seven matches, which is second on the team. Her season high in blocks is nine, set twice in wins at Hawai'i (Aug. 31) and Oregon State (Oct. 4). Camp has led the Bruins in blocks in eight contests this season.

Freshman Sara Sage has started seven straight matches and has produced at least five kills in six consecutive contests. Sage tied a career high with eight kills against Washington on Sunday, hitting .375 and adding three blocks. The freshman also had eight kills in a win against Oregon State on Oct. 31, hitting .545 with only two errors in 11 swings ... sophomore Jazmin Machado has double figures in digs in three straight matches after recording 13, 10 and 11 against Oregon, Washington State and Washington. Machado is averaging 2.83 digs per set over her last three matches and has also produced three service aces ... also in the backcourt, freshman Lainey Gera had double figures in digs (11) at Washington for her fourth double-figure digs contest this season and first since Oct. 10 (11 also vs. Washington). Gera is averaging 2.00 dps over her last six matches.

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