14th-Seeded UCLA Hosts LSU on Friday in NCAA First-Round Match

Dec. 2, 2008

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Duke (24-8, 15-5 ACC) vs. San Francisco (22-7, 11-3 WCC)
Friday, Dec. 5
Los Angeles, Calif..
Pauley Pavilion
5:30 p.m.
Live: Video, Gametracker

LSU (18-9, 13-7 SEC) vs. #14-seed UCLA (20-10, 9-9 Pac-10)
Friday, Dec. 5
Los Angeles, Calif..
Pauley Pavilion
8 p.m.
Live: Audio, Video, Gametracker

Duke-San Francisco winner vs. LSU-UCLA winner
Saturday, Dec. 6
Los Angeles, Calif..
Pauley Pavilion
7 p.m.
Live: Audio, Video, Gametracker

The UCLA women's volleyball team (20-10, 9-9 Pac-10) opens up postseason play on Friday when they host LSU (18-9, 13-7 SEC) at 8 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins, a national-#14 seed and ranked ninth in the country, are making their 27th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. In the first match of the day, Duke (24-8, 15-5 ACC) will take on San Francisco (22-7, 11-3 WCC) at 5:30 p.m. The winners of Friday's two matches will play on Saturday at 7 p.m. Gametracker and live video will be available for all three matches at UCLABruins.com, while live audio will be available for all UCLA contests.

Tickets for the first and second rounds can be purchased by calling 310-UCLA-WIN or at the Pauley Pavilion ticket booth on game days. Ticket windows open 90 minutes prior to first serve. All tickets are general admission and are first-come, first-serve. All-session passes are $18 for adults and $10 for students/youths, while single-session passes are $10 for adults and $6 for students.

The winner of Saturday's second-round match will advance to the Austin, Texas regional (Dec. 12-13). Other seeded teams on the Bruins' side of the bracket include #3 Texas, #6 Minnesota and #11 Oregon.

Following a pair of wins last week against ranked opponents, the Bruins moved up one spot to ninth in the final regular-season Bison/AVCA poll. UCLA has been ranked 10th or better in each poll this year. The Pac-10 has six of the country's Top 12 teams (#2 Stanford, #5 Washington, #7 Oregon, #8 California and #12 USC). In last week's Molten/Volleyball Magazine poll (Nov. 25), UCLA was ranked 10th.

Coming off a 15-block performance in a pair of victories last week, freshman Amanda Gil is now second in the nation in blocks per set at 1.49. Gil trails only Illinois' Johannah Banger, who is first in the country with 1.61 bps. Senior Nellie Spicer is 30th in assists per set at 10.93, while senior Jessica Fine is 43rd in digs per set at 4.77. As a team, the Bruins are ninth in the country in bps (2.74) and are ranked in the Top 50 in four other categories. UCLA is 35th in both aps (12.77) and kills per set (13.75), 46th in dps (16.07) and 47th in hitting percentage (.244).

The Bruins finished the regular season first among all Pac-10 teams in digs and blocks per set. UCLA is averaging 16.07 digs and 2.74 blocks per set. The Bruins are also fifth in hitting percentage (.244), assists (12.77) and kills (13.75) and seventh in aces per set (1.07). Individually, Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Amanda Gil took over the top spot in bps with 1.49, while fellow freshman Katie Camp is ninth with 1.05 bps. Gil is also seventh in hitting percentage (.324). Senior Jessica Fine ranks third in digs (4.77), senior Nellie Spicer is fourth in assists (10.93) and sophomore Jazmin Machado is eighth in service aces per set (0.24).

UCLA will be making its 27th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and holds an all-time record of 70-24 (.745). The Bruins have advanced to the Regional round in each of the last five seasons. UCLA is 37-4 (.902) at home in NCAA Tournament matches (26-2 at Pauley Pavilion, 11-2 at Wooden Center).

The Bruins are 6-0 against LSU, meeting once in the NCAA Tournament in 1990. UCLA swept the Tigers in the national semifinals before beating Pacific in the title match. UCLA is 3-0 at home against the Tigers, winning 3-0 in 1983, 2-0 in 1984 and 3-1 in 1989. LSU has taken just two of 17 sets from UCLA. The Bruins are 19-3 all-time against teams from the Southeastern Conference.

UCLA holds a 4-0 advantage all-time against the Blue Devils, with the last meeting coming during the 1994 NCAA Tournament. The Bruins swept Duke during the regional semifinal in Gainesville, Fla. In 1984, the teams met in the regional semi again in Austin, Texas, with the Bruins claiming another sweep. In the only matchup in Westwood, UCLA swept Duke earlier in the `84 season. The teams also met in the first match of the 1990 campaign, with the Blue Devils taking their only ever set in a 3-1 loss. UCLA has never lost to an Atlantic Coast Conference team in 17 matches.

UCLA and San Francisco have played just once, meeting on Sept. 11, 2002 at USF, with the Bruins prevailing 3-1. The Bruins are 65-13 against the West Coast Conference, with 11 of the losses coming to Pepperdine.

Amanda Gil Amanda Gil was named Pacific-10 Conference Freshman of the Year on Monday, while senior Nellie Spicer was honored on the All-Pac-10 First Team for the fourth consecutive season.Gil becomes the fourth Bruin to earn Freshman of the Year honors, joining Annett Buckner (1991), Kim Krull (1993) and Kristee Porter (1998). Spicer is the third UCLA player (Natalie Williams and Elaine Youngs) and the 16th in conference history to earn first-team accolades all four seasons.Also recognized on Monday were seniors Ali Daley and Jessica Fine, who joined Gil on the All-Pac-10 honorable mention team. It marks the second straight season Daley has been recognized on the honorable mention team and the first honor for Fine.Gil was also honored on the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team, earning first-team plaudits along with Katie Camp. Sara Sage earned honorable mention accolades.The Bruins have had 79 All-Pac-10 selections (53 first-teamers) and 32 All-Freshman Team honorees (21 first-teamers) over the last 22 seasons.

Senior Nellie Spicer posted her team-best 15th double-double on Friday against USC, recording 33 assists and 11 digs to give her 65 double-doubles for her career. It was her second double-double of the week after she had 44 assists and 10 digs against Pepperdine last Tuesday. Ten of her 15 double-doubles this season came during Pac-10 play. Spicer, who was named first team All-Pac-10 for the fourth straight season, moved into second place on UCLA's all-time assists list on Nov. 14 against Arizona State and now has 6,000 career assists in her sights. Spicer enters the postseason with 5,899 and is just 101 away from joining Erika Selsor (6,234) as only the second Bruin to reach 6,000 assists. She is averaging 10.93 assists per set this season, which ranks fourth in the Pac-10 and 30th in the nation. On five occasions this year, Spicer has produced at least 50 assists, with the last effort coming against California on Nov. 21. Her season best in assists came against Washington on Oct. 10. Spicer notched 61 assists to give her 10 career 60-plus assists matches. The senior has set the Bruins to at least a .300 hitting percentage 10 times (all UCLA wins), including a season-best total of .400 at Cal State Northridge on Sept. 16. Spicer has 15 double-figure digs matches this season and 65 for her career. Her season high in digs came on Oct. 3 at Oregon with 15. With 1,268 digs for her career, Spicer is fourth at UCLA and two away from moving into third all-time (Ashley Bowles, 1,269). 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.

And not just due to the fact that she is the tallest member of the Bruins at 6-6. Amanda Gil became just the fourth UCLA player to earn Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors on Monday and ranks second nationally and first in the Pac-10 in blocks per set at 1.49. Gil, who was also named honorable mention All-Pac-10, has a team-best 18 matches with at least five blocks, with 13 of them coming during league action. The freshman posted her second career, double-figure blocks match with 10 at California on Nov. 21. She just missed out on a double-double with nine kills. Her career high in blocks came on Nov. 1 when she had 13 against Oregon. 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. Along with a pair of double-figure blocks matches, she has produced six more contests with at least eight roofs. The freshman has led the Bruins in blocks for a match a team-best 19 times. Along with her status as top blocker on the team, Gil is first in hitting percentage (.324), second in points per set (3.50) and third in kills per set (2.61). She has 12 double-figure kills matches this season and eight during Pac-10 play. Gil's season high in kills came at Northwestern on Sept. 20 when she had 20. Gil has hit over .300 in 16 matches, totaling a season-best .647 hitting percentage (12 kills, one error, 17 attempts) at Cal State Northridge on Sept. 16. She has been named to three All-Tournament teams this season (Wahine Volleyball Classic, Nevada Tournament and Wildcat Classic.)

Senior Ali Daley earned the Bruins' first Pac-10 Player of the Week award since 2006 (Nana Meriwether) after leading UCLA to wins over Pepperdine and USC last week. Daley led the Bruins in kills in both matches, posting a season-high 20 against the Waves for her third career 20-kill contest and adding 15 against the Trojans. The senior, who was named honorable mention All-Pac-10 for the second straight year on Monday, has moved into the team lead in kills per set at 3.08 and has led the Bruins in kills in each of the last five contests. Daley has recorded an impressive four-match stretch, averaging 3.94 kps and 4.00 digs per set, while posting three double-doubles. The stretch began with a big performance at California on Nov. 21, as Daley had 19 kills, a career-high 28 digs and seven blocks, which tied a personal best. She followed that up with 13 kills and 18 digs at Stanford. Daley has 12 double-doubles this season and 41 for her UCLA career. Ten of her 12 double-doubles came during Pac-10 play. The senior reached a milestone on Nov. 15 against Arizona, recording her 1,000th kill at UCLA to become the 24th member of the exclusive club. Daley has 18 double-figure kills matches this season (61 as a Bruin), which is tied for the team lead. She has led the Bruins in kills for a match a team-best 11 times, including eight times during Pac-10 play. Defensively, the senior is second on the club with 2.91 digs per set. She has 14 double-figure digs contests and 48 for her Bruin career. Along with reaching the 1,000-kill mark, Daley has 986 digs at UCLA, putting her 14 away from becoming the 18th member of the 1,000-dig club. The senior is also tied for first with 20 service aces.

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 43rd in the nation with 4.77 digs per set. The senior, who was named honorable mention All-Pac-10 on Monday, became the 17th player to reach the 1,000-career dig mark at UCLA on Nov. 22 at Stanford. Last Tuesday against Pepperdine, Fine had a season-high 32 digs, marking the fifth time in her career she has reached at least 30 digs in a match. The 32 digs were just one off her career high of 33, which also came against Pepperdine last year. Fine has three 30-dig efforts, producing 30 against both Washington (Oct. 10) and Oregon (Nov. 1). The senior has also reached the 20-dig plateau 13 times this season and on 19 occasions for her career. Fine has produced double figures in digs a team-best 24 times this season (44 for her career). Fine is also third on the team with 18 service aces.

Katie Camp joined fellow freshman Amanda Gil on the All-Pac-10 Freshman First Team on Monday, as she ranks second on the team with a .304 hitting percentage and 1.05 blocks per set and fourth with 2.18 kills per set. Camp posted her ninth match with at least five blocks last Tuesday against Pepperdine with seven, adding 12 kills for her 10th double-figure kills contest. The freshman's 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 10 matches this season. Her season high in kills came against California (Oct. 24) when she had a team-high 19 with a .538 hitting percentage. 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).

Sophomore Dicey McGraw is tied for the team lead in double-figure kills matches with 18 and has led the Bruins in kills in 10 contests this season. She is second on the team with 2.85 kills per set. Eleven of her 18 double-figure kills matches came during Pac-10 play, recording a season high 17 against Oregon on Nov. 1, which was just one shy of her career best. McGraw has 29 double-figure kills contests for her career. 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 five times this year, including a season-best .440 at Cal State Fullerton on Sept. 10.

Freshman Sara Sage has started 13 straight matches and has produced at least five kills in 10 of those 13 starts. Sage, who was named to the honorable mention All-Pac-10 Freshman Team on Monday, set a career high with nine kills on Nov. 21 at California. Last Tuesday against Pepperdine, the freshman had six kills and a personal-best six blocks. Sage has also produced at least four roofs in five other matches. Her season high in hitting percentage came against Oregon State (.545) when she had eight kills and two errors in 11 attempts. For the season, the freshman is averaging 1.39 kills per set.

Freshman Lainey Gera has double figures in digs in two of her last three matches, posting a season-high 19 at Stanford on Nov. 22 and 17 against Pepperdine last Tuesday. She has six double-figure digs contests this season and has produced at least six digs in 12 straight matches. Gera is fourth on the squad at 1.98 digs per set ... speaking of digging, sophomore Jazmin Machado has recorded at least six digs in 10 straight matches, including nine in four consecutive contests. Machado had three matches in a row with at least 10 digs from Nov. 1-9, including a season-high 13 against Oregon on Nov. 1. The sophomore is also tied for the team lead with 20 aces and ranks eighth in the Pac-10 in aces per set ... Jade Machado appeared in her first match since Oct. 11 last Friday against USC, earning the start on senior day. She served the first point of the match, which was sided out, and was subbed for. Machado had missed 13 straight contests with a foot injury and will likely miss the postseason ... Laura Holloway was also honored on senior day and earned her fourth start of the season. A junior athletically after redshirting last year, Holloway, who transferred to UCLA from Penn State following the 2006 campaign, is a senior academically and will not play next season. She has appeared in 15 matches this year, posting a season-high five kills on Nov. 14 against Arizona State.

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