Freshmen Shine in #8 UCLA's Victory Over Virginia
Sept. 11, 2009
LINCOLN, Neb. - A trio of freshmen had outstanding matches on Friday for the eighth-ranked Bruins, who defeated Virginia in four sets at the Ameritas Players Challenge. Lauren Cook had a double-double for the second straight contest with 44 assists and 15 digs to go along with six kills, while Mari Hole and Rachael Kidder each posted season highs in kills with 12 and eight, respectively. Set scores were 25-17, 23-25, 25-14, 25-16.
The Bruins win their fifth straight to improve to 7-1 on the season, while the Cavaliers fall to 4-4.
Senior Kaitlin Sather recorded her second consecutive double-double with 13 kills and 13 digs, adding five blocks, while junior Dicey McGraw had seven kills and nine digs. Sophomore Amanda Gil had a great hitting match, notching 10 kills and only one error in 16 attempts for a .562 percentage, also tallying eight blocks. Sophomore Katie Camp added nine kills, while sophomore Lainey Gera had 16 digs. The Bruins hit .315 as a team.
The Bruins never trailed in the opening set. UCLA scored the first three points of the match on a kill by Hole, a Virginia attack error and a spike by Sather. Virginia came back with the next three points to tie it up, but it was all UCLA after that. The Bruins scored four of the next five on two Sather kills, a Camp kill and a Gil/Sather block to make it 7-4. After a Virginia sideout, UCLA tacked on a 6-1 run to take a 13-6 advantage. Gil began the run with a kill and teamed up on a block with McGraw. One Cavalier sideout later, the Bruins received a McGraw kill, a UVA error, a Gil kill and a Gil/Hole roof to make it a seven-point lead.
The Cavaliers could get no closer than five the rest of the way. The Bruins' biggest lead was nine on a pair of occasions. Leading 17-12, UCLA netted six of the next eight to take a 23-14 advantage. The Bruins clinched the set on a Virginia service error to win it 25-17. Sather had four kills in the opener, while Gil added two kills and four blocks. The Bruins hit .241 and posted five blocks, holding the Cavaliers to a .000 percentage.
In a reversal of fortune, the Bruins never led in the second set, as the Cavaliers staved off a late rally to even the match at one set apiece. Leading 6-4, Virginia reeled off five in a row to take an 11-4 advantage. The Bruins battled back though with eight of the next 10 to get to within one at 13-12. McGraw had three kills during the run, while Camp had a pair.
Virginia got its lead back up to four at 20-16, but a 6-2 UCLA run evened the score at 22. Camp had two of the six points on kills. However, the Cavaliers posted three of the final four points of the set to win it 25-23. Tobi Farrar finished things with a kill on Virginia's second set point. Camp had six kills in the second, while Gil, McGraw and Sather had three apiece. The Bruins did not register a block in the second, but still out-hit the Cavaliers .250 to .244.
The Bruins returned to form and led wire-to-wire in the third. With the set tied at three, the Bruins scored four straight to go up 7-3. Cook began the run with a kill, which was followed by a Sather/Camp block and back-to-back kills by McGraw and Gil. The Cavaliers were still within five at 12-7, but UCLA scored seven in a row to take a commanding 19-7 lead. After a kill by Cook, Sather and Gil teamed up for a block, which was followed by a triple roof by Sather, Gil and Hole. Later in the run, the Bruins received two Virginia errors and got an ace from Cook and a Hole kill.
The Bruins' advantage never slipped below double digits. Coming on strong at the end of the set was Kidder, who had each of the last four UCLA points on kills, as the Bruins claimed a 25-14 victory. Sather had three kills and three blocks in the third, while Hole added three kills. The Bruins out-hit the Cavaliers .351 to .086.
Virginia took an early edge in the fourth, but thanks to the hitting of a pair of freshmen, the Bruins ran away at the end of the set to win the match. Trailing 7-4, UCLA scored five in a row and eight of the next nine to go up 12-8. Kidder had four kills during the run. The next run was spurred on by Hole. With a 12-9 lead, the Bruins scored six of seven to take an 18-10 advantage. Hole had three kills in the 6-1 rally, Gil had a pair of combo blocks and Sather posted a kill and a roof.
The Cavaliers made a late run and forced the Bruins into a timeout, but UCLA held on to win it 25-16. Down by 10 at 22-12, Virginia scored four straight, but the Bruins benefitted from back-to-back UVA attack errors and received a kill from sophomore Sara Sage on match point to take it by nine. Hole had five kills in the fourth, while Kidder had four. Gil and Sather both added three kills. UCLA out-hit Virginia .438 to .062.
Lauren Dickson led the Cavaliers with 15 kills, with Virginia hitting .106 as a team.
The Bruins are off on Saturday and return to the court to face fifth-ranked Nebraska at the Devaney Center on Sunday at 12 p.m. PT. You can follow along with live stats, audio and video from Nebraska's website, with links available on the women's volleyball schedule page of UCLABruins.com.