Seventh-Ranked Bruins Head to Oregon for Final Pac-10 Road Trip
Nov. 17, 2009
Friday, Nov. 20
7 p.m. - #7 UCLA at Oregon State
Saturday, Nov. 21
7 p.m. - #7 UCLA at #18 Oregon
Gametracker and free video (Friday) and live stats (Saturday)
BRUINS HEAD TO OREGON FOR FINAL PAC-10 ROAD TRIP
The seventh-ranked Bruins (20-7, 10-4 Pac-10), winners of seven of their last eight, face their final regular-season road trip this weekend, taking on Oregon State (12-14, 3-11) on Friday and #18 Oregon (16-8, 6-8) on Saturday. First serve for both matches is at 7 p.m. Gametracker and free video will be available on Friday, while live stats will be available on Saturday, with links provided on the women's volleyball schedule page at UCLABruins.com.
The Bruins close out the regular season next weekend at Pauley Pavilion, hosting Arizona on Friday, Nov. 27 and Arizona State on Saturday, Nov. 28. First serve for both matches is at 3 p.m. Prior to Saturday's contest against the Sun Devils, seniors Emily Clements and Kaitlin Sather will be honored in their last regular-season home matches in Westwood. On Sunday, Nov. 29, the Bruins will find out where their postseason journey begins when ESPNEWS airs the selection show at 12 p.m.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
The Bruins dropped one spot to seventh in this week's AVCA Top 25 poll. UCLA, which was at its highest season ranking of sixth last week, lost 19 points. UCLA stayed at eighth for the third straight week in the Under Armour/Volleyball Magazine Top 20 poll.
BRUINS ON THE NET
Beginning with the Arizona match on Nov. 27, the rest of the Bruins' schedule through Regionals will feature free audio at UCLABruins.com. Darren Preston will call all the action. In addition, free video will be available for all home matches through the postseason. Links to the audio and video, as well as Gametracker, can be found on the schedule page at UCLABruins.com.
THE RULE OF NINE
UCLA won its third Pacific-10 Conference title in 1989. In 1999, the Bruins won their seventh and most recent league crown. You can guess where this is going. Although their loss to Washington dropped them from first to third in the Pac-10 standings, the Bruins can still win a share of the 2009 conference title by winning their final four matches. UCLA (10-4) is tied in the loss column with Washington and Stanford (11-4), which both have three matches remaining. The Pac-10 recognizes co-conference champions, which the Bruins were with Stanford in 1999. UCLA won the title outright the other six times it claimed the crown.
JUST GET IT OVER THE NET AND BETWEEN THE LINES
On Nov. 6 at USC, the Bruins made school history by committing no service errors in a match for the first time ever and continued their strong serving last weekend against the Washington schools. UCLA reeled off eight straight sets, dating back to the Oct. 31 match at Stanford, without an error before recording one in the third set against Washington State Friday. However, it was the only miscue against the Cougars. The Bruins had no errors through the first two sets against Washington Saturday before tallying a pair in the third set. UCLA, which has 116 service errors, is on pace to shatter the team record for fewest number of errors in a season. The 1982 squad committed 190 errors, the only time in UCLA history that a team has posted fewer than 200 service errors.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
The Bruins' victory on Friday gave them their 11th-straight, 20-win season ... UCLA is 16-0 when holding its opponent under a .200 hitting percentage and 17-1 when hitting at least .200 ... after going 1-6 in five-set matches last season, the Bruins are 4-1 this year ... the Bruins are 17-1 when winning the opening set.
SCOUTING THE BEAVERS
Oregon State lost both matches in northern California last weekend, falling in four to Cal and three to Stanford. The Beavers have dropped eight of their last nine, with their lone victory coming at home against Arizona (3-1) on Nov. 7. The Beavers are hitting .201 as a team with 0.90 aces and a conference-best 2.90 blocks per set. Rachel Rourke leads the squad with 4.84 kills per set, with Jill Sawatzky second at 3.17 kps. Rourke has upped her average to 5.26 kps during Pac-10 play. Camilla Ah-Hoy handles the setting and is averaging 10.18 assists per set, Betsy Devich leads the team with 3.62 digs per set and Kiersten Sambrailo is the top blocker with 1.23 bps. During Pac-10 action, the Beavers are hitting just .169 with 0.79 aces and 2.88 blocks per set.
THE MATCHUP: UCLA-OREGON STATE
The Bruins have won four in a row against the Beavers, sweeping them in their first meeting on Oct. 24 in Westwood, 25-18, 25-22, 25-17. Kaitlin Sather led a balanced Bruin offense with 11 kills, adding 12 digs for a double-double. UCLA leads the all-time series 45-3 and is 22-1 in matches played in Corvallis. The Bruins have won seven in a row at Oregon State, with the Beavers' last victory coming in 2001 (3-1). OSU's most recent win against UCLA came in a five-set triumph at Pauley Pavilion in 2007.
SCOUTING THE DUCKS
Like their in-state rival, Oregon fell victim to the Bay Area schools last weekend, getting swept by Stanford and falling in four to California. The Ducks have dropped five of their last seven Pac-10 matches. As a team, Oregon is hitting .271 with 1.61 aces and 2.57 blocks per set. Sonja Newcombe is tops on the squad with 4.19 kills per set and second with 2.78 digs per set. She has improved both those totals during conference action, averaging 4.53 kps and 3.19 dps. Heather Meyers is second in kps at 3.32 and Neticia Enesi is third in kps (2.88) and first in bps at 1.12. Nevena Djordjevic quarterbacks the offense and averages 12.08 assists per set. During Pac-10 play, the Ducks are hitting .244 with 1.19 aces and 2.52 blocks per set.
THE MATCHUP: UCLA-OREGON
The Bruins snapped a two-match losing streak to the Ducks on Oct. 23, winning in five at Pauley Pavilion, 26-24, 25-18, 22-25, 22-25, 15-9. Amanda Gil (14 kills, 10 blocks), Lauren Cook (54 assists, 10 digs) and Kaitlin Sather (13 kills, 20 digs) all had double-doubles. The Bruins hold a 47-4 series advantage against the Ducks and are 20-3 in Eugene. UCLA has lost the last two at Oregon, with its most recent victory coming in 2006 (3-0). The Bruins are 44-0 when winning the first set against the Ducks.
BANACHOWSKI WINS 1,100TH MATCH
Head coach Andy Banachowski achieved a milestone with his 1,100th-career win on Oct. 31 at Stanford and reached another watershed moment last Friday against Washington State when he coached his 1,400th-career match. The UCLA skipper, in his 43rd year at the helm of the Bruins, has a record of 1,102-299, making him the winningest coach in women's volleyball history.
BRUINS IN THE NCAA RANKINGS
Sophomore Amanda Gil remains at second in the nation in blocks per set in this week's rankings. Her 1.57 bps mark is .07 behind Illinois' Johannah Bangert (1.64). Gil has been either first or second in the national rankings for the last five weeks. She is also 41st in hitting at .357. As a team, UCLA is 10th in bps (2.81), 44th in kills per set (13.70) and 45th in digs per set (16.53).
BRUINS IN THE PAC-10 RANKINGS
The Bruins maintained their top ranking in the Pac-10 in digs per set at 16.53 and are also second in blocks per set (2.81) and opponent hitting percentage (.174). During conference matches, UCLA is first in bps (2.90), dps (17.70) and opponent hitting percentage (.190). Individually, sophomore Amanda Gil remains first in bps at 1.57 and also ranks fourth in hitting percentage (.357). Sophomore Lainey Gera is fourth in dps (4.72), freshman Lauren Cook is seventh in assists per set (10.45) and freshman Bojana Todorovic is 10th in aces per set (0.24).
A SPECIAL SENIOR SEASON
Kaitlin Sather recorded a season-high 19 kills on Friday against Washington State, continuing a memorable senior year that has seen her become the 12th player in UCLA history to post 1,000 kills and digs, move up to 11th on the Bruins' career kills list and earn her first Pac-10 Player of the Week award. Sather added 12 digs against the Cougars for her team-best 14th double-double of the season and the 51st of her career. The senior is second on the team with 2.74 kills and 3.05 digs per set. During Pac-10 play, she leads the squad with 3.09 kps and is second with 3.43 dps. Sather saw her streaks of six straight double-doubles (Oct. 23-Nov. 13) and 11 double-figure kills matches in a row (Oct. 2-Nov. 13) come to an end on Saturday, but she did tally her seventh consecutive double-figure digs contest when she had 12. Sather had a season-high 20 digs, which was one shy of a career high, to go along with 14 kills in a win at Stanford on Oct. 31. For her efforts in the Bay Area three weeks ago, she earned UCLA's 60th Pac-10 POW honor and the second this season (Lauren Cook, Sept. 14). The senior also had 20 digs against Oregon on Oct. 23 and had 16 twice at Nebraska (Sept. 13) and California (Oct. 3). She has produced 18 matches with at least 10 digs, which is second on the team, and has 56 such contests as a Bruin. Sather is first on the squad with 17 double-figure kills matches to bring her career total to 86. She has led the Bruins in kills for a match 10 times, registering 16 with a season-best .560 hitting percentage at Washington State (Oct. 17) and 15 against USC (Oct. 9). Along with her recent streak of six in a row, Sather had four straight double-doubles from Sept. 10-16 and Oct. 2-16. She has 1,429 career kills to put her 11th on UCLA's all-time list.
LAINEY THE LIBERO
Sophomore Lainey Gera extended her streak of 20-plus digs matches to five last weekend, recording 26 against Washington State and 22 against Washington. Gera has surpassed 20 digs 12 times this season and 10 times during Pac-10 play. The sophomore leads the Bruins with 4.72 digs per set, ranking fourth in the Pac-10. Gera set a career high with 28 digs at Washington on Oct. 16, a total she equaled at Stanford on Oct. 31. She also had a 25-dig effort at Nebraska (Sept. 13), 23 in both matches against USC (Oct. 9 and Nov. 6), 22 against BYU (Sept. 10), Stanford (Oct. 2) and Oregon (Oct. 23), 21 at Arizona (Sept. 26) and 20 at California (Oct. 30). Gera has double figures in digs in 14 of her last 15, a team-best 23 times this year and 29 times for her career. In addition to her prowess at digging, Gera has chipped in offensively with her serving and setting. The sophomore's 22 service aces put her second on the team. She has at least one in seven of her last 11 matches. Gera's season and career high was three at Pepperdine on Sept. 16. She has also tallied at least five assists in a match nine times, posting a career-high seven at Hawai'i (Aug. 30) and at Stanford (Oct. 31).
THREAT AT THE NET
There is something about playing the Oregon Ducks that brings out the best in Amanda Gil's game. Both of the sophomore's double-doubles have come against the Ducks, including a 14-kill, 10-block effort in this season's first meeting on Oct. 23. Gil, who is first in the Pac-10 and second in the nation in blocks per set at 1.57, recorded her first career double-double on Nov. 1, 2008 in Eugene (13 kills, 11 blocks). Gil has at least five roofs in 18 matches this season and has led the Bruins in that category in 13 consecutive contests. Her 10 blocks against the Ducks are a season high and finally got her a double-double after coming close with nine-block contests against Cal State Fullerton (Sept. 18) and Stanford (Oct. 2). She has produced eight roofs in a match three times against Virginia (Sept. 11), Pepperdine (Sept. 16) and California (Oct. 3) and seven six more times against UNLV (Sept. 4), Arizona (Sept. 26), Washington (Oct. 16), Washington State (Oct. 17), Stanford (Oct. 31) and USC (Nov. 6). The sophomore is also tops on the team in hitting percentage at .357. She has swung at a .400 clip or better 10 times. Her season-best total (with at least 10 kills) came against Virginia when she hit .562 with 10 kills and one error in 16 attempts. Gil, who is third on the team with 2.32 kills per set, has 10 double-figure kills matches this season and 22 for her career. She had a season-best 16 at USC, hitting .560 for the match. Gil has also chipped in with her defense. She has at least four digs in a match 11 times, including a career-best seven against Nebraska (Sept. 13).
Freshman Lauren Cook tied a career high with 54 assists against Washington State on Friday, the third time she has surpassed the 50-assist mark this season. Cook added 10 digs for her 12th double-double, which ranks second on the squad. The freshman leads the Bruins with 10.45 assists per set, is third with 19 aces and fourth with 2.39 digs per set. Cook first crossed the 50-assist mark on Oct. 23 against Oregon, when she had 54 with 10 digs. On Oct. 31 at Stanford, Cook posted 50 assists, adding a personal-high 18 digs. The freshman has four other double-doubles in Pac-10 play against Stanford on Oct. 2 (47 assists, 17 digs), USC on Oct. 9 (47 and 10), Washington on Oct. 16 (47 and 10) and Washington State on Oct. 17 (33 and 10). The freshman had a happy homecoming against Nebraska on Sept. 13, as the Lincoln native had 48 assists and 15 digs in a win over the Huskers. That match concluded an outstanding weekend that saw Cook post three double-doubles to earn Ameritas Players Challenge MVP, AVCA National Player of the Week and Pac-10 POW honors. She began the weekend with 43 assists and 14 digs against BYU (Sept. 10) and had 44 assists and 15 digs versus Virginia (Sept. 11). Cook became just the fifth Bruin to earn AVCA NPOW accolades, joining Annett Buckner (1994), Kristee Porter (1998), Nellie Spicer (2005) and Nana Meriwether (2006). The double-double streak continued the following week when Cook went for 37 assists and 12 digs at Pepperdine (Sept. 16) and 44 assists and 13 digs at Cal State Fullerton (Sept. 18). Besides quarterbacking the offense, Cook has helped the Bruins with her killing, posting four kills or more nine times. She had a season-high six against Virginia, Arizona (Sept. 26) and California (Oct. 30). Cook had a season-high three aces against Cal on Oct. 3 and has at least one ace in six of her last eight matches.
QUICK DRAW McGRAW
After posting only four double-doubles in her first two years in Westwood, junior Dicey McGraw already has seven this season after recording her third in a row last Friday against Washington State. McGraw had 12 kills and 10 digs against the Cougars after posting 12 kills and 15 digs at Stanford (Oct. 31) and 15 kills and 11 digs at USC (Nov. 6). Her first three double-doubles during Pac-10 play came consecutively, as she had 13 kills and 11 digs at ASU (Sept. 25), a career-high 20 kills and 15 digs against Arizona (Sept. 26) and 14 kills and 10 digs versus Stanford (Oct. 2). The team leader in kills per set at 3.10, McGraw has 15 double-figure kills matches this season and 46 for her career. She has led the Bruins in kills in a match 11 times. Including her career effort against Arizona, the junior has broken the 15-kill threshold four other times against Nebraska (18, Sept. 13), BYU (17, Sept. 10), Loyola Marymount (16, Sept. 5) and USC. In the match with BYU, she added 12 digs for her first double-double. McGraw has nine double-figure digs matches and is fifth on the team with 2.01 digs per set. The junior has set or tied seven career highs this year. She had a personal-best three aces and 22.5 points at Nebraska and hit .500 against Santa Clara on Aug. 28. McGraw also had a career high seven block assists and eight total blocks against Oregon (Oct. 23) and tied a personal best with two blocks solos against LMU.
BO KNOWS VOLLEYBALL
Freshman Bojana Todorovic has produced 15 digs in three straight matches and has climbed to third on the team with 2.46 digs per set. Todorovic has 11 double-figure digs matches, with nine of them coming during Pac-10 play, where she is averaging 2.81 dps. She had five in a row from Oct. 3-23 and has four straight after a 10-dig effort at Stanford (Oct. 31) and a trio of 15-dig contests against USC (Nov. 6) and the Washington schools last weekend. Todorovic has three double-doubles. Her first came on Oct. 3 against Cal when she had a season-high 14 kills and 13 digs. The freshman's second double-double was at Washington on Oct. 16 when she posted 10 kills and 11 digs, adding another on Oct. 31 when she had 14 kills to go along with 10 digs at Stanford. Todorovic's career high in digs was 16 against Fordham on Sept. 19. Offensively, she has at least 10 kills in five contests and is averaging 1.57 kills per set and 2.09 kps in Pac-10 action. Along with her three double-double matches, the freshman had 11 at Arizona State on Sept. 25 and 10 at Nebraska on Sept. 13. Todorovic leads the squad with 24 aces. She had a season-best four at Pepperdine on Sept. 16 and added three against Fordham. Todorovic has also stepped up her blocking of late, recording 25 in her last 12 after notching only four in her initial 15 contests.
Sophomore Katie Camp registered a season-best seven blocks on Oct. 23 against Oregon and has been very steady at the net with at least three blocks in nine of her last 11 matches. She is second on the team with 0.90 blocks per set. The sophomore has produced at least five blocks in a match five times, tallying six at Washington State (Oct. 17) and five apiece against Nebraska (Sept. 13), Fordham (Sept. 19) and Long Beach State (Sept. 19). On offense, Camp recorded her first two double-figure kills matches this season against Stanford (11, Oct. 2) and Cal (10, Oct. 3) and is fifth with 1.81 kills per set. The sophomore has at least five kills in 10 of her last 11. Camp also ranks third in hitting at .291. She has hit at least .400 in a contest five times.
SAGE WISDOM FOR THIS SOPHOMORE
Sophomore Sara Sage has provided some solid contribution for the Bruins of late, improving on her season average with 1.53 kills and 0.89 blocks per set over the last five matches. Sage had a career night against Cal on Oct. 30, recording 11 kills, .471 hitting and 13.5 points. She also posted seven kills and tied a career high with six blocks the next night at Stanford. On Friday, Sage had seven kills and a .545 percentage against Washington State. The sophomore is averaging 0.98 kps and 0.70 bps this season.
FROM NORWAY TO WESTWOOD
Freshman Mari Hole came off the bench Saturday against Washington to lead the Bruins in kills with seven. It marked the sixth time in her last nine matches that Hole had at least four kills. The freshman, who is fourth on the team with 1.83 kills per set, tied a career high with 12 at Washington on Oct. 16. She has four double-figure kills matches, posting 12 against Virginia (Sept. 11) and 10 against UNLV (Sept. 4) and Fordham (Sept. 19).
MAKING IT COUNT
Freshman Rachael Kidder has made the most of her opportunities this season and that was no more evident on Oct. 31 at Stanford. Kidder, who comes in as a blocking sub for Lauren Cook, became a huge part of the Bruins' rally at the end of the opening set against the Cardinal. Down 18-14, UCLA earned a sideout, brought in Kidder and then reeled off 10 straight points to win the set. She had a hand in four of the points on three kills and a combo block. She finished the match with four kills in nine swings with a pair of roofs. Kidder had a career-high six blocks twice against Fordham (Sept. 19) and Oregon (Oct. 23) and is averaging 0.45 bps, recording at least one roof in 10 of her last 11 matches. She has at least four kills in a match five times, tallying a season-high eight against Virginia (Sept. 11), and is averaging 0.54 kps.