Ninth-Ranked Bruins Host Arizona Schools, Honor Seniors in Regular-Season Finales
Nov. 23, 2009
Friday, Nov. 27
3 p.m. - #19 Arizona at #9 UCLA
Saturday, Nov. 28
3 p.m. - Arizona State at #9 UCLA
Gametracker and free audio and video
BRUINS HOST ARIZONA SCHOOLS IN REGULAR-SEASON FINALES
The ninth-ranked Bruins (21-8, 11-5 Pac-10) finish up regular-season play this weekend at Pauley Pavilion against #19 Arizona (19-8, 8-8) on Friday and Arizona State (13-15, 3-13) on Saturday. First serve for both matches is at 3 p.m. Gametracker and free audio and video will be available on UCLABruins.com. Prior to Saturday's match, the Bruins will honor seniors Emily Clements and Kaitlin Sather.
The Bruins will find out where their postseason journey begins when ESPNEWS airs the selection show between 12 and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. Regional play begins at campus sites on Friday, Dec. 4 with the first round and the second round on Saturday, Dec. 5. UCLA has hosted the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament in five of the last six years.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
For the second straight week, the Bruins dropped in the AVCA Top 25 poll, falling two spots to ninth. UCLA was at eighth for the third straight week in last week's Under Armour/Volleyball Magazine Top 20 rankings, with a new poll coming out on Tuesday.
BRUINS ON THE NET
The rest of the Bruins' schedule through Regionals will feature free audio at UCLABruins.com. 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.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Arizona split last weekend's home matches against the Bay Area schools. The Wildcats led Stanford 2-1 on Friday before falling in five, but bounced back to beat California in four on Sunday. Arizona has alternated wins and losses in its last five matches. The Wildcats are hitting .237 as a team with 1.24 aces and 2.00 blocks per set. Tiffany Owens leads the offense with 3.62 kills per set and is second with 3.08 digs per set. Whitney Dosty (2.94 kps) and Courtney Karst (2.38) also average above two kps. Paige Weber quarterbacks the offense and averages 10.67 assists per set, Jacy Norton is the top blocker at 1.02 bps and Alanna Resch is first in dps at 3.19. During Pac-10 play, Arizona is swinging at a .223 clip with 0.98 aces and 1.85 blocks per set.
THE MATCHUP: UCLA-ARIZONA
The Bruins have won three in a row against the Wildcats, winning the first matchup of the season in Tucson on Sept. 26 in four (22-25, 27-25, 25-14, 25-13). Dicey McGraw had a career-high 20 kills to go along with 15 digs for a double-double, while Lainey Gera posted 21 digs. The Bruins hit .299 with 11 blocks. UCLA leads the all-time series 48-17 and is 23-7 at home against Arizona. The Bruins have won three straight at Pauley Pavilion against the Wildcats, with Arizona's last win coming on Oct. 21, 2005 (3-1). The Wildcats' last victory overall was in Tucson on Nov. 24, 2007 (3-1).
SCOUTING THE SUN DEVILS
Arizona State has dropped four straight, losing in four to Cal and in three to Stanford last weekend. The Sun Devils have only defeated Washington State (Oct. 30) and Oregon State (Nov. 6) since their upset of the Bruins on Sept. 25. ASU is hitting .205 as a team with 1.37 aces and 2.75 blocks per set. Sarah Reaves is the top producer on offense with 4.37 kills per set. Sofie Schlagintweit (2.59 kps) and Ashley Kastl (2.51) also average over two kps. Cat Highmark has handled the bulk of the setting duties, averaging 10.08 assists per set. Sonja Markanovich and Paige Mittelstaedt each average 1.27 bps, while Sarah Johnson is the top digger at 3.95 digs per set. During conference action, the Sun Devils are hitting .172 with 1.26 aces and 2.53 blocks per set.
THE MATCHUP: UCLA-ARIZONA STATE
The Sun Devils snapped a 13-match losing streak to the Bruins with a sweep on Sept. 25 (25-16, 25-22, 25-22). Dicey McGraw had 13 kills and 11 digs for a double-double, while Bojana Todorovic came off the bench to record 11 kills. UCLA still leads the all-time series 60-7 and is 31-1 at home against the Sun Devils. The Bruins have won 13 in a row at Pauley Pavilion against the Sun Devils, with Arizona State's only win coming in five on Oct. 14, 1995.
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 (.178). During conference matches, UCLA is first in bps (2.88), dps (17.55) and opponent hitting percentage (.194). Individually, sophomore Amanda Gil remains first in bps at 1.56 and also ranks fifth in hitting percentage (.354). Sophomore Lainey Gera is fourth in dps (4.70), freshman Lauren Cook is seventh in assists per set (10.54) and freshman Bojana Todorovic is 10th in aces per set (0.26).
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
The Bruins' victory on Nov. 13 gave them their 11th-straight, 20-win season ... UCLA is 17-0 when holding its opponent under a .200 hitting percentage and 18-2 when hitting at least .200 ... after going 1-6 in five-set matches last season, the Bruins are 4-2 this year ... the Bruins are 18-2 when winning the opening set ... UCLA is on pace to break the team record for fewest number of service errors in a season. The Bruins, who had no errors in a match for the first time ever at USC on Nov. 6, have 128 service miscues this season. The 1982 squad committed 190 errors, the only time in UCLA history that a team has posted fewer than 200 service errors ... head coach Andy Banachowski won his 1,100th-career match on Oct. 31 at Stanford.
A SPECIAL SENIOR SEASON
Kaitlin Sather tacked on two more double-doubles last weekend, recording 12 kills and 14 digs at Oregon State on Friday and 16 kills and 11 digs at Oregon on Saturday, to give her 16 on the season and 53 for her career. Sather has had 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. She is second on the team with 2.80 kills and 3.06 digs per set. During Pac-10 play, she leads the squad with 3.15 kps and is second with 3.39 dps. Sather has double figures in digs in nine straight matches and 15 of 16 Pac-10 contests. She has posted 20 digs twice against Oregon (Oct. 23) and Stanford (Oct. 31), adding 16-dig contests against California (Oct. 3) and at Nebraska (Sept. 13) and a 15-dig effort against USC (Oct. 9). Sather is second on the team with 20 double-figure digs contests, giving her 58 as a Bruin. Offensively, the senior has a team-leading 19 double-figure kills contests and 88 for her career. She had 11 straight double-figure kills matches from Oct. 2 to Nov. 13. Her season high came on Nov. 13 against Washington State when she had 19. Along with her 16 kills on Saturday, Sather has crossed the 15-kill mark two other times against Washington State (16, Oct. 17) and USC (15, Oct. 9). She has led the Bruins in kills for a match 11 times. Her season-best hitting percentage of .560 came at Washington State on Oct. 17. Sather had a consecutive double-double streak of six from Oct. 23 to Nov. 13 and four in a row from Sept. 10-16 and Oct. 2-16. She had a pair in the Bay Area with 11 kills and 12 digs at Cal (Oct. 30) and 14 kills and 20 digs at Stanford (Oct. 31), which earned her UCLA's 60th Pac-10 POW honor and the second this season (Lauren Cook, Sept. 14). She has 1,457 career kills to put her 11th on UCLA's all-time list. Sather also had a season-best six blocks on Saturday at Oregon and has at least two roofs in 10 of her last 12 contests.
Freshman Lauren Cook established a new career high with 56 assists on Saturday at Oregon, adding 12 digs for her 14th double-double of the season. She also had one the previous night at Oregon State, going for 37 assists and 10 digs. Cook has surpassed the 50-assist mark four times. She posted 54 against Oregon (Oct. 23) and Washington State (Nov. 13) and had 50 at Stanford on Oct. 31. Cook, who is second on the team in double-doubles, leads the Bruins with 10.54 assists per set, is third with 19 aces and fourth with 2.42 digs per set. The freshman has nine 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), Washington State on Oct. 17 (33 and 10), Oregon on Oct. 23 (54 and 10), Stanford on Oct. 31 (50 and 18 - season high in digs) and Washington State on Nov. 13 (54 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 California on Oct. 3.
LAINEY THE LIBERO
Sophomore Lainey Gera posted her 13th match with at least 20 digs on Saturday when she produced 21 at Oregon. Gera has 20-plus digs in six of her last seven contests and has done it 11 times during Pac-10 play. The sophomore leads the Bruins with 4.70 digs per set and is averaging 5.26 dps during conference action, which is second among league players. 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 26-dig effort against Washington State (Nov. 13), 25 at Nebraska (Sept. 13), 23 in both matches against USC (Oct. 9 and Nov. 6), 22 against BYU (Sept. 10), Stanford (Oct. 2), Oregon (Oct. 23) and Washington (Nov. 14), 21 at Arizona (Sept. 26) and 20 at California (Oct. 30). Gera has double figures in digs in 16 of her last 17, a team-best 25 times this year and 31 times for her career. In addition to her prowess at digging, Gera has chipped in offensively with her serving and setting. The sophomore's 23 service aces put her second on the team. She has at least one in eight of her last 13 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 10 times, posting a career-high seven at Hawai'i (Aug. 30) and at Stanford (Oct. 31).
THREAT AT THE NET
Sophomore Amanda Gil maintained the top spot in the Pac-10 in blocks per set at 1.56 after recording 11 roofs in a pair of matches at Oregon State and Oregon last weekend. Gil, who was second in the nation in bps in last week's NCAA rankings (new stats not released as of Monday afternoon), has at least five roofs in 20 matches this season and 13 times during Pac-10 play. Her season high came against Oregon on Oct. 23 when she had 10 to go along with 14 kills for her second career double-double, both of which have come against the Ducks. Gil finally got her 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 .354. She has swung at a .400 clip or better 11 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 2.28 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 12 times, including a career-best seven against Nebraska (Sept. 13).
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 on Nov. 13 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 16 double-figure kills matches this season and 47 for her career. She has led the Bruins in kills in a match 12 times. Including her career effort against Arizona, the junior has broken the 15-kill threshold five other times against Nebraska (18, Sept. 13), BYU (17, Sept. 10), Loyola Marymount (16, Sept. 5), Oregon (16, Nov. 21) 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 1.92 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.
Sophomore Katie Camp had her best match of the year on Saturday at Oregon, tying a season high with 11 kills and setting season bests with a .526 hitting percentage and eight blocks. Camp had only one error in 19 swings against the Ducks. Her top two blocking matches this season came against Oregon, as she had seven against the Ducks on Oct. 23. Camp has at least three blocks in 11 of her last 13 matches and is second on the team with 0.94 blocks per set. The sophomore has produced at least five blocks in a match six 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 on back-to-back nights against Stanford (11, Oct. 2) and California (10, Oct. 3) and is fifth with 1.82 kills per set. The sophomore has at least five kills in 11 of her last 13. Camp also ranks second in hitting at .299. She has hit at least .400 in a contest six times.
FROM NORWAY TO WESTWOOD
Freshman Mari Hole has given the Bruins another option at the outside hitter position, totaling 2.77 kills per set over her last four matches, including a pair of double-figure kills contests last weekend. Hole led the Bruins with a career-high 13 kills at Oregon State on Friday and came back with 11 more on Saturday at Oregon. She also chipped in on defense with eight digs against the Beavers and seven against the Ducks. Hole has six double-figure kills contests, posting 12 against Washington (Oct. 16) and Virginia (Sept. 11) and 10 against UNLV (Sept. 4) and Fordham (Sept. 19). The freshman has at least four kills in eight of her last 11 matches and is fourth on the team with 2.00 kps.
BO KNOWS VOLLEYBALL
Freshman Bojana Todorovic produced 15 digs in three straight matches from Nov. 6-14 and has climbed to third on the team with 2.44 digs per set. Todorovic has 11 double-figure digs matches, with nine of them coming during Pac-10 play, where she is averaging 2.74 dps. She had five in a row from Oct. 3-23 and four straight from Oct. 31 to Nov. 14. 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 1.48 kills per set. 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 28 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 26 in her last 14 after notching only four in her initial 15 contests.
SAGE WISDOM FOR THIS SOPHOMORE
Sophomore Sara Sage has provided some solid contribution of late, improving on her season average with 1.36 kills and 0.77 blocks per set over her last six matches. Sage had a career night against California on Oct. 30, recording 11 kills, a .471 hitting percentage and 13.5 points. She also posted seven kills and tied a career high with six blocks the next night at Stanford. On Nov. 13, Sage had seven kills and a .545 percentage against Washington State. The sophomore is averaging 0.96 kps and 0.67 bps this season and has three matches with at least five blocks.
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 0.44 bps, recording at least one roof in 12 of her last 13 matches. She has at least four kills in a match five times, tallying a season-high eight against Virginia (Sept. 11), and is averaging 0.49 kps.