Bruins Fall to Cougars in Five-Game Battle

Oct. 25, 2002

PULLMAN, WA - UCLA played its second five-game match of the season on Friday night at Bohler Gym, falling to Washington State 31-29, 31-29, 30-32, 27-30, 15-7. UCLA's only other 2002 match that went the distance was a 3-2 win over the Cougars in Pauley Pavilion on Sept. 28. Brittany Ringel led the Bruins with 16 kills in the match. Washington State improves to 15-5, 5-5 Pac-10 while the Bruins fall to 12-8, 5-5 Pac-10.

In a back-and-forth opening game of the match, the Bruins and Cougars had 20 ties in the game. UCLA held the lead as the game score advanced into the 20s, but were unable to convert for the win, falling 31-29. Senior outside hitter Lauren Fendrick led the team with five kills on 12 swings in the game. Washington State out-blocked UCLA in game one by a 7.5-2 margin. Both Bruin blocks were solo efforts by junior Cira Wright.

The Bruins held a slim lead through the majority of game two, between ties at four and 29. Washington State scored three straight points to take its first lead of the game at 30-29, and converted a block out of a timeout to take a 2-0 lead to the locker room with a 31-29 win. UCLA improved its blocking in the second game, recording five blocks to Washington State's three. At the break between games two and three, neither team was hitting above .200, as the Cougars checked in at .186 while the Bruins were hitting .118.

With 14 ties before the 20th point was scored, game three was just as closely fought as the first two games of the match. The largest lead for either team was a three-point lead by WSU at 16-13. Washington State again extended a lead of more than one point, with UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski utilizing a time out at 24-22 WSU. The Bruins would fight back to tie the game at 27-all, and took a lead at 29-28, eventually capitalizing on kills by Brynn Murphy and Brittany Ringel to earn the 32-20 game three victory.

By the end of the third game, UCLA sophomore libero Chrissie Zartman had topped the 20-dig mark, with 22, and the Bruins had three players with double-figure kills as Ringel and Fendrick had 13 apiece and Murphy had downed 10.

The Bruins put together small leads early in game four, including a 15-13 advantage at the television timeout. However, the Cougars came out of the time out and immediately scored six straight points to take a 19-15 lead. Following a Bruin timeout with Washington State holding a 23-18 lead, the Bruins stormed back to tie the game at 23-all on the strength of three kills and two blocks. Another Bruin scoring run of six points would take UCLA to game point at 29-25 before Heather Cullen's 11th kill of the match forced a fifth and deciding game with a 30-26 Bruin win in game four.

An ace to open game five by WSU's Brenn Larson set the tone for the deciding game, as the Cougars sprinted out to a 6-0 lead before UCLA scored its first point of the game on a Cira Wright kill. The teams changed sides with Washington State leading 8-3 and UCLA would not be able to recover. The Bruins hit a disappointing -.111 in game five with just five kills and eight hitting errors.

Zartman would tie her career-high with 28 digs in the match. Four players downed double-figure kills for UCLA led by Lauren Fendrick and Brittany Ringel with 16 apiece. Brynn Murphy added 12 kills, and Heather Cullen finished with 11 in the match. UCLA also had five players with double-figure digs, including Zartman, Fendrick (19), Krystal McFarland (18), Ringel (15) and Haley Jorgensborg (13). As a team, the Bruins dug 108 balls in the match to WSU's 88, but were out-blocked 17.5-15.

The Bruins return to action on Saturday night with a 7 pm match at Washington.

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