Bruins Fall to Women of Troy, 3-1, in Home Opener
Sept. 19, 2003
WESTWOOD - UCLA (8-2, 0-1 Pac-10) opened its Pac-10 schedule on Friday night in Pauley Pavilion with a 3-1 loss to the top-ranked USC Women of Troy, but the Bruins did become the first team this season to win a game against the defending Pac-10 and NCAA Champions. Game scores were 30-21, 22-30, 30-19, 30-22 as Heather Cullen led the Bruins with a career high 17 kills in the match.
The match was televised by FOX Sports Net, and will air three times this weekend in Southern California. On Saturday, FOX Sports West will show the match at 8 pm PT, and on Sunday morning, FOX Sports West2 will air the contest at 1:30 am and 11:00 am.
Adams led the Trojans with a personal-best 23 kills and hit .579 for the night. She also added seven digs and four blocks. Anderson, a four-year starting setter, posted a career-high 55 assists as she guided the Women of Troy to the four-game victory.
The Women of Troy established a significant lead in game one thanks to the serving of April Ross. Ahead 3-2 to start the match, Ross served for eight consecutive points, including two aces, to give the Trojans an 11-3 advantage. The Bruins (8-2, 0-1) were not able to recover as USC rolled to a 30-21 win.
The Bruins proved to be the Women of Troy's toughest opponent of the season when they captured a 30-22 win in game two - the first single-game victory for a USC opponent this season. The loss put an end to the Trojans' 30-game win streak, which dated back to last season's NCAA Championship final. This is the second time in recent years that the Bruins have been the first team in the nation to win a game from USC, as UCLA stopped a similar streak early in the 2000 season, as UCLA halted a 38-game win streak on Oct. 6, 2000 in Pauley Pavilion.
The Bruins accomplished the feat by holding USC to a -.037 attack percentage in the game and collecting six team blocks to the Trojans' two. Junior Heather Cullen and senior Cira Wright had impressive games for the Bruins, as Cullen had an error-free five kills on 10 attacks (.500 attack percentage) with three blocks, while Wright had four kills on six attempts with no errors for a .667 attack percentage. In the game, UCLA had just seven errors as a team while the Women of Troy had 13.
Returning from the break, the teams matched each other point-for-point to start game three. The Women of Troy managed to break away with an 11-to-1 run for a nine-point lead at 19-10. UCLA was unable to recover, losing the game 30-19.
Emily Adams served to give USC a 7-2 lead to start game four, but the Bruins stayed close behind. The Women of Troy eventually extended their lead to as much as nine points, 26-17, and completed the match by holding off a late Bruin rally, 30-22.
Two Bruins finished with double-figure kills in the match, led by Heather Cullen's 17 kills and 20 points (one solo block and four block assists), while Brynn Murphy had 13 kills and seven blocks (two solo, five assists) for 17.5 points. UCLA out-blocked USC by a 16-10 margin, and was led in that category by senior Cira Wright, who had one solo block and eight block assists in the match.
With the win, the Women of Troy improve to 10-0 (1-0 in the Pac-10) this season and earn the first 5-of-10 possible women's volleyball points for the 2003-04 Lexus Gauntlet - a season-long competition that awards points for each Bruin-Trojan head to head contest throughout the year.
UCLA returns to action on Thursday night, September 25, with a 7 pm match against Oregon State in Pauley Pavilion.