Bruin Volleyball Wins Five-Game Thriller at Pepperdine

Nov. 8, 2005

MALIBU, Calif. - For the third consecutive year, the Bruins and Waves played a five-game match, but this time it was UCLA that prevailed with a 26-30, 30-16, 22-30, 30-26, 17-15 win in Firestone Fieldhouse. Both Katie Carter and Kaitlin Sather finished with a team-high 19 kills for the Bruins.

The Bruins took an early 3-0 lead in the opening game of the match but the Waves quickly got back in the game, forcing a tie at 6-6. From that point, the two teams traded sideouts until Pepperdine put together a five-point run, taking a 19-15 lead and going on to win the game 30-26. The Bruins had four service errors in the game and were out-dug 21-18. Kaitlin Sather provided the majority of the Bruins offense in the game, downing seven kills with one error on 15 attacks for a .400 individual attack percentage. Katie Carter also had an impressive opening game, downing six kills on eight error-free attacks for a .750 attack percentage.

Game two saw UCLA extend a 15-9 lead and the Bruins would not look back, bringing the match even at one game apiece with a 30-16 second game win. Kaitlin Sather, one of the Pac-10's service ace leaders, put down two aces during a six-point Bruin run and added seven kills to her total for the match, upping her totals to 14 kills and two errors on 26 attacks for a .462 attack percentage and a team-high seven digs after two games. Carter also continued her hot streak, checking in with 11 kills, one error and 17 attacks for a .588 percentage after two games.

Game three was a back-and-forth affair with scoring runs by both teams. The game was tied as late as 16-all before Pepperdine took the lead for good. The Bruins were able to pull within one point at 19-18 before the Waves put together a three-point scoring run to take a 22-18 lead and scored the final five points of the game to win 30-22. The UCLA block put away four balls in game three, but seven attack errors by UCLA made the difference in Pepperdine's favor.

UCLA had an early lead in game four, up 14-10 before the Waves came back to tie the score at 20-all and again at 22 before a Kelsey Hall service ace gave the Bruins a 24-22 lead. After trading points on four consecutive serves, UCLA extended to a 28-24 lead before Pepperdine used kills from Cassi Chamberlain and Katy Daly to close to two points at 28-26. UCLA countered with a block from Carter and Nana Meriwether to force game point before a solo block from Rachell Johnson sent the match to a fifth and deciding game.

Pepperdine and UCLA traded points early in game five and were tied at each point until a Waves block gave them an 8-7 advantage as the teams changed sides. A five-point run by Pepperdine gave the waves an 11-7 advantage before UCLA started chipping away, closing to two points at 13-11 before the Waves called their first timeout of the game. A triple block at the net by Sather, Meriwether and Carter brought UCLA to within one and a Meriwether kill would then tie the game at 13-all. After a timeout, Pepperdine took a 14-13 advantage, pushing UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski to use his final timeout of the match. A Nana Meriwether solo block re-tied the match, but a Bruin service error gave the Waves a second match point, fended off by a Katie Carter kill that tied the score at 15. From that point, two Pepperdine attack errors gave UCLA the game and the match, 17-15.

Four Bruins finished with double-figure kills, as Carter and Sather had 19 kills apiece while Nancy Barb and Meriwether each had 10 kills in the match. Meriwether had a match-high nine blocks with two solo and seven assists, followed by Nellie Spicer with seven (1 BS, 6 BA).

The Bruins return home this weekend for a pair of matches in Pauley Pavilion, hosting Washington State on Friday night and No. 2 Washington on Saturday. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 7 pm PT.

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