Fifth-Ranked Bruins Win in Five Over San Diego to Claim USD Tournament

Sept. 15, 2007

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Junior Ali Daley posted a team-high 21 kills, including the match clincher, as the fifth-ranked Bruins pulled out a thrilling, five-game victory over #18 San Diego to win the USD Tournament on Saturday. Game scores were 20-30, 30-23, 27-30, 30-25, 15-13.

The Bruins win their ninth straight and improve to 10-1 with the victory, while the Toreros fall to 7-4. Senior Rachell Johnson and junior Nellie Spicer were named to the All-Tournament Team. Johnson added 15 kills and a career-high six aces, Sather had a double-double with 13 kills and 11 digs and McGraw equaled a personal best with 13 kills. Spicer also had a double-double with 60 assists and 13 digs, while freshman Jazmin Machado had double figures in digs with 13. The Bruins hit .223 as a team and had nine aces and nine blocks.

San Diego scored four of the first five points of the initial game and maintained the lead the whole way. Leading 8-5, the Toreros netted three in a row on successive kills to go up 11-5. The Bruins got back to within two on four straight kills to make it 11-9. Sather started the run, Daley posted two in a row and freshman Juliane Piggott finished the run with a kill. However, UCLA could get no closer than two the rest of the game, as the Bruins struggled with their hitting down the stretch. San Diego led 25-19 and scored five of the final six points of the game to win it 30-20. Three of those five points came on hitting errors by UCLA, which hit just .184 in the first game. On the flip side, the Toreros hit .400 in the first.

UCLA immediately jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead in the second game, but the Toreros tied it back up at four with three straight points. San Diego took its first lead of the game at 7-6, but the Bruins responded with a 5-0 run to take the lead and force the Toreros to spend a timeout. Four of the five points came on Johnson's serve, with the senior recording a pair of aces. The Toreros cut the deficit to two, but UCLA scored four of the next five to bring its advantage back to 17-12.

The Toreros sliced the margin to a pair on two occasions, one time forcing a UCLA timeout. Out of the break and still up 23-21, the Bruins got the serve back on a kill by Sather and two straight aces by junior Jade Machado gave UCLA a 26-21 lead and prompted USD to call its second timeout of the game. After a USD sideout, the Bruins scored three in a row, culminating in an ace by Jazmin Machado to give UCLA several game points. The Toreros claimed the first game point, but Daley came back with a kill to win the second by a 30-23 score. Neither team had a great hitting percentage in the second. The Bruins hit just .093, while the Toreros hit .128.

San Diego regained its hitting stroke at the start of the third game, scoring five of the first seven points to jump out to an early lead. Back-to-back kills by Sather and Johnson cut the deficit to 5-4, but San Diego went on runs of 4-1 and 7-2 to take a 12-6 lead and force the Bruins into a timeout. The breather helped UCLA, as it got the proceeding sideout and then four more to get to within one at 12-11. Johnson's kill gave the Bruins the serve back and she then served four straight winners, including two aces. Sophomore Elise Carstensen also totaled two blocks during the run. After the Toreros got the next point, the Bruins scored three of the next four to even things at 14 on kills by Spicer and McGraw and a block assist by Carstensen and Sather.

The Toreros were still on top 19-17 when McGraw connected on three consecutive kills to give the Bruins their first lead since 1-0. An attack error on the next play by the Toreros gave UCLA a 21-19 lead and prompted a timeout by San Diego. The Toreros came out of the timeout by scoring the next two points to even things at 21. Four sideouts later at 23 all, San Diego had a block and a kill to make it a 25-23 game and force the Bruins into a timeout. Daley stopped the run out of the timeout with a kill to make it 25-24. But the teams traded the next seven sideouts, and leading 29-27 with a game point, the Toreros clinched the third with a kill by Amy DeGroot. The hitting was vastly improved from the second game, with the Bruins hitting .447, but still getting out-hit by the .538 attack from the Toreros. Daley, Johnson and McGraw all had four kills during the third.

UCLA took a 4-2 lead to start the fourth game, but three in a row by the Toreros gave them a 5-4 edge. That would be San Diego's last lead of the game though, as the Bruins scored three straight and seven of the next eight to take an 11-7 lead. Daley and Johnson each had two kills during the run, while Spicer and Johnson had two blocks. On top 14-10, the Bruins scored four consecutive to take an 18-10 lead. Sather began the run with a kill, Daley added back-to-back spikes and a tandem block by Daley and senior Meghan Schoen made it an eight-point lead. The Toreros closed to within four on several occasions, but could get no closer. Daley's seventh kill of the game gave the Bruins a 30-25 victory. Johnson also added five kills during the game.

The Bruins scored the first three points of the deciding game, but the Toreros got the next two. Six sideouts later and trailing 6-5, the Toreros recorded a kill to even things at six. After a Johnson kill gave the Bruins the lead back, three straight by San Diego gave them a 9-7 advantage, prompting a UCLA timeout. The Bruins scored four of the next five to take an 11-10 lead, but the Toreros got the next two to go up 12-11 and cause another UCLA timeout. A kill by Laurel Abrahamson made it 13-11, but Sather and Daley had back-to-back kills to even the game at 13, as San Diego called a timeout. A kill by Sather out of the timeout gave the Bruins match point and Daley won it to extend the Bruins' winning streak to nine.

DeGroot led the Toreros with 26 kills and 18 digs, Abrahamson added 16 and Ali Troost posted 13.

The Bruins begin Pac-10 play and make their 2007 Pauley Pavilion debut next week with matches against Arizona on Thursday and Arizona State on Friday. Start times are 7 p.m. for both matches and each contest will be broadcast live on with Darren Preston at the call. Gametracker will also be available on the UCLA website.

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