UCLA Drops Third Straight in Loss to USC

Nov. 2, 2007

LOS ANGELES - Senior Rachell Johnson had a team-high 14 kills, while junior Ali Daley added a double-double with 11 kills and 19 digs, but the ninth-ranked Bruins fell to #6 USC in four games on Friday at The Galen Center. Game scores were 24-30, 30-27, 30-26, 30-24.

The Bruins had a season-high 17 blocks, with Johnson adding eight, junior Nellie Spicer recording seven, freshman Katie Mills posting six and Daley and junior Elise Carstensen notching five each. Junior Kaitlin Sather registered another double-figure kills match with 10, adding 15 digs for a double-double. Spicer posted 45 assists and 11 digs for her double-double. Junior Jessica Fine posted 17 digs, while junior Jade Machado had 11.

UCLA falls to 16-7 overall and 6-6 in Pac-10 action, while USC improves to 20-3 and 9-3 in league play.

Defense was the story of the first-game victory for the Bruins, who had 9.5 team blocks. The Bruins lost the first point of the match, but reeled off six straight points thanks to their net play. Three of those points came from blocks. After a USC sideout, three straight UCLA points made it a 9-1 run to give the Bruins a 9-2 advantage.

The Trojans got to within two on a pair of occasions, but leading 16-14, the Bruins scored four in a row and eight of the next 10 to take a 24-16 edge. USC got another sideout, but another 3-0 run by the Bruins got their lead to double figures for the first time at 27-17. The Trojans scored four straight and six of the next seven to get as close as 28-23. The teams traded sideouts on the last three points to give the Bruins the 30-24 victory.

Game two was a back-and-forth affair, as the teams exchanged five lead changes and had 12 ties. USC never led by more than three, but was able to even the match at one game apiece. The key point of the game came at 14-all. USC got a kill and the two teams paused for a TV timeout. Out of the break, the Trojans got the next two points to go up 17-14. Although their lead would never get higher than three, the Trojans never relinquished it, going on to win 30-27.

Game three was similar to the previous set, with 10 more ties and four more lead changes. The Bruins led 8-6 when the Trojans went on a 4-0 run to go up 10-8 and force UCLA into a timeout. After a Bruin sideout, USC recorded another 3-0 run to take its biggest lead of the night at that point at 13-9. Still down 14-11, the Bruins scored three straight and 10 of the next 14 to take a 21-18 advantage. UCLA still maintained the lead at 24-22, but USC responded with six of the next seven points to go up 28-25. The teams traded sideouts for the final three points, giving USC the 30-26 victory.

The Trojans led wire-to-wire in the fourth game, claiming six of the first seven points. UCLA closed to within two at 9-7, but a 4-1 run by the Trojans brought their lead back up to five at 13-8. The lead never fell below three the rest of the way. UCLA got to within 21-18, but the Trojans bounced back with five of the next six points for their biggest lead of the game at seven. USC rounded out the match with a 30-24 win.

Asia Kaczor led the Trojans with 21 kills and 10 digs, while Geena Urango added 17 kills and 12 digs.

The Bruins continue their three-match road trip next weekend when they travel to Oregon State on Thursday and Oregon on Friday. Both matches start at 7 p.m.

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