Ninth-Ranked Bruins Open Second Half of Pac-10 Play Hosting Oregon State and Oregon
Oct. 27, 2008
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Oregon State (14-8, 3-6 Pac-10) at #9 UCLA (14-6, 4-5 Pac-10)
Friday, October 31
Los Angeles, Calif.
Live: Audio, Gametracker
#7 Oregon (17-4, 6-3 Pac-10) at #9 UCLA (14-6, 4-5 Pac-10)
Saturday, November 1
Los Angeles, Calif.
Live: Audio, Gametracker
BRUINS OPEN SECOND HALF OF PAC-10 PLAY
The ninth-ranked Bruins (14-6, 4-5 Pac-10) begin the second half of conference play this weekend with home matches against Oregon State (14-8, 3-6) on Friday and #7 Oregon (17-4, 6-3) on Saturday. First serve for both matches is 7 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion and Gametracker and live audio will be available at UCLABruins.com.
BRUINS ON THE NET
All UCLA home matches, along with the first two weekends of the NCAA Tournament, will feature live audio broadcasts at UCLABruins.com. Darren Preston and Michael Sondheimer will call all the action for each contest. In addition, Gametracker or live stats will be available for all home matches and most road contests.
BRUINS IN THE POLLS
Thanks in part to taking #4 California to five sets and battling #5 Stanford to four, the Bruins moved up one spot to ninth in this week's CBS College Sports Network/AVCA poll. The Pac-10 has six teams ranked in the Top 12 (#4 California, #5 Stanford, #6 Washington, #7 Oregon, #12 USC). In last week's Molten/Volleyball Magazine Top 25 poll (Oct. 21), the Bruins were ranked ninth.
BRUINS IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
The Bruins rank in the nation's top 40 in four statistical categories in rankings released on Monday. UCLA is 28th in kills per set at 13.81, 31st in assists per set (12.77), 33rd in blocks per set with 2.51 and 37th in hitting percentage at .251. Individually, freshman Amanda Gil is 22nd in the nation in bps at 1.30 and senior Nellie Spicer is 29th in aps at 10.90.
BRUINS IN THE PAC-10 RANKINGS
The Bruins remained in first in the Pac-10 in digs per set for the second straight week, coming in at a 15.05 dps average. UCLA is fifth in four other categories (hitting percentage, .251; assists, 12.77; kills, 13.81; blocks, 2.51). Individually, freshman Amanda Gil is second in the conference in blocks per set (1.30) and ninth in hitting percentage (.326), while freshman Katie Camp is sixth in hitting percentage (.355) and 10th in bps (1.07). Senior Nellie Spicer is fourth in assists per set (10.90) and senior Jessica Fine is third in digs per set (4.34).
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Bruins' defense, which is among one of the best in the nation, has been a big key to the team's success this season. UCLA is 11-0 this season when holding its opponents to below a .200 attack percentage and is also 8-0 when winning the blocking battle. Offensively, the Bruins are 8-0 when hitting above .300 and 14-0 when out-hitting their opponent.
SCOUTING THE BEAVERS (14-8, 3-6 PAC-10)
Oregon State split its matches last weekend at home against the Arizona schools, sweeping Arizona before getting swept by Arizona State. The Beavers have alternated wins and losses over their last four, but are just 1-4 in league away matches. Oregon State is hitting .227 as a team and is averaging 12.61 kills, 1.26 aces, 13.44 digs and 2.27 blocks per set. Junior Rachel Rourke leads the Beavers with 4.29 kills per set, while sophomore Jill Sawatzky is second on the team with 3.16 kps. Junior Camilla Ah-Hoy handles the setting duties and is averaging 10.07 assists per set, while senior Ashley Evans is the top digger with 3.36 digs per set. Head coach Taras Liskevych is in his fourth year at Oregon State and owns a 38-65 record. In his 13th season of coaching, Liskevych is 305-149.
THE MATCHUP: UCLA-OREGON STATE
UCLA and Oregon State played a thrilling, five-set match in Corvallis on Oct. 4, with the Bruins coming back to beat the Beavers. Scores were 25-21, 21-25, 22-25, 25-15, 15-11. Sophomore Emily Clements had a career-high 16 kills and six blocks, while freshmen Katie Camp (10 kills, nine blocks) and Amanda Gil (nine kills, eight blocks) both just missed double-doubles. Senior Nellie Spicer did have a double-double with 44 assists and 14 digs, while senior Jessica Fine recorded 20 digs. As a team, the Bruins had 17 blocks. The Bruins lead the all-time series 43-3 and are 20-2 at home against the Beavers. Last season at Pauley Pavilion, Oregon State recorded a five-set victory to snap UCLA's six-match home winning streak against the Beavers.
SCOUTING THE DUCKS (17-4, 6-3 PAC-10)
Oregon has swept three straight opponents, including a pair of home matches last weekend against Arizona State and Arizona. While the Ducks are 5-0 in Pac-10 play at home, they are only 1-3 in league road action. Oregon is hitting .292 as a team and is averaging 14.21 kills, 1.56 aces, 13.94 digs and 2.65 blocks per set. Oregon has four players averaging at least 2.00 kills per set, led by senior Gorana Maricic's 4.25 kps. Junior Sonja Newcombe is second at 2.78 kps, followed by sophomore Heather Meyers (2.65 kps) and junior Neticia Enesi (2.14). Junior Nevena Djordjevic quarterbacks the offense and is averaging 10.94 assists per set, while senior Katie Swoboda is the leading digger in the Pac-10 with 5.12 dps. Jim Moore is in his fourth year at Oregon and holds a 68-45 record. He is also 420-201 in 20 seasons of coaching.
THE MATCHUP: UCLA-OREGON
The Ducks won for just the third time in 50 matches against the Bruins with a four-set victory in Eugene on Oct. 3. Oregon won 25-22, 23-25, 25-17, 25-21. Senior Ali Daley paced the Bruins with 16 kills, senior Nellie Spicer had a double-double with 40 assists and 15 digs and senior Jessica Fine recorded 21 digs. UCLA has never lost to Oregon in Westwood, owning a perfect 25-0 mark. Last season, the Bruins defeated the Ducks in four sets. UCLA has been taken to four sets just four times in 25 home matches against Oregon.
Senior Nellie Spicer continues her climb up UCLA's career assists chart and is just a few weeks away from moving into second place on the list. Spicer has recorded at least 40 assists in 10 straight matches and had a pair of double-doubles last weekend. The senior posted 57 assists and 12 digs against California and had 44 assists and 12 digs against Stanford to give her a team-leading 10 double-doubles this season and 60 for her career. Six of Spicer's double-doubles have come in Pac-10 play. She also has conference double-doubles against Oregon (40 assists, 15 digs), Oregon State (44/14), Washington (61/13) and Arizona (51/14). During non-conference play, the senior had a pair of double-doubles at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic (32 assists, 10 digs vs. Ohio and 45/11 at Hawai'i) and at the Northwestern Wildcat Classic (33/10 vs. Georgetown and 47/13 at Northwestern), with all four matches resulting in Bruin victories. Spicer has produced at least 50 assists three times this year, including a season-best 61 in a five-set contest against Washington on Oct. 10, which was her 10th career 60-plus assists match. The senior has set the Bruins to at least a .300 hitting percentage eight times (all UCLA wins), including a season-best total of .400 at Cal State Northridge on Sept. 16. Spicer, who is fourth in the Pac-10 with 10.90 assists per set, has 10 double-figure digs matches this season and 60 for her career. Her season high in digs came on Oct. 3 at Oregon with 15. Spicer has also contributed to the Bruin offense in the kill department, matching a career high with eight kills in three different contests this season (Hawai'i, Aug. 31; Washington, Oct. 10; Arizona State, Oct. 18). This year, Spicer has been named to All-Tournament teams three times, including being named Most Valuable Player of the Nevada Tournament and the Wildcat Classic. The senior enters this week's play with 5,482 career assists and is less than 200 shy of second-place Ann Boyer, who had 5,667 assists at UCLA. Spicer also has the chance to become the third player in UCLA history to earn three first-team All-American accolades. She received a second consecutive first-team All-American honor as a junior to become the sixth Bruin to accomplish the feat (Annett Buckner, Liz Masakayan, Daiva Tomkus, Natalie Williams, Elaine Youngs). Williams and Youngs are the only Bruins to earn three first-team All-American awards.
THE DALEY NEWS
Senior Ali Daley has become the go-to hitter for the Bruins during Pac-10 play and she has produced eight double-figure kills matches and six double-doubles. Daley had two more of each last weekend, recording a season-high 17 kills and 17 digs (tied a season high) against California and 16 kills and 13 digs against Stanford. The senior has five double-doubles in her last six matches and was just one dig shy of another one at Arizona State on Oct. 18. She has eight double-doubles this season and 37 for her UCLA career. Daley, who was averaging 8.1 attempts per set during non-conference play, has brought that total up to 9.8 during Pac-10 action. That has resulted in six straight double-figure kills contests, bringing her season total to 12 matches with at least 10 kills and 55 as a Bruin. Daley is second on the team with 2.99 kills per set and 2.78 digs per set and first with 14 service aces. During conference play, the senior is first in kps at 3.17 and second in dps at 3.14. She has nine double-figure digs matches this season (43 for her UCLA career). In the double-double department, Daley had two during non-conference games at Hawai'i (12 kills, 14 digs) and at Northwestern (14/11). Her first Pac-10 double-double came at USC (11/15). She added another at Arizona (14/17) and has one in all four conference home matches, including a 14-kill, 13-dig effort against Washington and a 13-kill, 12-dig performance against Washington State. Daley is just 41 kills shy of becoming the 24th member of UCLA's 1,000-kill club after the Long Beach State transfer eclipsed the 1,000-career kills mark last season. The senior, who surpassed the 1,100-career digs plateau against Stanford (1,108 entering this week's play), is 128 away from 1,000 as a Bruin.
SHE IS SO FINE AT DIGGING
Senior Jessica Fine continues to stand out on the volleyball court, not just because of the fact she wears a different color jersey than her teammates, but also due to her defensive prowess. One of the top passers in the Pac-10, Fine is first on the team and third in the conference with 4.34 digs per set. The senior has produced at least 15 digs in 10 straight matches, crossing the 20-dig threshold seven times. Fine is averaging 5.29 dps during Pac-10 Conference play, boosted by a 30-dig match against Washington (Oct. 10), a 29-dig performance in a win at Arizona (Oct. 17) and a 27-dig effort at USC on Sept. 26. Her 30-dig output against the Huskies, a season high, marked the third time she has reached that plateau in her career. Fine has a team-best 14 double-figure digs matches this season (34 as a Bruin) and has 13 career contests with at least 20 digs. Fine has led the Bruins in digs in each of the last 12 contests and 16 times this season. The senior is also second on the team with 13 service aces.
GIL SOARING ABOVE THE REST
And not just due to the fact that she is the tallest member of the Bruins at 6-6. Amanda Gil is one of the early candidates for National Freshman of the Year, as she enters this week's play first in the nation among all freshmen in blocks per set at 1.30. Gil, who is 22nd overall in the nation and second in the Pac-10 in bps, has a team-best 10 matches with at least five blocks this season, with six of them coming during league action. Gil tied a season high with nine blocks in her first conference match at USC (Sept. 26) and added eight more in a win at Oregon State on Oct. 4. Gil also had a nine-block contest at Cal State Northridge (Sept. 16) and eight apiece against Hawai'i (Aug. 31) and Nevada (Sept. 5). The freshman has led the Bruins in blocks a team-best 11 times. Along with her status as top blocker on the team, Gil is second in hitting percentage (.326), second in points per set (3.21) and third in kills per set (2.79). She has five double-figure kills matches in nine Pac-10 contests and has produced nine kills in three of the other four league games. Gil recorded 12 kills against Stanford on Sunday to give her three double-figure kills matches in her last four. Gil's season high in kills came at Northwestern on Sept. 20 when she had 20. The freshman has nine matches with at least 10 kills this season, which is third on the team. Gil has hit over .300 in 12 matches, totaling a season-best .647 hitting percentage (12 kills, one error, 17 attempts) at Cal State Northridge. The freshman has been named to three All-Tournament teams this season at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic, the Nevada Tournament and the Northwestern Wildcat Classic.
QUICK DRAW McGRAW
Chalk up two more double-figure kills matches for sophomore Dicey McGraw, who has a team-best 13 contests this season with at least 10 kills. McGraw has surpassed double figures in four in a row after recording 14 against California and 10 against Stanford last weekend. Six of her double-figure kills matches have come during Pac-10 play to give her 24 for her career. McGraw leads the Bruins with 3.03 kills per set and has been the team leader in kills in a squad-best seven matches this season. The sophomore's season high in kills is 16, accomplished twice at Northwestern (Sept. 20) and against Washington (Oct. 10). McGraw added 10 digs in the contest against Northwestern to record her first double-double of the season and the fourth of her career. In addition to her current streak of four straight matches with double figures in kills, McGraw had another streak of four from Sept. 19-26. She earned All-Tournament honors at the Northwestern Wildcat Classic after she totaled three matches with at least 10 kills (12 vs. Virginia, 10 vs. Georgetown and 16 vs. Northwestern). McGraw has hit above .400 on four occasions this year, including a season-best .440 at Cal State Fullerton on Sept. 10.
SETTING UP CAMP ABOVE THE NET
Joining fellow freshman Amanda Gil in the middle, Katie Camp has made as much an impact as her counterpart, as she is first on the team with a .355 hitting percentage (sixth in the Pac-10) and second with 1.07 blocks per set (10th in the Pac-10). Camp had a career-high 19 kills against California on Friday, hitting at a .538 percentage and adding six blocks. She followed that up with seven more kills and no hitting errors in 14 swings (.500) on Sunday against Stanford. That marked the fifth time this season that Camp has recorded zero hitting errors (with at least five kills) in a match. The freshman has hit better than .500 seven times, including a season-best .733 percentage in a win at Washington State (Oct. 11) and a .722 mark in a victory against Virginia on Sept. 19. The Virginia match marked the second of three straight contests in which Camp did not have a hitting error (CS Northridge on Sept. 16, Virginia and Georgetown on Sept. 19), as she hit over .550 in all three contests. Camp has six matches with double figures in kills this season and has produced at least five blocks seven times, which is second on the team. The freshman has led the Bruins in blocks in eight contests this season.
NEWS AND NOTES
Freshman Sara Sage started both matches last weekend and recorded seven and six kills, respectively. She has started three straight matches dating back to the Arizona State contest on Oct. 18 ... while Lainey Gera has only three double-figure digs contests this season, the freshman has five more matches with either eight or nine digs. Gera is fourth on the team in digs per set at 1.74 ... sophomore Katie Mills played her first match since Sept. 6 on Sunday against Stanford. Mills has played just 11 sets this season due to a lingering back injury ... senior Jade Machado (foot) and sophomore Emily Clements (knee) were also held out of game action for the second straight week.