Ninth-Ranked Bruins Face #7 California, #2 Stanford

Nov. 17, 2008

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#9 UCLA (18-8, 8-7 Pac-10) at #7 California (20-5, 10-4 Pac-10)
Friday, November 21
Berkeley, Calif.
Haas Pavilion
5 p.m.
Live: Gametracker

#9 UCLA (18-8, 8-7 Pac-10) at #2 Stanford (22-3, 13-1 Pac-10)
Saturday, November 22
Stanford, Calif.
Maples Pavilion
7 p.m.
Live: Gametracker

The ninth-ranked Bruins (18-8, 8-7 Pac-10) travel to the Bay Area this weekend for their final regular-season road trip, facing #7 California (20-5, 10-4) on Friday at 5 p.m. and #2 Stanford (22-3, 13-1) on Saturday at 7 p.m. Gametracker will be available on the schedule page of

All UCLA home matches, along with the first two weekends of the NCAA Tournament, will feature live audio broadcasts at Darren Preston and Michael Sondheimer will call all the action for each contest. In addition, Gametracker will be available for all matches for the rest of the season.

The Bruins held steady at ninth for the fourth straight week in this week's Bison/AVCA poll. UCLA has been ranked 10th or better in each poll this season. The Pac-10 has six of the country's Top 10 teams (#2 Stanford, #5 Washington, #7 California, #8 Oregon and #10 USC). In last week's Molten/Volleyball Magazine poll (Nov. 11), the Bruins were ranked 11th.

The Bruins are 14th in the nation in blocks per set at 2.64 and remained in the Top 30 in three other statistical categories in rankings released by the NCAA on Monday. UCLA is 24th in kills per set (13.95), 26th in assists per set (12.91) and 28th in hitting percentage at .256, moving up eight spots in this week's rankings. Individually, senior Nellie Spicer is 22nd in the country in assists per set at 11.09, senior Jessica Fine is 46th in digs per set with 4.70 and freshman Amanda Gil is 15th in blocks per set at 1.41.

With a strong weekend of blocking against Arizona State and Arizona, the Bruins moved up to first in the Pac-10 in blocks per set. UCLA had 19 blocks in the two matches to increase its season average to 2.64 bps. The Bruins are just ahead of second-place Oregon (2.63) and third-place Stanford (2.62). UCLA is also averaging a conference-best 15.62 digs per set, which is over a half dig more than second-place Stanford (15.00). The Bruins are fifth in hitting percentage (.256), assists (12.91) and kills (13.95) and seventh in service aces (1.10). Thanks to a four-ace effort against Arizona on Saturday, sophomore Jazmin Machado moved into the Pac-10 Top 10 at seventh with 0.25 aces per set. Freshman Amanda Gil is second in bps (1.41) and seventh in hitting percentage (.328), while freshman Katie Camp is sixth in hitting percentage (.350) and ninth in blocks (1.04). Senior Nellie Spicer is fourth in assists per set (11.09) and senior Jessica Fine is third in digs per set (4.70).

California has lost three of its last four matches entering Friday's contest, falling to Washington in three (Nov. 2), Arizona in five (Nov. 7) and Stanford in three (Nov. 14). The Golden Bears' lone win during the stretch was a four-set victory at Arizona State on Nov. 8. Junior Hana Cutura leads the Cal offense with 4.36 kills per set and is second with 2.44 digs per set. Three others, senior Am'ra Solomon (3.15), junior Mindi Wiley (2.19) and freshman Tarah Murrey (2.18), also average above 2.00 kps. Sophomore Carli Lloyd handles the setting duties and averages 12.13 assists per set, while the top digger is junior Kristen Kathan, who is averaging 4.34 dps. As a team, the Golden Bears are hitting .298 and are posting 15.10 kills, 1.21 aces, 13.49 digs and 2.43 blocks per set. Rich Feller is in his 10th year at Cal and holds a 185-113 record. In 24-plus seasons of coaching, Feller is 484-280.

California beat UCLA for the second straight time with a five-set victory on Oct. 24 at Pauley Pavilion. Scores were 30-28, 22-25, 25-21, 21-25, 15-13. Katie Camp led the Bruins with 19 kills, while Dicey McGraw added 14. Ali Daley (17 kills, 17 digs) and Nellie Spicer (57 assists, 12 digs) both had double-doubles and Jessica Fine added 19 digs. Each of the last three matches have gone five sets. The last time they met in Berkeley was on Sept. 27, 2007, as the Bruins came back from an 0-2 deficit to win in five. UCLA is 21-1 all-time in Berkeley, with Cal's only home win coming in a three-set sweep on Sept. 23, 2005. The Bruins lead the all-time series 50-3.

With just two weeks remaining in Pac-10 play, the Cardinal are in line to win the conference title, having won seven in a row, including five straight sweeps. Last weekend, Stanford won on the road at California to avenge its only loss of league action. The top three kill leaders for the Cardinal are senior Cynthia Barboza (3.51), sophomore Alix Klineman (3.43) and senior Foluke Akinradewo (3.05). Barboza is second on the team with 3.02 digs per set, while Akinradewo is first in the Pac-10 in blocks per set (1.48). Sophomore Cassidy Lichtman leads the Cardinal in assists per set at 8.12, while the top defender is sophomore Gabi Ailes with 3.93 dps. As a team, Stanford is hitting .319 with 14.54 kills, 0.94 aces, 15.00 digs and 2.62 blocks per set.

The Cardinal defeated the Bruins for the 16th straight time with a four-set victory at Pauley Pavilion on Oct. 26. Scores were 22-25, 25-14, 25-22, 25-23. Ali Daley led the Bruins with 16 kills and 13 digs, Amanda Gil added 12 kills and Dicey McGraw had 10. Nellie Spicer had a double-double with 44 assists and 12 digs, while Jessica Fine recorded 18 digs. Stanford leads the all-time series 39-34 and is 20-11 in Palo Alto. The Bruins have lost eight straight and 14 of 15 at Maples Pavilion, with the last victory coming on Sept. 23, 2000 (3-0).

Senior Nellie Spicer moved into second place on UCLA's career assists list during the first set of Friday's victory over Arizona State. Spicer had 39 assists against the Sun Devils and followed that with a 31-assist performance in a win over Arizona on Saturday, moving her career total to 5,728. The senior surpassed Ann Boyer, who had 5,667 assists at UCLA. Along with her milestone achievement on Friday, Spicer added 10 digs to post her team-leading 12th double-double of the season. Eight of her double-doubles have coming during Pac-10 play. The senior also provided double figures in assists and digs in conference wins against Oregon State (Oct. 4) and Arizona (Oct. 17). Spicer has 62 double-doubles for her career. She is averaging 11.09 assists per set this season, which ranks fourth in the Pac-10 and 22nd in the nation. On four occasions this year, Spicer has produced at least 50 assists, with the last effort coming against Oregon on Nov. 1 when she had 58. Her season best in assists came against Washington on Oct. 10. Spicer notched 61 assists in the five-set contest to give her 10 career 60-plus assists matches. The senior has set the Bruins to at least a .300 hitting percentage 10 times (all UCLA wins), including a season-best total of .400 at Cal State Northridge on Sept. 16. Spicer has 12 double-figure digs matches this season and 62 for her career. Her season high in digs came on Oct. 3 at Oregon with 15. She 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 MVP of the Nevada Tournament and the Wildcat Classic. Spicer 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.

Senior Ali Daley was the second player to reach a milestone last weekend, recording her 1,000th kill at UCLA to become the 24th member of the exclusive club. Daley recorded the milestone kill at the later stages of the first set in Saturday's win against Arizona. She finished the match with a team-best 11 to give her 1,009 kills as a Bruin. It was her 14th double-figure kills match this season (57th at UCLA) and 10th during Pac-10 play. Daley is second on the team in kills per set for the season at 2.91 and first during Pac-10 play at 2.98. Her season high in kills came against California on Oct. 24 when she had 17. She is also second on the team with nine double-doubles. Daley's most recent double-double came against Oregon on Nov. 1 when she had 12 kills and 12 digs to record her 38th double-double of her UCLA career. Seven of Daley's double-doubles have come during Pac-10 play, including in victories against Washington State (Oct. 11) and Arizona (Oct. 17). Defensively, the senior is second on the team with 2.70 digs per set. She has 11 double-figure digs contests and 45 for her Bruin career. Daley's season best in digs came against Arizona (Oct. 17) and Cal (Oct. 24), posting 17 in each contest. Daley has led the Bruins in kills for a match seven times, including five times during Pac-10 play. Along with reaching the 1,000-kill mark, Daley has 918 digs as a Bruin, putting her 82 away from 1,000.

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, third in the conference and 46th in the nation with 4.70 digs per set. The senior has produced at least 14 digs in 16 straight matches, crossing the 20-dig threshold 11 times and the 30-dig plateau twice. Fine had 20 digs in Saturday's win against Arizona, marking the 10th time she has posted at least 20 digs during Pac-10 play and the 17th time in her career. Fine notched 30 digs on Nov. 1 against Oregon, the fourth time in her career that she has produced at least 30 digs. She also had 30 against Washington on Oct. 10. Fine is averaging 5.53 digs per set during Pac-10 Conference play, thanks in part to a pair of 30-dig matches, a 29-dig effort at Arizona (Oct. 17) and a 27-dig performance at USC on Sept. 26. Fine has a team-best 20 double-figure digs matches this season (40 as a Bruin). Fine has led the Bruins in digs in each of the last 18 contests and 22 times this season. With 957 career digs, the senior is on pace to break the 1,000 mark prior to the end of the regular season, which would make her the 17th Bruin to accomplish the feat. Fine is also tied for second on the team with 16 service aces.

And not just due to the fact that she is the tallest member of the Bruins at 6-6. Amanda Gil enters this week's play first in the nation among all freshmen in blocks per set at 1.41. Gil, who is 15th in the nation and second in the Pac-10 in blocks per set, has a team-best 14 matches with at least five blocks, with 10 of them coming during league action. Gil had a career-high 13 blocks against Oregon on Nov. 1, with two block solos and 11 assists. The freshman became the 16th Bruin to post at least 13 blocks in a match and the first to do so since Nana Meriwether (2006). Gil added 13 kills against the Ducks for her first career double-double. The freshman has led the Bruins in blocks a team-best 16 times this season. Along with her status as top blocker on the team, Gil is second in hitting percentage (.328) and points per set (3.41) and third in kills per set (2.74). She has 11 double-figure kills matches this season and seven during Pac-10 play, including 13 kills in Friday's victory against Arizona State. Gil's season high in kills came at Northwestern on Sept. 20 when she had 20. Gil has hit over .300 in 15 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.

Sophomore Dicey McGraw leads the Bruins in double-figure kills matches with 16, producing nine of them during Pac-10 play. McGraw's season high in kills came against Oregon on Nov. 1 when she had 17, which was just one shy of her career best. She has 27 double-figure kills contests for her career. The sophomore has led the Bruins in kills in a team-best 10 matches this season. The team leader in kills per set at 3.03, McGraw has been the top kill producer in Pac-10 victories against Arizona State (Oct. 18), Oregon State (Oct. 31) and Washington State (Nov. 7), in addition to a win at nationally-ranked Hawai'i on Aug. 31. The sophomore recorded her first double-double of the season and fourth of her career with 16 kills and 10 digs at Northwestern on Sept. 20. McGraw 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 five occasions this year, including a season-best .440 at Cal State Fullerton on Sept. 10.

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 .350 hitting percentage (sixth in the Pac-10) and second with 1.05 blocks per set (ninth in the Pac-10). Camp posted her ninth double-figure kills match and sixth of Pac-10 play in Friday's win against Arizona State with 11. Camp is fourth on the team with 2.20 kills per set. The freshman's season high in kills came against California (Oct. 24) when she had a team-high 19 with a .538 hitting percentage. She followed that up with seven more kills and no hitting errors in 14 swings (.500) against Stanford on Oct. 26. 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). At the net, Camp has produced at least five blocks in seven matches, which is second on the team. Her season high in blocks is nine, set twice in wins at Hawai'i (Aug. 31) and Oregon State (Oct. 4). Camp has led the Bruins in blocks in nine contests this season.

Freshman Sara Sage has started nine straight matches and has produced at least five kills in eight consecutive contests. Sage tied a career high with eight kills against Washington on Nov. 9. She hit over .450 in both matches last week, recording five kills and no errors in 11 swings (.455) against Arizona State and seven kills and one error in 13 attacks (.462) against Arizona. Sage is averaging 1.67 kills per set and 0.85 blocks per set over her last nine matches ... sophomore Jazmin Machado has recorded at least nine digs in four of the last five matches and has also contributed with her serving, producing seven aces in the last five. With four aces in Saturday's win against Arizona, Machado moved to seventh in the Pac-10 in aces per set (0.25) and first on the team (17). She also has three double-figure digs matches during that span, recording a season-high 13 against Oregon (Nov. 1), 11 at Washington (Nov. 9) and 10 at Washington State (Nov. 7). Machado, who earned her first start of the season and second of her career on Friday against Arizona State, is averaging 2.72 digs per set over her last five matches ... also in the backcourt, freshman Lainey Gera had double figures in digs (11) at Washington on Nov. 9 for her fourth double-figure digs contest this season and first since Oct. 10 (11 also vs. Washington). Gera, who has recorded at least six digs in each of her last eight contests, is averaging 2.00 dps during that span.

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