Ninth-Ranked Bruins Renew Rivalry With #23 Pepperdine

Nov. 24, 2008

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#23 Pepperdine (20-6, 8-6 WCC) at #10 UCLA (18-10, 8-9 Pac-10)
Tuesday, Nov. 25
Los Angeles, Calif..
Pauley Pavilion
7 p.m.
Live: Audio, Gametracker

The 10th-ranked Bruins (18-10, 8-9 Pac-10) entertain #23 Pepperdine (20-6, 8-6 WCC) on Tuesday at Pauley Pavilion. First serve is at 7 p.m. Gametracker and live audio will be available on

The Bruins host 11th-ranked USC in their regular-season finale on Friday at 3 p.m. The match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net Prime Ticket with Paul Sunderland, Holly McPeak and Karch Kiraly at the call. An audio broadcast and Gametracker will also be featured on Prior to Friday's match, seniors Ali Daley, Jessica Fine, Laura Holloway, Jade Machado and Nellie Spicer will be honored in a ceremony that will start at 2:50 p.m.

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 dropped one spot to 10th 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 11 teams (#2 Stanford, #5 Washington, #7 California, #8 Oregon and #11 USC). In last week's Molten/Volleyball Magazine poll (Nov. 18), the Bruins were ranked 10th.

Freshman Amanda Gil has moved into the nation's Top 10 in blocks per set, coming in at eighth in this week's rankings released by the NCAA on Monday. Gil is averaging 1.44 bps, the most among all of the nation's freshmen. Senior Nellie Spicer is 32nd in assists per set at 10.92, while senior Jessica Fine is 48th in digs per set with 4.66. As a team, the Bruins are 13th in the country in bps at 2.67 and remained in the Top 40 in three other statistical categories. UCLA is 39th in assists per set (12.71), 41st in kills per set (13.73) and 47th in hitting percentage (.245).

The Bruins remained in first in the Pac-10 in blocks and digs per set, coming in with 2.67 blocks per set and 15.78 digs per set. UCLA is also fifth in hitting percentage (.245) and kills per set (13.73), sixth in assists per set (12.71) and seventh in service aces per set (1.08). Individually, senior Jessica Fine is third in the Pac-10 in digs per set at 4.66, while senior Nellie Spicer is fourth in assists per set with 10.92. Freshman Amanda Gil is second in blocks per set (1.44) and sixth in hitting percentage (.317) and freshman Katie Camp is 10th in hitting percentage (.310). Sophomore Jazmin Machado ranks ninth in service aces per set at 0.25.

Pepperdine wraps up its regular season on Tuesday against UCLA, having posted an 8-6 record in the West Coast Conference, good for a tie for fourth in the league. The Waves had won four straight, all sweeps, before losing in three to San Diego on Saturday. Pepperdine won its first 13 matches, as well as 16-of-17, to start the season, but are just 4-5 since then. Leading the offense for the Waves is senior Julie Rubenstein, who is averaging a team-best 4.39 kills per set and 2.43 digs per set, which is third on the squad. Junior Rachel Lumsden (2.80) and freshmen Lilla Frederick (2.37) and Kim Hill (2.15) are also averaging more than 2.00 kps. The setting duties have been split by junior Kiah Fiers (10.51 assists per set) and sophomore Kealohilani Kea (10.16 aps), while the top digger is freshman Stevi Robinson, who is averaging 4.65 digs per set. Nina Matthies, formerly Nina Grouwinkel, a UCLA letterwinner from 1974-75, is 494-292 in her 26th year as the Waves' head coach.

The Bruins and the Waves have met at least once a year since their rivalry began in 1976. UCLA has claimed three straight victories in the series to increase its lead to 47-11 against Pepperdine. Last season, the Bruins battled back from dropping the first set to defeat the Waves in four in Malibu (28-30, 30-22, 30-22, 31-29). Jessica Fine set a school record for digs in a four-set match with 33, while Ali Daley (15 kills, 20 digs), Dicey McGraw (16/10), Kaitlin Sather (17/13) and Nellie Spicer (59 assists, 18 digs) all had double-doubles. As a team, the Bruins had 101 digs to go along with 17.5 blocks. From 1999 to 2002 (five matches), the result of the UCLA-Pepperdine match was always a sweep. However, the last six meetings have all gone at least four sets, including four straight five-setters from 2003-06. The Bruins are 20-5 all-time at home against the Waves, including a 3-2 victory in 2006. Pepperdine's last win in the series was its most recent in Pauley Pavilion, a five-set win in 2004.

Senior Nellie Spicer moved into second place on UCLA's assists list during a Nov. 14 victory against Arizona State and now has 6,000 career assists in her sights. Spicer enters Tuesday's match with 5,822 assists and is just 178 away from joining Erika Selsor (6,234) as only the second Bruin to reach 6,000 assists. The senior posted her team-best 13th double-double against Stanford on Saturday, recording 43 assists and 13 digs. She had another good all-around match on Friday against California, notching 51 assists, eight digs, six kills and six blocks. Nine of her 13 double-doubles have come during Pac-10 play. The senior also provided double figures in assists and digs in conference wins against Oregon State (Oct. 4), Arizona (Oct. 17) and Arizona State (Nov. 14). Spicer has 63 double-doubles for her career. She is averaging 10.92 assists per set this season, which ranks fourth in the Pac-10 and 32nd in the nation. On five occasions this year, Spicer has produced at least 50 assists, with the last effort coming against California on Friday. 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 13 double-figure digs matches this season and 63 for her career. Her season high in digs came on Oct. 3 at Oregon with 15. With 1,247 digs for her career, Spicer is fourth at UCLA and 23 away from moving into third all-time (Ashley Bowles, 1,269). 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 posted two double-doubles last week, including a career effort at California on Friday. Daley had a personal-high 28 digs, a season-best 19 kills and tied a career-high with seven blocks. She followed that up with 13 kills and 18 digs against Stanford on Saturday for her 11th double-double of the season and 40th of her UCLA career. Daley had 124 swings during last weekend's matches, including a season-high 65 at Cal, which was just one off her career best. She added 59 more on Saturday. Nine of Daley's 11 double-doubles have come during Pac-10 play, including in victories against Washington State (Oct. 11) and Arizona (Oct. 17). The senior reached a milestone on Nov. 15 against Arizona, recording her 1,000th kill at UCLA to become the 24th member of the exclusive club. Daley has 16 double-figure kills matches this season (59 as a Bruin), with 12 of them coming during Pac-10 play. Daley is second on the team in kills per set at 2.94 and first during Pac-10 play with 3.02 kps. She has led the Bruins in kills for a match nine times, including seven times during Pac-10 play and both times last weekend. Defensively, the senior is second on the team with 2.90 digs per set. She has 13 double-figure digs contests and 47 for her Bruin career. Along with reaching the 1,000-kill mark, Daley has 964 digs as a Bruin, putting her 36 away from becoming the 18th member of the 1,000-dig club.

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 48th in the nation with 4.66 digs per set. The senior became the 17th player to reach the 1,000-career dig mark at UCLA, hitting the number on the nose with her 25th and final dig at Stanford on Saturday. It was the 12th time this season and 18th time in her career that she has reached the 20-dig mark in a match. Fine has produced at least 14 digs in 18 straight matches, leading the Bruins in digs 23 times this season. The senior also has a pair of 30-dig contests against Washington (Oct. 10) and Oregon (Nov. 1), giving her four matches with at least 30 digs for her career. Fine is averaging 5.35 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 22 double-figure digs matches this season (42 as a Bruin). She is also third on the team with 17 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 1.44. Gil, who is eighth in the nation and second in the Pac-10 in blocks per set, has a team-best 16 matches with at least five blocks, with 12 of them coming during league action. Gil posted her second career, double-figure blocks match with 10 at California on Friday. She just missed out on a double-double with nine kills. Gil added 11 more kills and seven more blocks on Saturday against Stanford. Her career high in blocks came on Nov. 1 when she had 13 against Oregon. 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 18 times this season. Along with her status as top blocker on the team, Gil is first in hitting percentage (.317), second in points per set (3.33) and third in kills per set (2.67). She has 12 double-figure kills matches this season and eight during Pac-10 play. 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 on Sept. 16. 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.

Chalk up two more double-figure kills matches for sophomore Dicey McGraw, who leads the Bruins with 18 contests with at least 10 kills. Eleven of those 18 matches have come during Pac-10 play, posting 10 against California and 12 against Stanford. 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 29 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 2.95, 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 second on the team with a .310 hitting percentage (10th in the Pac-10) and second with 1.01 blocks per set. Camp posted her ninth double-figure kills match and sixth of Pac-10 play in a Nov. 14 win against Arizona State with 11. Camp is fourth on the team with 2.13 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 eight 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 11 straight matches and has produced at least five kills in nine of those 11 starts. Sage set a career high with nine kills on Friday at California. One night later, the freshman had a personal-best five blocks at Stanford. Sage has also produced at least four roofs in three other matches. In her last two home starts, she hit over .450 and had just one hitting error in two contests. Against Arizona State on Nov. 14, Sage had five kills and no hitting errors in 11 attempts (.455 hitting percentage). On Nov. 15 against Arizona, she had seven kills and one error in 13 swings (.462). Sage's season high in hitting percentage came against Oregon State (.545) when she had eight kills and two errors in 11 attempts. For the season, the freshman is averaging 1.38 kills per set.

Freshman Lainey Gera recorded a career-high 19 digs at Stanford on Saturday for her fifth double-figure digs match this season. The defensive specialist is fourth on the team with 1.89 digs per set and has notched at least six digs in 10 consecutive matches. Gera had a pair of double-figure digs contests against Washington, posting 11 in both matches against the Huskies (Oct. 10 and Nov. 9). Prior to her performance at Stanford, Gera's season high was 13 in a victory at Hawai'i on Aug. 31. She also had a 12-dig match in a win at UC Riverside on Sept. 3. In the serving department, Gera is fourth on the team with 16 aces. She had a season-best three at California on Friday.

Sophomore Emily Clements made her first appearance in a match since Oct. 10 on Saturday at Stanford. Clements posted six kills in three sets. She is averaging 2.12 kills per set in limited action due to a persistent knee injury. Clements, who tore her right ACL early last season, has missed 19 matches this year. Her season and career-high in kills came on Oct. 4 at Oregon State when she posted 16 ... senior Jade Machado remains out of action due to a left foot injury. She has not played since Oct. 11 and her status for a return this season is questionable.

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