Cook and Sather Stay Hot as #7 UCLA Beats #25 Pepperdine

Sept. 16, 2009

MALIBU, Calif. - Senior Kaitlin Sather registered her fourth consecutive double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs, as did freshman Lauren Cook, who provided 37 assists and 12 digs, as the seventh-ranked Bruins defeated #25 Pepperdine in four sets on Wednesday at Firestone Fieldhouse. Set scores were 24-26, 25-14, 25-15, 25-22.

The Bruins win their seventh in a row to improve to 9-1 on the season, while the Waves fall to 7-3. The match was delayed 55 minutes at the start after a scheduling snafu had no officials on the court at 7 p.m.

Sophomore Amanda Gil and freshman Bojana Todorovic each had great all-around matches. Gil posted 10 kills, eight blocks and six digs, while Todorovic had seven kills, nine digs and four service aces. Sophomore Lainey Gera recorded 18 digs. Junior Dicey McGraw added nine kills. The Bruins hit .268 as a team and had 10 aces and 11 blocks.

The Waves never trailed in the first set, jumping out to an 11-5 lead. The Bruins came back with six of the next seven to cut the deficit to one at 12-11. Sophomore Katie Camp started the run with a solo block, which was followed by back-to-back kills from Gil and an ace by Gera. After a Pepperdine sideout, UCLA had consecutive combo blocks by Gil and freshman Mari Hole and Gil and Sather to make it a one-point game. Pepperdine brought its lead back up to four at 15-11, but a 5-2 UCLA spurt got the visitors to within one again at 17-16. McGraw had two kills during the run, Camp had one and the Bruins benefitted from two Wave attack errors.

Pepperdine went on a 7-1 run to make it 24-17 and it appeared that the home team would coast to an opening-set victory. But the Bruins fought off seven set points to even the score at 24. The UCLA run on the serve of Gera began with a kill by Sather and a combo block by Gil and freshman Rachael Kidder. A pair of Kidder kills, with a Gera ace sandwiched in between, made it 24-22. Following a Pepperdine attack error and a Gil kill, the Bruins were back to even for the first time since the score was 2-2. The Bruins' run ended though on a service error and a kill by Lilla Frederick on Pepperdine's eighth set point gave the home squad the 26-24 win. UCLA had five blocks in the first, but struggled to a .156 hitting percentage. McGraw had four kills, while Gil posted three kills and four roofs. The Waves hit .160 in the opener.

The second set was a complete opposite of the first, as this time the Bruins led from wire-to-wire to square the match heading into intermission. Using its newfound momentum from the end of the opening set, UCLA scored four of the first five points on a pair of kills by Todorovic, one by Gil and a Pepperdine attack error. The Waves closed to within one at 5-4, but a 7-3 UCLA run made the score 12-7, as five different Bruins had points during the run. The Waves would get no closer than three the rest of the way.

Up 13-10, the Bruins scored six straight on three kills by Gil, spikes by McGraw and Sather and a combo roof from Gil and McGraw. The Waves scored four of the next five to make it 20-14, but the Bruins recorded the last five of the set to win it 25-14. Sather had a pair of aces, including the set clincher, McGraw posted two kills and Cook added one. The Bruins out-hit the Waves .381 to .146 in the second. Gil, McGraw and Sather all had four kills, while Todorovic added three.

Pepperdine scored the first point of set three, but it would be its only lead of the set. The Bruins scored eight of the next 10 to take an 8-3 advantage. Pepperdine had three errors, as UCLA also received two kills from Sather, a kill and an ace by Todorovic and a combo block from Kidder and sophomore Sara Sage.

The Waves got no closer than three for the rest of the set, getting back-to-back points just twice in the third. The Bruins netted the last two points of the set on a Gil solo block and a Cook ace. The Bruins out-hit the Waves .200 to .094. Sather had four kills in the third, while Todorovic added three kills and three aces.

The Bruins trailed for the first half of the fourth, but a run midway through the set propelled UCLA to the victory. Pepperdine had as much as a four-point lead at 10-6, but UCLA slowly chipped away. Down 16-13, the Bruins scored five in a row to take their first lead of the set at 18-16. Camp, Cook and Gil had kills, while Cook, Gil and McGraw teamed up for a triple block.

Pepperdine was within one three times in the last moments, but the Bruins scored four of the last six points to win the fourth 25-22. Kidder had two kills during the closing run, Gil had one and Sather had the match winner. Gil had three kills in the fourth, while Camp, Cook, Kidder and Sather had two each. The Bruins were out-hit .389 to .333 in the fourth.

Frederick and Rachel Grochmal had 13 kills to pace the Waves, while Kristen Seaton had 12. Pepperdine hit .195 as a team.

The Bruins continue their busy week this weekend at the Brea Embassy Suites Fullerton Classic. UCLA faces host Cal State Fullerton on Friday at 7 p.m. before a Saturday doubleheader against Fordham (1:30 p.m.) and Long Beach State (5 p.m.). No live stats will be available for the weekend matches, however live free audio will be available on with Darren Preston at the call.

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