First Place in the Pac-10 on the Line as Sixth-Ranked UCLA Hosts Washington Schools

Nov. 9, 2009

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Friday, Nov. 13
7 p.m. - #25 Washington State at #6 UCLA

Saturday, Nov. 14
7 p.m. - #4 Washington at #6 UCLA
TV - Fox Sports Net (Tape Delay)

Gametracker, free audio and video

The sixth-ranked Bruins (19-6, 9-3 Pac-10), winners of six in a row and a half-game out of first place in the Pac-10, host #25 Washington State (16-8, 5-8) on Friday and fourth-ranked and first-place Washington (20-3, 10-3) on Saturday at Pauley Pavilion. Both matches start at 7 p.m. Gametracker and free audio and video will be available at Saturday's match against Washington will also be broadcast on tape delay by Fox Sports Net.

The Bruins travel to Oregon for their final regular-season road trip, facing Oregon State on Friday, Nov. 20 and Oregon on Saturday, Nov. 21. Both matches start at 7 p.m.

The Bruins improved one spot to sixth in this week's AVCA Top 25 poll. UCLA, which is at its highest ranking this season, moved up for the third straight week, earning 45 additional points. UCLA was ranked eighth in last week's Volleyball Magazine poll, with a new poll coming out on Tuesday.

Saturday's match between UCLA and Washington will be broadcast on tape delay by Fox Sports Net. The first airing of the match will be on Sunday at 2 p.m. on Fox Sports West. The match will be also be re-aired numerous times throughout next week.

All UCLA home matches will feature free audio and video at Darren Preston and Michael Sondheimer will call all the action. In addition, Gametracker or live stats will be available for all home matches and most road contests. Links can be found on the schedule page of

UCLA won its third Pacific-10 Conference title in 1989. In 1999, the Bruins won their seventh and most recent league crown. You can guess where this is going. UCLA (9-3) enters this weekend's play just a half game back of Washington (10-3) for first place in the 2009 Pac-10 standings with three weeks remaining. Both teams are in control of their own destiny, meaning if they win out, they take home the Pac-10 title.

In Friday's victory at USC, the Bruins made school history by committing no service errors. While UCLA had just one service ace, it never hit a serve into the net or out of bounds for the first time ever. The Bruins have had just one service error on numerous occasions, the last being on Oct. 19, 2000 against Stanford.

After upsetting rival Washington in four sets at home on Oct. 23, Washington State has dropped four straight to the Arizona schools and the Bay Area squads last weekend. The Cougars lost in four to Cal last Friday and were swept by Stanford on Saturday. As a team, Washington State is hitting .236 with 0.71 aces and 2.38 blocks per set. Meagan Ganzer leads the team with 3.10 kills per set and is even better during Pac-10 play with 3.36 kps. Jackie Albright (2.92), Cassie Robbins (2.49), Brittany Tillman (2.42) and Rachel Todorovich (2.15) are also averaging above 2.00 kps for the season. Renee Bordelon handles the setting and is averaging 11.46 assists per set, Oceana Bush is the leader with 4.76 digs per set and Robbins is the top blocker at 1.28 bps. During Pac-10 play, the Cougars are hitting .199 with 0.60 aces and 2.46 blocks per set.

The Bruins swept the Cougars in their first meeting on Oct. 17 in Pullman, 25-12, 26-24, 25-12. Kaitlin Sather had season highs with 16 kills and a .560 hitting percentage, while Lauren Cook had a double-double with 33 assists and 10 digs. The Bruins are 40-7 all-time against the Cougars and have won 13 straight in the series. The last six UCLA victories have been sweeps, as well as 10 of the last 11. The Bruins are 21-2 at home against Washington State. The Cougars' last win in Westwood was on Oct. 24, 1997 (3-1) and their most recent victory in the series was in Pullman on Oct. 25, 2002 (3-2).

Washington was upset at home by California in five sets last Saturday after sweeping Stanford the night before and are just half a game ahead of UCLA heading into this weekend's action. The Huskies are hitting at a .294 clip this season with 1.71 aces and 2.24 blocks per set. Kindra Carlson leads the offense with 3.93 kills per set and is averaging 4.48 kps during Pac-10 play. Jill Collymore (3.13), Airial Salvo (2.65), Becky Perry (2.64) and Bianca Rowland (2.29) are each averaging more than 2.00 kps for the year. Jenna Hagglund quarterbacks the offense with 10.91 assists per set, while Tamari Miyashiro is tops on the team with 5.13 digs per set. Kelcey Dunaway (1.09) and Rowland (1.05) are both posting above a block per set. During conference play, the Huskies are hitting .271 with 1.58 aces and 2.14 blocks per set.

The Huskies defeated the Bruins in four sets on Oct. 16 in Seattle, 25-19, 26-24, 24-26, 25-18, to increase their winning streak to six in a row over UCLA. Kaitlin Sather (11 kills, 13 digs), Bojana Todorovic (10 k, 11 d) and Lauren Cook (47 assists, 10 d) all had double-doubles, Lainey Gera recorded 28 digs and Mari Hole added 12 kills. The Bruins still lead the all-time series 40-16 and are 19-5 in Westwood against the Huskies. Washington has won the last two at Pauley Pavilion, with UCLA's last victory at home and in the series coming on Sept. 28, 2006 in five sets.

Head coach Andy Banachowski achieved a milestone with his 1,100th-career win on Oct. 31 at Stanford and will reach another watershed moment on Friday against Washington State when he coaches his 1,400th-career match. The UCLA skipper, in his 43rd year at the helm of the Bruins, has a record of 1,101-298, making him the winningest coach in women's volleyball history.

Sophomore Amanda Gil dropped to second in the nation in blocks per set in this week's rankings. Her 1.60 bps mark is .10 behind Illinois' Johannah Bangert (1.70). Gil has been either first or second in the national rankings for the last four weeks. She is also 29th in hitting percentage at .372. As a team, the Bruins are 12th nationally in bps (2.78) and 46th in kills per set at 13.82.

As the saying goes, defense wins championships, and it is the Bruins' defense that has gotten them to within a half-game of first place in the Pac-10 standings. UCLA ranks first among conference teams in digs per set (16.19) and second in opponent hitting percentage (.172) and blocks per set (2.78). During Pac-10 play, the Bruins are first in opponent hitting (.187) and second in dps (17.21) and bps (2.86). Sophomore Amanda Gil continues to lead all Pac-10 players in bps at 1.60, recording 1.73 bps during conference action. Gil is also fifth overall in hitting percentage at .372. Sophomore Lainey Gera checks in this week at fourth in dps (4.56), freshman Lauren Cook is seventh in assists per set at 10.36 and freshman Bojana Todorovic is 10th in aces per set at 0.26. Full overall and conference-only rankings are available on page four of this release.

Kaitlin Sather has had a memorable senior season so far, becoming the 12th player in UCLA history to record 1,000 kills and digs, moving up to 11th on the Bruins' career kills list, earning her first Pac-10 Player of the Week and last Friday posting her 50th double-double. Sather had 11 kills and 13 digs against the Trojans for her team-best 13th double-double of the season. The 11 kills bring her career total to 1,406, passing Lori Zeno (1,404) for 11th on UCLA's all-time list. It is a position that Sather will likely remain in, as 10th-place Kim Krull (1,575) is virtually out of reach. The senior is second on the team with 2.69 kills and 3.02 digs per set. During Pac-10 play, she leads the squad with 3.06 kps and is second with 3.43 dps. Sather has double-doubles in five straight and in nine of her last 10. Her most recent streak began on Oct. 23 against Oregon when she had 13 kills and a season-high 20 digs to cross the 1,000-dig threshold. Sather matched the 20-dig mark, which was one shy of a career high, on Oct. 31 at Stanford. For her efforts in the Bay Area two weeks ago, she earned UCLA's 60th Pac-10 Player of the Week honor and the second this season (Lauren Cook, Sept. 14). She also had four consecutive double-doubles from Sept. 10-16 and Oct. 2-16. Sather is first on the squad with 16 double-figure kills matches to bring her career total to 85 and has at least 10 in 10 straight contests. She has led the Bruins in kills for a match nine times. Her season-best total came on Oct. 17 when she had 16 at Washington State with a .560 hitting percentage, which was also a season-high. Defensively, Sather has produced 16 matches with at least 10 digs, which is second on the team, and has 54 such contests as a Bruin. She has double figures in digs in 11 of 12 Pac-10 contests.

Sophomore Amanda Gil is not just about the blocks, as she proved in Friday's five-set win at USC. Gil led the Bruins in kills with a season-best 16, including five in the deciding set. She hit .560 for the match and added seven blocks. Gil, who is third on the team with 2.36 kills per set, has 10 double-figure kills matches this season and 22 for her career. The sophomore has recorded seven straight matches with at least six blocks and is first in the Pac-10 and second in the nation in blocks per set at 1.60. Gil has led the Bruins in roofs in 11 consecutive contests, producing at least five in 10 of them. Her season high came against Oregon on Oct. 23 when she had 10 to go along with 14 kills. The double-double was Gil's second of her career, with the first coming last year against the Ducks. During Pac-10 play, she is averaging 1.73 bps. Gil had fallen just one block short of a double-double two previous times this season with nine roofs against Cal State Fullerton (Sept. 18) and Stanford (Oct. 2) before finally getting to double figures against Oregon. She has produced eight roofs in a match three times against Virginia (Sept. 11), Pepperdine (Sept. 16) and California (Oct. 3) and seven six more times against UNLV (Sept. 4), Arizona (Sept. 26), Washington (Oct. 16), Washington State (Oct. 17), Stanford (Oct. 31) and USC. Gil has at least five blocks in 17 of her 24 matches. The sophomore is also tops on the team in hitting percentage at .372. She has swung at a .400 clip or better 10 times. Her season-best total (with at least 10 kills) came against Virginia when she hit .562 with 10 kills and one error in 16 attempts. Gil has also chipped in with her defense and serving. She has at least four digs in a match 10 times, including a career-best seven against Nebraska (Sept. 13). In the serving department, the sophomore has eight aces.

Sophomore Lainey Gera surpassed the 20-plus digs mark for the third straight match on Friday at USC, recording 23 for her 10th 20-plus digs contest this season and the eighth in her last 11 matches. The sophomore leads the Bruins with 4.56 digs per set, ranking fourth in the Pac-10. Gera set a career high with 28 digs at Washington on Oct. 16, a total she equaled at Stanford on Oct. 31. She also had a 25-dig effort at Nebraska (Sept. 13), 23 against USC (Oct. 9), 22 against BYU (Sept. 10), Stanford (Oct. 2) and Oregon (Oct. 23), 21 at Arizona (Sept. 26) and 20 at California (Oct. 30). Gera has double figures in digs in 12 of her last 13, a team-best 21 times this year and 27 times for her career. In addition to her prowess at digging, Gera has chipped in offensively with her serving and setting. The sophomore's 22 service aces are second on the team. She has at least one in seven of her last nine matches. Gera's season and career high was three at Pepperdine on Sept. 16. She has also tallied at least five assists in a match eight times, posting a career-high seven at Hawai'i (Aug. 30) and at Stanford (Oct. 31).

Freshman Lauren Cook produced her second career 50-assist match on Oct. 31 at Stanford and added a personal-high 18 digs for her 11th double-double of the season. Cook, who is second on the team in double-doubles, leads the squad with 10.36 assists per set and is third with 2.37 digs per set and 19 service aces. Her season high in assists came on Oct. 23 against Oregon when she had 54, adding 10 digs for a double-double. Cook had four straight double-doubles from Oct. 9-23, recording 10 digs in each match to go along with 47 assists against USC (Oct. 9) and Washington (Oct. 16) and 33 at Washington State (Oct. 17). She also had a double-double against Stanford on Oct. 2 with 17 digs and 47 assists. The freshman had a happy homecoming against Nebraska on Sept. 13, as the Lincoln native had 48 assists and 15 digs in a win over the Huskers. That match concluded an outstanding weekend that saw Cook post three double-doubles to earn Ameritas Players Challenge MVP, AVCA National Player of the Week and Pac-10 POW honors. She began the weekend with 43 assists and 14 digs against BYU (Sept. 10) and had 44 assists and 15 digs versus Virginia (Sept. 11). Cook became just the fifth Bruin to earn AVCA NPOW accolades, joining Annett Buckner (1994), Kristee Porter (1998), Nellie Spicer (2005) and Nana Meriwether (2006). The double-double streak continued the following week when Cook went for 37 assists and 12 digs at Pepperdine (Sept. 16) and 44 assists and 13 digs at Cal State Fullerton (Sept. 18). Besides quarterbacking the offense, Cook has been helping the Bruins with her killing, posting four kills or more nine times. She had a season-high six against Virginia, Arizona (Sept. 26) and California (Oct. 30). The freshman has posted at least three kills with no errors nine times. Cook had a season-high three aces against Cal on Oct. 3 and has at least one ace in six straight matches (eight aces total).

After posting only four double-doubles in her first two years in Westwood, junior Dicey McGraw already has six this season after recording her second in a row on Friday at USC. McGraw had 15 kills and 11 digs after going for 12 kills and 15 digs at Stanford on Oct. 31. Her first three double-doubles during Pac-10 play came consecutively, as she had 13 kills and 11 digs at Arizona State (Sept. 25), a career-high 20 kills and 15 digs against Arizona (Sept. 26) and 14 kills and 10 digs versus Stanford (Oct. 2). The team leader in kills per set at 3.14, McGraw has 14 double-figure kills matches and 45 for her career. She has led the Bruins in kills in a match 11 times, producing at least seven kills in 23 of her 25 matches. Including her career effort against Arizona, the junior has broken the 15-kill threshold four other times against Nebraska (18, Sept. 13), BYU (17, Sept. 10), Loyola Marymount (16, Sept. 5) and USC. In the match with BYU, she added 12 digs for her first double-double. McGraw has eight double-figure digs matches and is fifth on the team with 1.99 digs per set. The junior has set or tied seven career highs this year. She had a personal-best three aces and 22.5 points at Nebraska and hit .500 against Santa Clara on Aug. 28. McGraw also had a career high seven block assists and eight total blocks against Oregon (Oct. 23) and tied a personal best with two blocks solos against LMU.

Freshman Bojana Todorovic posted her ninth double-figure digs match at USC on Friday, recording 15 digs and falling one shy of a season high. Todorovic is averaging 2.32 digs per set, which is fourth on the team, and has stepped that up to 2.60 dps during Pac-10 play. She had five straight matches with at least 10 digs from Oct. 3-23. The freshman's first career double-double came against California (Oct. 3) when she had a season-high 14 kills and 13 digs. Her second double-double was at Washington on Oct. 16 when she posted 10 kills and 11 digs, adding another on Oct. 31 when she had 14 kills to go along with 10 digs at Stanford. Todorovic's career high in digs was 16 against Fordham on Sept. 19. Offensively, Todorovic has at least 10 in five contests and is averaging 1.59 kills per set on the season and 2.21 kps in Pac-10 action. Along with her three double-double matches, the freshman had 11 at Arizona State on Sept. 25 and 10 at Nebraska on Sept. 13. Todorovic leads the squad with 24 aces. She had a season-best four at Pepperdine on Sept. 16 and added three against Fordham, registering at least one in 15 of 25 matches. Todorovic has also stepped up her blocking of late, recording 21 in her last 10 after notching only four in her initial 15 contests.

Sophomore Katie Camp registered a season-best seven blocks on Oct. 23 against Oregon and has been very steady at the net with at least three blocks in eight of her last nine matches. Camp, who did not make the trip to the Bay Area two weeks ago due to the flu, came off the bench at USC and posted three kills and three blocks in five sets. She is second on the team with 0.89 blocks per set. The sophomore has produced at least five blocks in a match five times, tallying six at Washington State (Oct. 17) and five apiece against Nebraska (Sept. 13), Fordham (Sept. 19) and Long Beach State (Sept. 19). On offense, Camp recorded her first two double-figure kills matches against Stanford (11, Oct. 2) and Cal (10, Oct. 3) and is tied for fourth with 1.81 kills per set. The sophomore has at least five kills in eight of her last nine contests. Camp also ranks third in hitting at .288. Against BYU on Sept. 10, she hit a season-best .571 with nine kills and one error in 14 attempts. Camp has hit at least .400 in a contest four times.

The Bruins' next victory would give them their 11th-straight, 20-win season ... UCLA is 15-0 when holding its opponent under a .200 hitting percentage and 16-1 when hitting at least .200 ... after going 1-6 in five-set matches last season, the Bruins are 4-1 this year ... UCLA is 9-1 on Saturdays ... the Bruins are 16-1 when winning the opening set ... stepping in for an under the weather Katie Camp, sophomore Sara Sage had a career night against California on Oct. 30, recording 11 kills, a .471 hitting percentage and 13.5 points. After having no kills and three blocks in her previous eight matches and 17 sets, Sage had 18 kills and 11 blocks in a pair of contests in the Bay Area. She tied a career high with six roofs against Stanford on Oct. 31. Sage also had six blocks against Fordham on Sept. 19. The sophomore is third on the team with 0.70 blocks per set and is also averaging 0.93 kills per set ... freshman Rachael Kidder, who comes into matches as a blocking sub for Lauren Cook, became a huge part of the Bruins' rally at the end of the opening set against Stanford on Oct. 31. Down 18-14, UCLA earned a sideout, brought in Kidder and then reeled off 10 straight points to win the set. The freshman had a hand in four of the points on three kills and a combo block. She finished the match with four kills in nine swings with a pair of roofs. Kidder had a career-high six blocks twice against Fordham (Sept. 19) and Oregon (Oct. 23) and is averaging 0.44 bps, recording at least one roof in nine consecutive matches. She has at least four kills in a match five times, tallying a season-high eight against Virginia (Sept. 11), and is averaging 0.56 kps ... freshman Mari Hole has appeared in each of the last seven matches and is averaging 1.45 kills per set during that span. She tied a career high with 12 kills at Washington on Oct. 16, posted six against Oregon (Oct. 23) and had five at Stanford on Oct. 31. Hole also had double figures in kills against Virginia (12, Sept. 11), UNLV (10, Sept. 4) and Fordham (10, Sept. 19). For the year, Hole is averaging 1.81 kills per set, which is tied for fourth on the team.

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