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#25 UCLA Out-Deuces #22 Hawai'i in Sweep

Sep 13, 2014

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HONOLULU, Hawai'i - In a battle of Top 25 teams which featured 39 ties and 14 lead changes, the 25th-ranked Bruins won a trio of deuce sets to sweep #22 Hawai’i on Friday at the Outrigger Resorts Volleyball Challenge at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 25-23, 25-23, 27-25.

Senior Karsta Lowe paced the Bruins (5-2) with 17 kills to go with six digs, sophomore Claire Felix posted nine kills and four blocks and freshman Reily Buechler recorded eight kills. Senior Zoë Nightingale had five kills and no errors in nine attempts (.556) with eight blocks.

Freshman Olga Strantzali had five kills, seven digs and three blocks and senior Julie Consani, who set the Bruins to a .250 hitting percentage, tallied 37 assists, six digs and three blocks. At the net, the Bruins had 12 blocks. In the backcourt, junior Karly Drolson had 10 digs, while sophomore Taylor Formico added nine.

Neither team led by more than three in the opening set, which featured eight ties and three lead changes. Trailing 6-3, a Consani kill, a Strantzali ace and a Rainbow Wahine attack error evened things at six. Hawai’i (5-3) went back up by three at 10-7, but a 5-1 UCLA run gave the visitors its first lead of the match. Kills by Buechler and Lowe started the run, and after a UH sideout, a combo block by Buechler and Nightingale, a Rainbow Wahine attack error and another roof by Nightingale and Strantzali made it 12-11. Following another sideout, kills by Nightingale and Strantzali, and a Felix solo block, put the Bruins up by a set-best three at 15-12.

Hawai’i stormed back with a 6-1 run to go up 18-16, but UCLA took the lead back thanks to a Felix kill and two UH attack errors. The teams sided out the next five, and with the score 21-all, back-to-back Lowe kills put the Bruins up 23-21. UCLA just needed sideouts from there and got four in a row, including a Hawai’i service error on the second set point, to win the opener 25-23. Lowe had four kills and no errors in nine attempts in the first, while Strantzali added three, as six different Bruins had at least one kill. UCLA, which had four blocks, out-hit Hawai’i .265 to .189.

As close as set one was, the second stanza was even closer with 18 ties and eight lead changes. UCLA’s biggest lead was three after back-to-back Lowe kills and a Felix/Strantzali combo block opened the second set. The largest edge for Hawaii was one on several occasions.

Late in the set, the Bruins found themselves trailing 21-20, but rifled off three in a row on a Felix kill, a Consani/Nightingale combo block and a Hawai’i attack error to go ahead 23-21. Just like in set one, the Bruins just needed sideouts, and got four in a row to end the set, including another service error by Hawai’i on the second set point to win it 25-23. Lowe paced the Bruins with six kills in the first, while Buechler added three. The Bruins had five more blocks and out-hit the Rainbow Wahine .222 to .171.

Hawai’i charged out to four-point leads of 7-3, 8-4 and 9-5 to start set three, but a 4-0 UCLA run on a Strantzali kill, two in a row from Felix and another by Lowe evened things at nine. The Rainbow Wahine went back up again 14-12, however three straight on two Lowe kills, with a Nightingale solo roof in between, made it 15-14 UCLA. Following a UH sideout, a Nightingale kill and a Rainbow Wahine attack error completed the 5-1 run to make it 17-15.

A 4-0 Hawai’i run put the home squad up 19-17, but a 4-1 UCLA run on kills by Lowe, Felix and Buechler and a UH service error put the visitors on top 21-20. The score was even at 22 when a Consani/Nightingale block and a Lowe kill gave the Bruins two match points, however both were saved by Hawai’i. A Nightingale kill gave the Bruins a third match point, but UH saved another one. Following a Lowe kill, UCLA earned a fourth match point and Lowe finished things off with her seventh of the set to clinch a 27-25 win. Felix had five kills, Buechler added three and Nightingale recorded three kills and three blocks. Drolson and Formico each had six digs, as the Bruins out-hit UH .261 to .244 in a set which featured 13 more ties and three lead changes.

The Bruins close out the weekend on Saturday against Utah State at 5 p.m. PT. A link to the live stats will be available on the women’s volleyball schedule page at UCLABruins.com.