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Balanced Attack Helps No. 15 Bruins Beat Arizona State

Feb 19, 2021
(Photo courtesy Marie Obsuna/Sun Devil Athletics)

Match Highlights | Boxscore

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TEMPE, Ariz. - Six different Bruins had at least seven kills on Friday, as 15th-ranked UCLA hit a season-best .343 in a four-set victory at Arizona State at Desert Financial Arena. Set scores were 25-22, 25-17, 22-25, 25-22.

The Bruins improved to 6-3 with the win, while the Sun Devils fell to 1-8.

Senior Mac May led UCLA with 19 kills, hitting a season-high .485 with only three errors in 33 attempts, adding eight digs. Junior élan McCall registered a double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs, freshman Allison Jacobs had 10 kills and redshirt junior Emily Ryan tallied eight kills, a .429 hitting percentage with only two errors in 14 attempts and five blocks. Freshman Iman Ndiaye had eight kills and no errors in 16 attempts (.500), while senior Sabrina Smith posted seven kills (tied career high) and one error in 12 attempts (.500) with three blocks and two aces. 

Junior Zoe Fleck had 21 digs, freshman Audrey Pak tallied 28 assists and eight digs and freshman Kate Lane recorded 25 assists, nine digs and two aces.

The first set featured 12 ties and three lead changes. Down 7-6, the Bruins scored six of eight on two McCall kills, one each from Ryan and May, a Ryan/Jacobs block and an ASU error. With the score even at 16, UCLA netted another 6-2 run to go up 22-18. Jacobs had three kills during the run, McCall and May each posted one and ASU had an error. The Sun Devils closed to within one at 22-21, but the Bruins scored three of the last four on an Ndiaye kill and two in a row by May to win it 25-22. May was 7-for-9 with no errors in the opener, McCall added four kills and Jacobs was 3-for-6 with no miscues. Fleck had seven digs. The Bruins out-hit the Sun Devils .349 to .172.

The Bruins scored the first four points of set two and didn't trail the entire way. Ryan had two of the first four points on kills, Lane served an ace and Jacobs had a kill. Arizona State would tie the score at 16, but UCLA reeled off nine of the final 10 points to take the second 25-17. The first four points of an 8-0 run came on a kill and ace by McCall and two May kills, with the next four points coming on kills from Ndiaye and Smith and consecutive May kills. Following a Sun Devil sideout, a Smith kill finished out an eight-point win. May led the Bruins with six kills in the second, while McCall and Smith were both 3-for-4 with no errors. Fleck added five digs and McCall had four. The Bruins out-hit the Sun Devils .452 to .067.

UCLA held a 15-13 lead in set three following a Smith solo block, and still led as late as 19-18, but Arizona State recorded a 7-3 run to win the third by a score of 25-22. Jacobs, Ndiaye and Ryan each had two kills, as the Bruins were out-hit .241 to .071.

Besides a 2-1 ASU lead in set four, UCLA led throughout the entire stanza. A 5-1 run on kills by Ndiaye, Ryan and May and two from Jacobs put the Bruins ahead 6-3. After 15 consecutive sideouts, UCLA scored five in a row on two McCall kills and one apiece from May, Smith and Ndiaye to go up 18-11. On the Bruins' third match point, a Smith kill finished off a 25-22 win. May had five kills in the fourth, McCall was 4-for-6 with no errors and five digs and Jacobs and Smith both tallied three kills. Fleck added six digs, while Lane had five. The Bruins out-hit the Sun Devils .457 to .389.

The Bruins and the Sun Devils battle again on Sunday at 12 p.m. PT. A live stream will be available.