Top 20 Showdown on Tap for No. 17 Bruins Against No. 9 Utah
NO. 17 UCLA HOSTS TOP 20 SHOWDOWN WITH NO. 9 UTAH
The 17th-ranked Bruins entertain No. 9 Utah this weekend at Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom. Match one will be Friday at 2 p.m., while the second contest will be Sunday at 12 p.m. Both matches will feature live streams, with links available on the UCLA women's volleyball schedule page.
The Bruins have a home-and-home series with USC next weekend, traveling to the Galen Center on Friday, March 19 (8 p.m.) before hosting the Trojans on Sunday, March 21 (4:30 p.m.). Both matches will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.
BRUINS ON PAC-12 NETWORKS FOUR TIMES
UCLA will be on Pac-12 Networks four times during the remainder of the regular season. Those matches include at USC on March 19 (8 p.m.), at home versus USC on March 21 (4:30 p.m.) and at Stanford on April 2 (8 p.m.) and April 4 (2 p.m.).
SCOUTING THE UTAH UTES
Utah opened the season with eight wins in a row against Arizona, California, Arizona State and USC, dropped the next two at Washington before rebounding with a weekend sweep versus Stanford last week. The Utes are averaging 13.43 kills, 1.86 aces, 14.70 digs and 1.92 blocks per set, hitting .254 as a team. Senior Dani Drews leads the team with 5.14 kills per set. Sophomore Zoe Weatherington is second at 2.73 kps, followed by senior Kenzie Koerber (2.50) and junior Madelyn Robinson (2.10). Junior Saige Ka'aha'aina-Torres handles the setting duties and is posting 10.30 assists per set to go with a team-best 2.98 digs per set. Redshirt sophomore Kennedi Evans is tops on the squad with 0.87 blocks per set.
SERIES HISTORY: UCLA VS. UTAH
The Bruins lead the all-time series against Utah 18-7 and are 6-3 at home versus the Utes. Utah won both matchups last year, claiming a sweep in Salt Lake City and a four-set win in Westwood. The Bruins will be looking to snap a two-match home losing streak in the series.
Senior Mac May, the 29th Bruin to surpass 1,000 kills for her career, the 19th to reach 100 aces and the 13th to do both, continues to rise up the UCLA charts. May has 1,373 kills to put her in 17th place in Bruin history. Next up on the list are Daiva Tomkus (16th, 1,389), Lori Zeno (15th, 1,404) and Karsta Lowe (14th, 1,422). In the aces department, May has a team-best 22 this season and 125 for her career. She is tied for 13th place, with Lisa Ettesvold (12th, 127), Natalie Williams (11th, 128), Patty Orozco (10th, 129) and Ann Boyer (9th, 136) next up.
--The Bruins lead all Pac-12 Conference teams in assists per set (13.08) and kills per set (13.98), are second in digs per set (14.70) and third in hitting percentage (.246). Nationally, UCLA is 29th in aps, 34th in kps and 46th in hitting.
--The Bruins are 6-0 on Fridays this season. UCLA is 6-0 when winning the fourth set of a match and 7-0 when hitting .250 or better.
--Senior Mac May is second among Pac-12 players in points (4.91) and kills (4.25) per set, coming in at 35th and 38th nationally in those two categories. May has reached 20 kills three times, including a season-best 24 at Oregon (Jan. 29). Ranking fourth in the Pac-12 in aces per set (0.42), May had three aces in back-to-back matches against ASU (Feb. 21) and Arizona (Feb. 26). The team leader with 22, she has seven matches this year with at least two aces, with a season high of four against Washington on Feb. 12. May has three double-doubles and has at least eight digs in 10 consecutive matches. She set a career high in digs with 19 versus Washington (Feb. 12). May also had two block solos in both matches against Arizona (Feb. 26 and 28).
--Junior Zoe Fleck took over the lead among Pac-12 liberos in digs per set (4.30), and has reached double figures in digs in all 14 matches, posting a season-best 25 against Arizona on Feb. 26. She has surpassed the 20-dig mark three times, also posting 22 at Oregon (Jan. 29) and 21 at Arizona State (Feb. 19). Fleck added 10 assists in the match at Oregon for the first double-double of her career. Behind the service line, Fleck is third with 10 aces, including at least one in seven of the last 11.
--Junior élan McCall has double figures in digs in six matches in a row and eight of her last nine, producing double-doubles in both contests last weekend to give her a team-best five on the season. She had 16 kills and a season-best 13 digs last Friday at Colorado, adding 11 kills and 11 digs on Sunday. Offensively, McCall has six double-figure kills matches, posting a season-best 18 against Washington (Feb. 12) and 17 versus Arizona (Feb. 26). McCall served a season-high three aces on Feb. 28 against Arizona.
--Freshman Iman Ndiaye, who is 10th among Pac-12 players in hitting percentage (.311), posted her fourth double-figure kills match of the season with 11 at Colorado last Friday. Her season high came at Arizona State on Feb. 21 when she hit a career-best .529. In the previous match at ASU, Ndiaye was 8-for-16 with no errors (.500).
--Senior Sabrina Smith has been very efficient in her hitting over the last six matches, notching 32 kills and only two errors in 61 attempts for a .492 hitting percentage. At Arizona State, she had seven kills and an error in 12 swings on Feb. 19 (.500%), posting a line of 8-0-10 (.800%) on Feb. 21. Smith was a perfect 5-for-5 on Feb. 26 against Arizona and set a career-high with six digs. She was 7-for-16 with no errors (.438) last Friday at Colorado. In her last three matches, she has 11 blocks.
--Along with her setting duties, freshman Kate Lane has been amazing behind the service line of late. She is second on the team with 11 aces, recording at least one in seven in a row from Feb. 12-March 5. Lane had four against Arizona on Feb. 26 and two at ASU on Feb. 19. Lane, who is 10th among Pac-12 setters in assists per set, has at least 17 assists in each of her last six matches to go with at least seven digs in four of the six. She registered her third double-double on Sunday at Colorado with 20 assists and 11 digs to match a season best.
--Freshman Audrey Pak has at least 20 assists in six matches in a row, producing a season-best 28 at Arizona State on Feb. 19 to go with a season-high eight digs. Pak has aces in three of her last four, including a pair last Friday at Colorado.
--Freshman Allison Jacobs equaled a season high with 13 kills on Feb. 26 against Arizona. She has three matches with 13 kills and three others with 10. Jacobs has a pair of double-doubles against California (Jan. 22) and Washington State (Feb. 4), and three double-figure digs contests. She has at least two blocks in seven matches in a row, including a season-high four on Sunday at Colorado.
--Redshirt junior Emily Ryan has at least five blocks in seven of 13 matches, setting a season high with seven at Oregon on Jan. 29. Her 11 block solos are tops on the team, and she ranks seventh among Pac-12 players in blocks per set (1.20). Offensively, Ryan had 12 kills in the match at Oregon, adding 10 more in a win over Washington on Feb. 12 and 10 last Sunday at Colorado. She ranks eighth in the conference in hitting (.315).
--Redshirt freshman Anna Dodson had a career-best six blocks in the Feb. 26 match against Arizona. She has earned four starts this season, including last Friday in her home state of Colorado.