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Bruins Fall in Five to USC

Mar 21, 2021
Junior élan McCall


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LOS ANGELES - Junior élan McCall set season highs with 24 kills and 19 digs, adding a .408 hitting percentage, senior Mac May posted a season-high 25 kills to go with 12 digs and junior Zoe Fleck registered 23 digs and eight assists, but the 15th-ranked Bruins dropped a five-set decision to USC on Sunday at Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom. Set scores were 25-27, 23-25, 25-14, 25-21, 11-15.

Freshman Kate Lane had 30 assists and three digs, while freshman Audrey Pak tallied 29 assists and five digs, as the duo set the Bruins (12-6) to a .318 hitting percentage. Freshman Iman Ndiaye had nine kills and tied a career high with seven blocks, senior Sabrina Smith recorded six kills, four digs and three blocks, freshman Allison Jacobs added five kills and redshirt junior Emily Ryan posted five blocks and four kills. 

USC (4-8) stormed back late to take the opening set. Trailing 17-15, the Bruins scored nine of the next 11 to earn five set points. McCall had two kills during the 9-2 run, May, Ryan and redshirt sophomore Lexi Hadrych each posted one, Ndiaye had a block solo and the Trojans made three errors. But USC scored six in a row to save all five UCLA set points and earn one of its own. A McCall kill evened the score at 25, but USC netted the next two to win 27-25. McCall was 9-for-18 with no errors in the opening set, adding four digs. May had four kills and four digs and Fleck recorded six digs. Both teams hit .311.

The second set featured eight ties and five lead changes early on, but midway through, USC took the lead and held on for a 25-23 win. The Bruins closed to within one at 24-23, but could not get even. McCall had seven more kills and four more digs in the second, Fleck again had six digs and May and Ndiaye both posted three kills. USC out-hit UCLA .417 to .286.

The Bruins scored the first five points of set three and led throughout. Leading 18-13, six in a row for UCLA on two kills each from Jacobs and McCall, a Fleck ace and a USC error gave the home team 11 set points. On the Bruins' second set point, a May kill closed out a 25-14 win. May produced six kills in the third, Jacobs was a perfect 4-for-4 and McCall added eight digs and three kills. The Bruins hit .464 and held the Trojans to a -.086 percentage.

UCLA held another early lead in the fourth, scoring five of the first six points on an Ndiaye kill, a Ryan solo block and combo with Ndiaye and two USC errors. The Trojans held a 13-12 edge, but three in a row for the Bruins on back-to-back May kills and a May/Ryan block gave them the lead for good. A May kill forced a fifth set with a 25-21 win. May had six kills, Ndiaye added three and Fleck posted four digs. The Bruins out-hit the Trojans .294 to .184.

The only tie of the fifth set was after the first two points, as the Bruins never led in a 15-11 defeat. May had six kills, McCall was 3-for-5 with no errors and Fleck added five digs. The Bruins were out-hit .429 to .250.

The Bruins host Oregon State next weekend. Match one is Friday, March 26 at 6 p.m. A live stream will be available on