Bruins Rout Rider to Advance to NCAA Second Round
OMAHA, Neb. - Senior Mac May led the 15th-ranked Bruins with 14 kills, while junior Zoe Fleck added 16 digs, as UCLA never trailed in its first-round matchup in a sweep of Rider on Wednesday at the CHI Health Center Convention Center. Set scores were 25-12, 25-8, 25-9.
The Bruins advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where they will face 14th-ranked and 16th-seeded BYU on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. PT/9:30 p.m. CT. The match will air on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App.
May added four aces and four blocks, hitting .500 on the evening. Junior élan McCall posted nine kills and only one error in 13 attempts (.615 hitting percentage) to go with eight digs, while senior Alexis Light had six kills and one error in eight attempts (.625%). Freshman Audrey Pak produced 23 assists and three digs and freshman Kate Lane added 14 assists, as the duo set the Bruins to a season-best .567 hitting percentage. Defensively, redshirt junior Emily Ryan had eight blocks and three kills, while redshirt sophomore Lexi Hadrych posted five blocks and three kills.
The Bruins (15-6) scored the first three points of the match and never looked back. Up 6-5, UCLA scored six in a row on three McCall kills, one each by Hadrych and senior Sabrina Smith and a Rider (7-5) attack error. Kills from freshman Iman Ndiaye and May and a Lane ace gave the Bruins a double-digit lead for the first time at 18-8. Up 19-11, UCLA scored six of the last seven to win the opener 25-12. McCall had two of the points on kills, May added a kill and the Broncs made three errors. May had six kills in the first, McCall added five kills and four digs and Fleck posted seven digs. The Bruins out-hit the Broncos .458 to .077.
The second set had only two ties at 1- and 2-all, as the Bruins scored 23 of the next 29 to win it handily. An Ndiaye kill, a pair of Ryan blocks with Hadrych and May and Ryan and May kills put the Bruins up 7-2. After a Rider sideout, UCLA scored the next eight, including three May aces and a kill. Ryan was also a part of two blocks with Hadrych and added a kill. A McCall kill closed out a 25-8 victory. Six different Bruins had kills in the second, led by May's three. Ryan recorded five blocks. The Bruins hit .688, with 11 kills and no errors in 16 attempts, while Rider hit .000.
UCLA scored the first four points of the third set and 11 of 12. May was a part of five of the first 11 points on four kills and a block, while Ryan had a kill and three block assists. Leading 15-5, the Bruins scored five straight on kills from Hadrych and McCall, a Pak ace and back-to-back Light kills to go ahead by 15. A Rider service error on the Bruins' second set point finished up a 25-9 win in the third. May had five kills, Light added four and Fleck posted six digs. The Bruins hit .600 and held the Broncs to a -.100 percentage.