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No. 19 UCLA Heads to Indianapolis for Bulldog Brawl

Sep 15, 2021
UCLA will face Butler and Milwaukee at the Bulldog Brawl in Indianapolis this week.

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LOS ANGELES -- The 19th-ranked Bruins head to Indianapolis this week for the Bulldog Brawl, hosted by Butler. UCLA will face Butler (5-4) at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Friday, Sept. 17 at 3:00 p.m. PT. Then the Bruins will face Milwaukee (4-5) on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 10:00 a.m. PT. Both UCLA matches will have live stats and Butler will produce a live stream when the Bruins meet the Bulldogs. You can find links on the UCLA women's volleyball schedule page.

No. 19 UCLA (5-1, 0-0 Pac-12) at Butler (5-4, 0-0 Big East)
Date: Friday, Sept. 17
Time: 3:00 p.m. PT
Location: Indianapolis (Hinkle Fieldhouse)
Live Stats | Live Stream

No. 19 UCLA (5-1, 0-0 Pac-12) at Milwaukee (4-5, 0-0 Horizon League)
Date: Saturday, Sept. 18
Time: 10:00 a.m. PT
Location: Indianapolis (Hinkle Fieldhouse)
Live Stats 

The Bruins return home to open their home slate and Pac-12 play when they host crosstown rival USC (4-4) in Pauley Pavilion by Wescom on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 7:00 p.m. PT. The Bruins will continue league action at the end of the week when they hit the road to Stanford, Calif., to face the 16th-ranked Cardinal at 2:00 p.m. PT on Sunday, Sept. 26. Both games will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks.

The Butler Bulldogs are 5-4 on the year, which includes a 3-1 win at California on Sept. 11. Butler has wins in 2021 over UIC (3-1 on Aug. 28) Youngstown State (3-1 on Sept. 3), North Dakota (3-2 on Sept. 4), and Nevada (3-0 on Sept. 10). The Bulldogs have also suffered defeat at the hands of Bowling Green (1-3 on Aug. 27), Indiana (0-3 on Aug. 28), at Central Michigan (1-3 on Sept. 3), and vs. North Dakota State (1-3 on Sept. 10). Butler has a mid-week game this week before facing the Bruins as it hosts Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday, Sept. 15. Redshirt senior middle blocker Melody Davidson leads the team with 3.43 kills per set with freshman outside hitter Mariah Grunze just behind her at 2.74 kps. Freshman Madison Friebel handles the setting duties and is posting 10.09 assists per set. Junior libero Jaymeson Kinley has played all 35 sets and leads the team averaging 5.31 digs per set.

UCLA won the only previous meeting between the two teams with a 3-0 sweep (30-17, 30-23, 34-32) on Nov. 29, 2002 at the Albuturkey Tournament in Albuquerque, N.M.

Milwaukee is currently 4-5 on the year, but recently posted a 3-1 win at Notre Dame (RV) on Sept. 5. The Panthers also have wins in 2021 over Cincinnati (3-1 on Sept. 3), Bradley (3-1 on Sept. 10), and Central Arkansas (3-0 on Sept. 11. The Panthers have suffered defeats at the hands of Illinois (0-3 on Aug. 27), UC Santa Barbara (1-3 on Aug. 28), Valparaiso (2-3 on Aug. 29), Bowling Green (2-3 on Sept. 4), and at South Dakota (2-3 on Sept. 10. Junior middle blocker Ari Miller leads the team with 3.30 kills per set with freshman outside hitter Madi Malone right behind at 3.14 kps. Senior Rylie Vaughn (5.86 assists per set) and sophomore Kaley Blake (5.68 assists per set) handle the setting duties. Senior libero Jess Grabowski has played all 37 sets and leads the team averaging 4.62 digs per set.

UCLA and Milwaukee have never met.

The UCLA Bruins fell three spots to 19th in this week's AVCA rankings (Sept. 13, 2021). UCLA is one of six Pac-12 teams currently ranked in the Top 25. UCLA has been ranked in the Top 25 in all four weeks so far (17/preseason, 18/1, 16/2, 19/3).

Charitie Luper was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week (Sept. 6). Luper helped the Bruins remain undefeated on the year (4-0) with three wins at the Long Beach State Tournament (Sept. 2-4). The true freshman outside hitter (Trophy Club, Texas/Byron Nelson HS) had a breakout match for the nationally-ranked Bruins, leading UCLA with a match-high tying 17 kills on .295 hitting in the 3-1 upset win over No. 16 Georgia Tech (Sept. 4). It marked the first time in 12 matches that someone other than Mac May led the Bruins outright in kills in a single match. Luper narrowly missed a double-double against the Yellow Jackets with eight digs. She averaged 3.17 kills per set while hitting .259 in the two matches she played last week. She also averaged 3.6 points per set and 1.5 digs per set. This is the first weekly award for Luper and the first for the Bruins during the 2021 season.

The Bruins were picked second in the Pac-12 Conference Preseason Coaches Poll. UCLA earned 101 points, 20 points behind preseason favorite Washington, one ahead of third-place Oregon and six points in front of fourth-place Stanford.

Graduate student Mac May (OH/OPP) and seniors Zoe Fleck (DS/L) and élan McCall (OH/OPP) were named to the 2021 Preseason All-Pac-12 Team.

Despite a career-high 30 kills and a career-best 35.5 points from graduate outside hitter Mac May, the bruins dropped a five-set heartbreaker at then-No. 25 San Diego (19-25, 26-24, 20-25, 25-19, 12-15) on Sept. 9 at Jenny Craig Pavilion. The next night at Aztec Court at Peterson Gym, the Bruins rebounded to sweep San Diego State (25-17, 25-18, 25-13). May again led the Bruins with 14 kills against the Aztecs.

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, had 14 kills in her last match at San Diego State to bring her career total to 1,605. She is 10th in UCLA history and 26 kills away from moving into ninth (Annett Buckner - 1,630 - 1991-94) and 42 kills away from eighth place (Patty Orozco - 1,646 - 1980-83). In the aces department, Jeanne Beauprey (8th, 142) is just ahead of May (9th, 140). Only five Bruins are in the Top 10 in both kills and aces, as May has joined Liz Masakayan, Linda Robertson, Elaine Youngs and Ashley Bowles.

Zoe Fleck recorded the 1,000th dig of her career in the season-opening win over UC Davis (Aug. 29). The reigning Pac-12 Libero of the Year had 635 digs in two seasons at UC Santa Barbara and 364 last year in her first campaign as a Bruin. She has a team-best 56 digs this year (4.00 digs per set), and has reached double-digit kills in all four matches this year.

The UCLA Bruins are leading the Pac-12 Conference so far this season in blocks per set at 3.05. The Bruins' 16.0 blocks in the three-set win over Portland State (Sept. 3) tops the league in 2021 for the most total blocks for a match, and they did it in just three sets. Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Anna Dodson (1.29 bps) and freshman middle blocker Francesca Alupei (1.25 bps) are fifth and sixth, respectively, in the Pac-12 in blocks per set. UCLA posted solid numbers last week along the net, recording 13.0 blocks in the five-set loss at then-No. 25 San Diego (Sept. 9) and the 3-0 sweep at San Diego State (Sept. 10).