No. 14 Bruins Downs Wildcats in Straight Sets
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Wildcats had three set points on the line in the second set, poised to even the match at a set apiece.
But graduate outside hitter Mac May caught fire, scoring a flurry of three points to bring her kill total to eight in the set. Two kills knotted the score at 25-all and 26-all, and then one more gave the Bruins their first lead, 27-26, since the 14th point.
After taking the second frame in extra points, 28-26, No. 14 UCLA (13-2, 6-1 Pac-12) recorded a match-high 76 percent sideout rate and held Arizona (11-7, 3-4 Pac-12) to a .057 hitting percentage in the third and final set – its worst of the match – to seize its third consecutive straight-set victory on Friday night in the McKale Center. The Bruins are onto their best start to the season since their 2011 National Championship campaign.
UCLA jumped out to an 8-5 lead in the first set, responsible for just two of their eight points off a block from May and freshman middle blocker Francesca Alupei and an Allison Jacobs kill. Freshman outside hitter Charitie Luper proceeded to score three kills, her third giving the Bruins a five-point advantage, 13-8. May and redshirt sophomore middle blocker Anna Dodson sealed the opening set victory with three and four kills, respectively, to score seven of the Bruins' last 11 points.
UCLA and Arizona traded points in the second set with 17 total ties in the frame and neither team gaining more than a two-point lead. Jacobs scored three of her five total kills in the second set.
Senior libero Zoe Fleck gave the Wildcat attackers fits in the third set, recording a match-high eight of her 17 total digs (5.67 per set) in the frame. Luper joined her with four digs of her own, and would end the night with six.
Luper set a career-high with three service aces in addition to her nine kills (.250 hitting percentage).
Graduate setter Shelby Martin averaged double-digit assists per set for the third match in a row after her 30-assist performance today.
May sent home the Wildcats on the match point for her 18th kill of the match which tied Linda Robertson (1978-81) for fourth-most on UCLA's all-time kill leaderboard with 1,768 kills. May needs 276 more kills to surpass Liz Masakayan (1982-85, 2,044) and to crack UCLA's Top 3.
UCLA ends the weekend in a contest at Arizona State on Sunday, Oct. 17, at 1 p.m. in the Desert Financial Arena.