No. 13 UCLA to Host Arizona State, Arizona
LOS ANGELES – No. 13-ranked UCLA (20-4, 13-3 Pac-12) opens its final home stand of the regular season with the Arizona schools in two separate venues this weekend. The Bruins will play Arizona State (14-13, 7-9 Pac-12) on Friday at 6 p.m. (PT) in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom, and will end the weekend with a matchup against Arizona (15-12, 7-9 Pac-12) on Sunday at 12 p.m. (PT) in the John Wooden Center. Only the Bruins' contest with the Sun Devils will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
MATCH INFORMATION: Arizona State at UCLA
Venue: Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom
First Serve: 6:04 p.m. PT
Television: Pac-12 Networks
TV Talent: Camryn Irwin
Radio Broadcast: UCLA Lean Player
Radio Talent: Denny Cline
MATCH INFORMATION: Arizona at UCLA
Venue: John Wooden Center
First Serve: 12:04 p.m. PT
Radio Broadcast: UCLA Lean Player
Radio Talent: Denny Cline
ABOUT THE BRUINS
• The Bruins own a 20-4 record (13-3 Pac-12), heading into this weekend series with Arizona State and Arizona.
• UCLA ranks second in the Pac-12 in conference contests (16 matches) in both hitting percentage (.278) and kills per set (14.03).
• Graduate outside hitter Mac May leads the Bruins and ranks second in the Pac-12 with 4.76 kills per set.
• Senior libero Zoe Fleck leads UCLA with 4.03 digs per set.
• UCLA trots out three transfers in its starting lineup: libero Zoe Fleck (UCSB), outside hitter élan McCall (TCU), setter Shelby Martin (Kansas State).
• The Bruins are off to their best start through 24 matches this season since their 2011 National Championship campaign.
• Mac May stands at 1,935 career kills with four remaining regular season matches; she would become just the fourth Bruin and first since the beginning of the rally scoring (2001-present) era to reach 2,000 career kills.
THE LATEST FOR UCLA
UCLA opens a three-match home stand beginning with Arizona State on Friday evening. The Bruins were reverse swept in Tempe, Ariz., by the Sun Devils earlier this season, 3-2, on Oct. 17, marking UCLA's first loss to Arizona State in 14 meetings (last loss came on Nov. 26, 2014). UCLA closes out its weekend competition on Sunday against Arizona. Mac May racked up 18 kills in just three sets at a .424 hitting percentage in the Bruins' sweep of the Wildcats on Oct. 15.
DUCKS SWEEP: UCLA was swept for the first time this season last Sunday by the Ducks in Eugene, scoring a season-low 61 points in the contest. The Ducks hit at a .330 clip and averaged 15.0 kills per set in the contest -- both highs for a UCLA opponent this season. May was held to below double-digit kills for just the second time this season and Martin recorded a season-low 26 assists.
BRUINS EAT UP BEAVERS: UCLA swept its season competition with Oregon State on Friday, needing just six total sets over the two victories. May led the Bruins with 19 kills at a .308 clip in the contest, and redshirt sophomore middle blocker Anna Dodson recorded double-digit kills in her third consecutive match with 11 kills on just 18 swings.
ALLOW MAY TO REINTRODUCE HERSELF
Mac May leads the Pac-12 with nine 20-kill matches following her 27 kills in the Bruins' victory against Utah (11/5). May has recorded double-digit kills in 22 of 24 matches and has recorded a .300+ hitting percentage in ten matches. May ranks second in the Pac-12 with 4.76 kills per set and 5.29 points per set. May won Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 4, 2021 following a 59-kill weekend at Washington and Washington State. Her 39 kills in Pullman surpassed her career high by nine kills and were both the most kills by a Bruin in a conference match in program history as well as the second-highest, single-match kill total in program history. It had been 30 years since Natalie Williams recorded more with 43 kills versus Hawaii in September 1991. The 39 kills -- the most by any Pac-12 player this season -- also tied for the sixth most by a player in conference single-match history. May stands alone in fourth place on UCLA's all-time kills list at 1,935, sixty-five behind joining the illustrious 2,000-kill club and 109 back of Liz Masakayan (2,044, 1982-85) in third place. May would need to average at least 17 kills in each of UCLA's final four regular season matches to become the first Bruin since the NCAA's switch to the rally scoring era in 2001 to record 2,000 kills.
FIRST PLACE SINCE 1999
The Bruins moved into sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 standings for the first time since 1999 after defeating No. 22 Washington State and No. 8 Washington on Oct. 29 and 31. Head coach Michael Sealy has guided the Bruins to a 20-4 record this Fall 2021 season, matching UCLA's best start through 22 matches since its National Championship campaign in 2011.
MARTIN MEETS 4,000 ASSISTS
Graduate setter Shelby Martin surpassed 4,000 careers assists with a 39-assist performance in the Bruins' 3-0 win over Colorado on Sunday, Nov. 7. Earlier that week, Martin notched her fourth 50-assist outing with 54 helpers against Utah. Martin recorded 532 assists in her one season at Kansas State (2020-2021) and 2,623 assists in her three seasons at East Carolina (2017-2019). Martin is currently at 942 assists through UCLA's 24 matches this season and is averaging 10.58 assists per set. Martin ranks
second in the Pac-12 in conference play with 11.03 assists per set. Martin's 47 assists versus Oregon (10/22) were the most by any Pac-12 player in a three-set match this season.
DODSON x ALUPEI
Anna Dodson and freshman Francesca Alupei, the Bruins' rotating middle blockers, have been UCLA's two biggest blocks this season and helped the team average 2.52 blocks per set -- second best in the Pac-12. Alupei and Dodson average 1.08 and 1.07 blocks per set, respectively. Dodson has become more involved in UCLA's attack the past two weekends. Against Utah on Nov. 5, Dodson tallied a career-high 14 kills against the Utes and followed that with another 10 kills against the Buffs on Sunday, Nov. 7.
She stretched her double-digit kill streak to three matches after striking for 11 kills at Oregon State on Nov. 11. Dodson has hit for a collective 46 kills at a .474 hitting percentage over her last five matches.
BACK ROW BRUINS
Seniors Zoe Fleck and élan McCall have been leading the defensive charge in UCLA's back row. Fleck, the reigning Pac-12 Libero of the Year, has led the Bruins in digs in 23 of 24 matches this season and ranks fifth in the Pac-12 with 4.03 digs per set. Fleck was awarded Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week following her 27-dig performance versus the Cougars which established a new career-high. The one match Fleck didn't lead in digs, McCall tied a program record in a three-set match with 28 dug out balls.
McCall ranks third amongst Pac-12 pin hitters with 2.61 digs per set (217 digs). The two have helped keep opponents to a .181 hitting percentage, good for second best in the conference.
HOME SWEET HOME
Playing in front of a home crowd for the first time in over a year, the Bruins are a perfect 7-0 at home with a Pac-12-best five home sweeps in Pauley Pavilion. UCLA leads the Pac-12 in home matches with a .337 team hitting percentage (next closest is Stanford at .299), 15.33 kills per set and 14.38 assists per set. May leads the team with a .301 hitting percentage and 5.21 kills per set. Martin is the Bruins' top facilitator, averaging 12.33 assists per set with a .468 assist percentage.
The UCLA Bruins are ranked 13th in this week's AVCA rankings (Nov. 15, 2021). UCLA has been ranked in the Top 25 in all 13 weeks so far (17/preseason, 18/1, 16/2, 19/3, 19/4, 15/5, 16/6, 14/7, 17/8, 16/9, 13/10, 12/11, 13/12). The Bruins rounded out the NCAA Volleyball Committee's first Top 10 unveiled in between sets two and three of the UCLA-Washington ESPNU broadcast on Oct. 31. UCLA is the highest ranked Pac-12 team in the NCAA's latest RPI at 10th place (Nov. 15). UCLA leads all Pac-12 schools with seven weekly awards (one Offensive POW, two Defensive POW and four Freshman POW), tying a program record set in 2016 with two weeks left of the regular season.