Luper Lets it Rain on Bows
HONOLULU – Charitie Luper registered a team-high 17 kills for .455 in her first action of the season as the No. 23-ranked UCLA women's volleyball team surmounted a comeback, 3-2 victory (20-25, 25-13, 23-25, 25-23, 15-9) over Hawai'i at the Stan Sheriff Center Sunday night.
The Bruins (4-1) faced a 23-18 deficit in the fourth set, trailing 2-1, with their backs against the wall when Luper made a 7-0 run at the service line. Luper was responsible for two points with two of her three service aces on the night. élan McCall, Iman Ndiaye and Francesca Alupei all recorded a kill in the point flurry.
Luper finished the fourth frame with six kills and a block assist before a flawless fifth set, going 3-for-3 on swings in addition to another block assist.
Aiea, Hawaii native and freshman Mokihana Tufono dealt the match point in her first-ever collegiate match to secure the five-set winner, 15-9.
McCall, the Outrigger Volleyball Challenge Tournament MVP, ended her weekend on Oahu with her first double-double effort of the season (16 kills, 13 digs). Alupei led the defensive charge for the Bruins with a career-high nine blocks to pair with seven kills at a .312 clip.
Joining McCall on the All-Tournament Team were Anna Dodson and Matti McKissock.
Set 1: UCLA found itself in a 11-6 hole when Charitie Luper made her first appearance of the season, scoring a kill on the very next play. Later in the set, Tufono notched her first career assist in front of her hometown faithful.
Set 2: The Bruins opened on a 10-1 run and held the Rainbow Wahine (2-4) to their worst hitting set of the match at -.026 thanks to 5.0 team blocks. Alupei contributed to three block assists while Dodson, Ndiaye and McKissock each notched a pair. Luper was 4-for-8 on swings in the frame.
Set 3: Hawai'i surged into the lead, 20-18, behind a 6-0 run out of a timeout with the last three points all coming of blocks that middle blocker Amber Igiede assisted on. Igiede swatted two solo blocks and assisted on another three in the set. She finished the match with 10 total blocks.
Set 4: UCLA trailed 20-13 before finding itself down 23-18. The Bruins had five service errors, helping the Rainbow Wahine to a 12-5 lead. After a side out off a kill by Luper, Mackenzie Cole went on a 3-0 run at the service line.
Set 5: The Bruins sided out on nine of Hawai'i's serves and combined for seven kills on 12 swings with zero errors.
Up Next: UCLA continues its road preseason tour in San Jose, Calif. with a neutral site contest versus Loyola Marymount on Friday, Sept. 9 at 5 p.m. PT and a match the next day at San Jose State also at 5 p.m.