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UCLA Welcomes Mountain Schools to Pauley

Sep 29, 2022
élan McCall (photo: Han Duong)

LOS ANGELES – The UCLA women's volleyball team continues its four-match home stand to open the conference schedule with a pair of matches against Utah and Colorado. The Bruins (6-5, 0-2 Pac-12) play Utah Friday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. PT and Colorado Sunday, Oct. 2 at 12 p.m in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom. Both matches will be available for viewing on the UCLA Live Stream.

élan McCall leads the Bruins with 106 kills so far this season while Iman Ndiaye is right behind with 101. Middle blocker Francesca Alupei leads UCLA with 49.0 blocks.
 
UCLA vs. Utah
Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 – 7 p.m. PT
Los Angeles, Calif. (Pauley Pavilion)
Watch: UCLA Live Stream
Talent: Denny Cline
Live Stats: uclalivestats.com

UCLA vs. Colorado
Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022 – 12 p.m. PT
Los Angeles, Calif. (Pauley Pavilion)
Watch: UCLA Live Stream
Talent: Darren Preston
Live Stats: uclalivestats.com

Weekend Recap
UCLA dropped its first two Pac-12 matches to USC, 3-1, and No. 18 Washington, 3-1, last week. Anna Dodson led the Bruins with a season-high 13 kills (.385%) against the Trojans on Sept. 22. Against the Huskies on Sept. 25, Iman Ndiaye recorded a career-high 15 kills (.440%) after matching her previous career-high of 12 versus USC. Joining Ndiaye in double-figure scoring was Charitie Luper with 15 kills (.406%) in her first start of the season and first start since Halloween night last year against Washington on Oct. 31, 2021. All-Pac-12 Preseason Team selection middle blocker Lauren Forte, who transferred to UCLA from Florida this offseason, made her second start of the season for the Bruins against Washington.
 
Noting the Bruins
• The Bruins are on a three-match losing streak for their longest streak since November 2019 when it lost three straight to Washington, Colorado and Utah.
• The last time UCLA opened its conference schedule 0-2 was in 2013, dropping contests to USC, 3-1, and Colorado, 3-2.
• The Bruins are hitting .210 as a team and holding their opponents to .181.
• UCLA ranks 16th in the country and third in the conference in blocks per set at 2.69.
• Middle blocker Francesca Alupei is averaging a 1.48 blocks per set, good for tenth-best in the country and second in the Pac-12.
• Alupei has had the two highest block outputs of her career so far in the early season, with nine total roofs against Hawai'i on Sept. 4 and another nine against San Diego State on Sept. 15.
• Charitie Luper leads the Bruins with 3.20 kills per set in her three matches played this season. Behind her is élan McCall at 2.72 KPS, who has appeared in every set this season for UCLA.
• McCall currently has 955 career kills across her two seasons at TCU (463) and her time at UCLA (492).
• Graduate libero Mackenzie Cole leads UCLA with 3.23 digs per set (126 total digs).
• Graduate setter Matti McKissock leads UCLA with 10.13 assists per set. She currently has 4,488 career assists including her four seasons at Georgia Tech (4,103 AST) and 385 assists so far this season.
• UCLA saw its 12-win unbeaten home streak come to an end last week.
 
Scouting Utah
• Utah is 8-5 on the season and 1-1 to start Pac-12 play. Four of the Utes' losses came to ranked foes during the preseason: No. 23 Kansas, No. 11 Purdue, No. 15 BYU and No. 12 San Diego, who the Bruins lost to two weeks ago.
• Utah split its Pac-12-opening weekend, losing in a sweep by Colorado and then sweeping Arizona.
• The Bruins and Utes have one other common opponent so far this season in LMU. UCLA was swept by the Lions while Utah swept LMU in its season-opening weekend.
• Fifth year outside hitter Madelyn Robinson has scored double-digit kills in every match this season. Robinson is second in the Pac-12 and 19th in the nation with 4.38 kills per set.
• Robinson was an AVCA All-Region and All-Pac-12 player a season ago and has taken leadership of the Utah team since the graduation of Dani Drews.
• Junior middle blocker Allie Olsen is third in the Pac-12 with a .381 hitting percentage.
• Utah has led its opponent in digs in all but one match this season. Starting libero Vanessa Ramirez has posted 12 matches of double-digit digs to lead the way. She ranks second in the conference with 4.33 digs per set.

Utah Series History
• UCLA leads the all-time series over Utah, 21-8, dating back to Sept. 20, 1980.
• The two squads have split the last 10 meetings, 5-5.
• UCLA has met Utah in the postseason once in the NCAA Second Round in 2006, resulting in a 3-0 Bruin victory.
 
Scouting Colorado
• Colorado is 10-2 and 2-0 in Pac-12 play to start the season.
• The Buffaloes rank seventh in the NCAA in blocks per set at 2.86.
• Graduate outside hitter Meegan Hart is leading the NCAA in hitting percentage at .500. She was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week on Monday after recording four and three block assists at Utah and versus Arizona State, respectively, last week. Hart hit for 13 kills on just 17 swings for a .706 clip against the Sun Devils. She is averaging 2.98 kills per set.
• Leading Colorado in kills per set is junior outside hitter Maya Tabron at 3.24.
 
Colorado Series History
• UCLA leads the all-time series over Colorado, 17-6, dating back to Nov. 13, 1992.
• UCLA owns a 7-3 advantage over Colorado in the two program's last 10 meetings.
 
Forte Back in the Fold
All-Pac-12 Preseason Team selection Lauren Forte showed explosiveness in her first Pac-12 start of the season versus Washington. Forte struck for 11 kills for her first double-digit kill outing since Nov.  17, 2021 in a 10-kill performance for Florida against Auburn. Forte was a flawless 4-for-4 in the first set and tallied two more kills on four swings in the second.
 
Career Night For Alupei
Francesca Alupei established career highs in kills (11) and points (17.5) and tied a career high in total blocks (9) in UCLA's sweep of San Diego State on Sept. 15. Alupei had just two hitting errors on 17 attempts to finish with a .529 hitting percentage. Francesca Alupei ranks 10th in the nation with 1.48 blocks per set. She is ranks seventh in the conference with 49 total blocks. Alupei has recorded at least five total blocks in five of UCLA's first 11 matches of the season after having just seven such matches all last season.
 
What's New, Bru?
UCLA has seen eight players make their Bruin debut this season in the form of four transfers (MB Lauren Forte, S Matti McKissock, L Mackenzie Cole and DS Peyton Dueck), three freshmen (OH Grayce Olson, OH Cheridyn Leverette and S Mokihana Tufono) and Katie McCarthy, who redshirted her freshman Fall 2021 season. Of those eight players, five had made at least one start.
 
Record-Setting Crowd
UCLA shattered the regular season attendance record in its home opener versus USC last Thursday with 7,216 fans in attendance. This broke the previous record that was set just last season also against USC in the 2021 home opener with 6,623 fans.
 
Two Bruins Named to Preseason All-Pac-12 Team
Sophomore outside hitter Charitie Luper and graduate transfer middle blocker Lauren Forte (Florida) were named to the 2022 All-Pac-12 Preseason Team. Luper was a four-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week last season, ranking second on the squad with 227 kills despite playing in only 18 of UCLA's 31 matches. Luper's 3.39 kills per set were second only to Mac May (4.85 KPS). The duo
led all Pac-12 scoring tandems through October of conference play with a combined 388 kills and 480 points prior to Luper's injury.
Forte transfers into Westwood from Florida after a pair of All-SEC and AVCA All-American honors. In her two seasons as a Gator,
Forte averaged 1.02 blocks per set (147.0 total blocks) and 2.06 kills per set at a .422 hitting percentage.
 
Bruins in the Rankings
UCLA enters the fifth week of the season unranked. UCLA has been ranked in the AVCA poll 526 times dating back to 1982, which ranks third most all-time behind Nebraska (576) and Stanford (568). UCLA, coming off its highest conference finish (2nd) since 2016, was tabbed to finish third and received one first-place vote in the Pac-12 Preseason Coaches Poll.
            UCLA Week-by-Week: (Preseason/12, Week 1/23, Week 2/23, Week 3/NR, Week 4/NR. Week 5/NR)