UCLA to Face Arizona Schools
LOS ANGELES – The UCLA women's volleyball team embarks on its first Pac-12 road trip after two weeks at home to face Arizona State on Friday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. PT in Desert Financial Arena and Arizona on Sunday, Oct. 9 at noon in the McKale Center. The Bruins (6-7, 0-4) look to end a five-game skid with help from leading point scorers Charitie Luper (3.47 PPS) and élan McCall (3.40 PPS). Friday will mark the Sun Devils' (8-8, 2-2) first home contest since Aug. 27 in the first week of the season.
UCLA at Arizona State
Friday, Oct. 7, 2022 – 7 p.m. PT
Tempe, Ariz. (Desert Financial Arena)
Watch: Pac-12 Insider
Live Stats: uclalivestats.com
UCLA at Arizona
Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022 – 12 p.m. PT
Tucson, Ariz. (McKale Center)
Watch: Arizona Live Stream
Live Stats: uclalivestats.com
UCLA dropped to 0-4 in Pac-12 play after a pair of four-set losses to Utah and Colorado last week. Iman Ndiaye closed the weekend with a career-high 22 kills at .421. It was the first 20-kill performance by a Bruin this season. Charitie Luper took her most swings in a single match so far this season with 49 attempts against Utah and finishing with a double-double (10 K, 13 D). Libero Mackenzie Cole recorded her highest dig performance so far as a Bruins with 26 digs versus Colorado.
Noting the Bruins
• The Bruins are on a five-match losing streak for their longest streak since 2013 when it opened the Pac-12 schedule with losses to USC, Colorado, Stanford, California and USC.
• The Bruins are hitting .203 as a team and holding their opponents to .182.
• UCLA ranks 13th in the country and third in the conference in blocks per set at 2.68.
• Middle blocker Francesca Alupei is averaging a 1.50 blocks per set, good for eighth-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.
• Alupei has recorded seven 5+ block outings so far this season, including back-to-back performances last weekend.
• Charitie Luper leads the Bruins with 3.00 kills per set in her five matches played this season. Behind her is élan McCall at 2.85 KPS, who has appeared in every set this season for UCLA.
• McCall is one of four Bruins who has played every set so far this year for the Bruins (McCall, Anna Dodson, Mackenzie Cole)
• McCall currently has 983 career kills across her two seasons at TCU (463) and her time at UCLA (520).
• Graduate libero Mackenzie Cole leads UCLA with 3.62 digs per set (170 total digs).
• Graduate setter Matti McKissock leads UCLA with 10.38 assists per set. She currently has 4,539 career assists including her four seasons at Georgia Tech (4,103 AST) and 436 assists so far this season.
Scouting Arizona State
• Arizona State is 8-8 and 2-2 in Pac-12 so far this season. The Sun Devils are 0-3 against ranked foes this season, losing in straight sets in each match.
• The Bruins and Sun Devils have faced one common opponent in Colorado. Arizona State lost in straight sets to the Buffaloes in its Pac-12 weekend opener as Colorado's Lexi Hadrych scored a match-high 14 kills.
• Last weekend, the Sun Devils split with a loss to No. 16 Oregon, 3-0, and five-set win over Oregon State.
• 2021 All-Pac-12 selection outside hitter Iman Isanovic leads the Sun Devils with 204 kills.
• Junior pin hitter Marta Levinska is right behind Isanovic with 193 kills. This season, Levinska has 10 double-figure kill performances.
Arizona State Series History
• UCLA leads the all-time series over Arizona State, 79-11, dating back to 1974.
• The Bruins have won nine out of their last ten meetings against the Sun Devils.
• UCLA was reverse swept by Arizona State in the two team's first matchup last season. Mac May put up a team-high 20 kills in that match while Charitie Luper recorded 17.
• Arizona is 11-4 overall and 1-2 in Pac-12 play so far in 2022.
• The Wildcats and Bruins have had two common opponents in San Diego State in Utah. Both teams beat the Aztecs, 3-0, while both loss to the Utes.
• Junior outside hitter Jaelyn Hodge leads the Wildcats with 3.06 kills per set. Behind Hodge is Sofia Maldonado Diaz with 2.85 KPS.
• Arizona employs a two-setter system anchored by junior Emery Herman with 8.91 assists per set.
• Arizona is ranked No. 17 in the NCAA in opponent hitting percentage (.157).
Arizona Series History
• UCLA leads the all-time series over Arizona, 62-26, dating back to 1978.
• The Bruins own a 9-1 advantage against in the Wildcats over the 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.
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.
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/ Week 6/NR)