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UCLA Closes Season Series at Colorado, Utah

Oct 27, 2022
Anna Dodson

LOS ANGELES – The UCLA women's volleyball team ends its four-match road trip at Colorado and Utah this weekend. The Bruins (10-9, 4-6 Pac-12) open competition in Boulder, Colo. to take on the Buffaloes (13-7, 5-5 Pac-12) on Friday, Oct. 28 at 5 p.m. (PT) in the CU Events Center. UCLA will then take on Utah in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 11 a.m. in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

UCLA at Colorado
Friday, Oct. 28, 2022 – 5 p.m. PT
Boulder, Colo. (CU Events Center)
Watch: Pac-12 Networks
Live Stats: uclalivestats.com

UCLA at Utah
Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022 – 11 a.m. PT
Salt Lake City, Utah (Jon M. Huntsman Center)
Watch: Pac-12 Networks
Talent: Thad Anderson (PxP), Courtney Thompson (Analyst)
Live Stats: uclalivestats.com
 
Weekend Recap
UCLA split its two matches in the Bay Area last weekend with a three-set loss to No. 7 Stanford and a sweep of California.
• The Bruins squandered a 16-10 lead in the first set and a 20-16 lead in the second set before Stanford put the match away with 19 kills at .484 in the third and final set. Iman Ndiaye was UCLA's top attack option with 15 kills at .500. Freshman Cheridyn Leverette had a career night with nine kills in her first appearance in UCLA's last 12 matches.
• Bruin freshmen Grayce Olson and Cheridyn Leverette stepped up in the absences of three middle blockers and outside hitter élan McCall to sweep California last week, each racking up 11 points. Leverette brought her high level of play from the Stanford match into Berkeley with six kills in her first career start and a team-high four service aces, eight digs and two block assists. Olson accounted for 10 kills.
 
Noting the Bruins
• The Bruins are hitting .230 (13.43 KPS) while their opponents are hitting .189 (11.79 KPS).
• Charitie Luper leads the Bruins with 3.32 kills per set at a .262 clip.
• Luper recorded the second 20-point performance by a Bruin this season at Arizona on Oct. 9 with a career-high 26 points.
• élan McCall picked up her team-high seventh double-double of the season against the Ducks with 15 kills and 11 digs.
• Libero Mackenzie Cole leads UCLA with 3.63 digs per set (247 total digs).
• Setter Matti McKissock leads UCLA with 10.33 assists per set. She currently has 4,754 career assists including her four seasons at Georgia Tech (4,103 AST) and 651 assists so far this season.
 
Last Time Against the Buffs & Utes
Utah and Colorado both defeated UCLA in four sets the first time they played this season in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom on Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, respectively.
• Against the Utes, Charitie Luper and élan McCall each recorded a double-double while middle blocker Anna Dodson racked up nine kills at a team-high .438 clip. Utah still won the match despite only hitting .140 as a team. The Bruins totaled a season-high 16 service errors in the contest.
• Against the Buffs, Iman Ndiaye recorded a career-high 22 kills (.421). UCLA recorded 67 kills at .195 compared to Colorado's 50 kills at .220. Maya Tabron led the Buffaloes' attack with 17 kills while former Bruin Lexi Hadrych joined Tabron in double figures with 13 kills.
 
Savage Mode
Since entering the starting lineup four matches ago on Oct. 14 against Oregon State, Tristin Savage had averaged 1.71 points per set with 1.29 KPS and 0.79 BPS. Savage's start versus the Beavers was her first start in over a season since March 12, 2021 against Utah. Savage stepped up in a big way against Oregon State with a career-high six kills and career-high five blocks for 8.5 points, tied for second-most on the team. Last time out in Berkeley, Savage recorded a career-high eight kills at a .536 clip in addition to five blocks (1 BS, 4 BA) for a career-high 11.0 points.
 
Air Charitie
Since being reinserted into the starting lineup against Washington on Sept. 25, Charitie Luper has led the Bruins with 3.41 kills per set and 109 total kills over UCLA's last nine matches. Luper has recorded double-digit kills in six of those contests and tallied a double-double in three of them. She is up to seven career double-doubles. Last season, Luper ranked second on the squad with 227 kills, averaging 3.39 kills per set despite missing the team's final eight conference matches of the season.
 
Efficient Anna
Middle blocker Anna Dodson was the Bruins' most efficient attacker two weekends ago with 20 combined kills at .581, including a flawless hitting night against the Ducks tying a season-high 13 kills with no errors for a .650 clip. Dodson also had a tape-tickler ace to clinch the first-set win for the Bruins in that match. The match prior, Dodson set a career-high with three service aces versus the Beavers. Dodson, who entered the Bruins' serving rotation this season, deep serves up knuckleballs roughly 10 feet beyond the service line. Dodson is expected to be back in the lineup this weekend.
 
Lineup Changes 
The Bruins have trotted out seven eight starting lineups this season, including six different lineups during Pac-12 play alone. UCLA has sent out the same lineup in back-to-back Pac-12 matches only once this season when it played Colorado and Arizona State (Alupei, Cole, Dodson, McCall, McKissock, Ndiaye, Luper) and they have yet to send out the same lineup in a Pac-12 weekend series this season.
 
Season-High for McKissock
Matti McKissock recorded a season-high 54 assists versus Oregon on Oct. 16. She currently has 4,754 career assists including her four seasons at Georgia Tech (4,103 AST) and 651 assists so far this season.
 
1,000 Career Kills
élan McCall picked up her 1,000th career kill in the fourth set at Arizona on Oct. 9. McCall, a 2018 All-Big-12 First Team and 2021 All-Pac-12 First Team honoree, amassed 463 kills in her two seasons at TCU and currently has 576 as a Bruin for a career total of 1,039.
 
Double-Double Machine
élan McCall has racked up seven double-doubles this season, including a streak of four straight from Sept. 30-Oct. 9. She has 31 in her career dating back to her freshman year at TCU. This season, McCall has averaged 2.92 kills per set and 2.87 digs per set. Both marks rank second on the team.
 
Meet Fran
Middle blocker Francesca Alupei has been a defensive stalwart for the Bruins this season with a team-high 1.53 blocks per set, good for third-best in the conference. Alupei has eight 5+ block performances in the Bruins 15 matches this season. Alupei has also matched her career-high of nine total blocks three times this season.
 
Colorado Series History
• UCLA leads the all-time series versus Colorado, 17-7.
• The Bruins have won six out of the last 10 meetings.
 
Utah Series History
• UCLA leads the all-time series versus Utah, 21-9.
• The Bruins have won six out of the last 10 meetings.
 
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.
 
Two Bruins Named to Pac-12 All-Preseason Team
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 eighth 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 (580) and Stanford (572). 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.