No. 6 UCLA Wins 3-1 Nail-Biter over #12 Hawai'i
HONOLULU, Hawaii - The Bruins recorded 18 blocks on Sunday against Hawai'i, so it was only fitting that a roof clinched the match for sixth-ranked UCLA, which won a nail-biter with the 12th-ranked Rainbow Wahine in four sets. Scores were 23-25, 25-23, 26-24, 30-28.
UCLA improves to 2-1 with the win, while Hawai'i falls to 1-2.
Freshmen Katie Camp and Amanda Gil led the blocking attack with nine and eight, respectively. It was Gil and senior Nellie Spicer that teamed up for the match-clinching block in the fourth set. Spicer recorded her second double-double of the year with 45 assists and 11 digs, also adding three blocks and eight kills, which tied a career high. The senior had just one error in 14 chances (.500 hitting percentage).
Senior Ali Daley also had a double-double with 12 kills and 14 digs, adding four blocks. Camp posted eight kills, swinging at .500 (8-1-14), while Gil had 12 kills. Sophomore Dicey McGraw led the team in kills for the third straight match with 15. Freshman Lainey Gera had 13 digs, while sophomore Juliane Piggott provided five blocks. UCLA hit .267 as a team for the match.
The first set was close throughout, but the Rainbow Wahine pulled away late to take the opener. Neither team led by more than two early on until Hawai'i made a run. With the Bruins up 11-10, the Rainbow Wahine scored five of the next six points to take a 15-12 advantage. UCLA came back with three in a row to tie it back up on a kill by sophomore Emily Clements and two Hawai'i errors. The match was tied again at 16 when Hawai'i went on a 7-3 spurt to go up 23-19.
UCLA didn't give up and rallied with four straight to even things at 23. Camp started the run with a kill and then teamed up with Daley on a block. Following another kill by Camp, she recorded a combo roof with Clements to tie it up. However, Hawai'i got the final two points, winning the set on a block to take the first 25-23. Both teams hit well, with the Bruins hitting .364 on 14 kills and two errors in 33 attacks, while the Rainbow Wahine swung at .368 (20-6-38). Clements had four kills, while Camp had two kills and four blocks.
The Bruins jumped out to an early lead in the second set, scoring the first four points. McGraw and Gil teamed up for two blocks, with McGraw also adding a kill during the run. UCLA maintained its lead at 12-8 when Hawai'i scored four straight to even things at 12. The Bruins still didn't relinquish the lead until at 15-14, the Rainbow Wahine netted three straight to forge ahead 17-15. Back-to-back kills by McGraw knotted the set at 17, but Hawai'i tacked on three consecutive to go ahead 20-17.
UCLA rallied though to come back and win the second. Trailing by three, the Bruins scored eight of the final 11 points to win 25-23. Down 23-22, UCLA closed out the game with consecutive kills by Daley and Camp, while Spicer served an ace on set point to win it by two. Gil had five kills in the second, with Daley and McGraw adding four apiece. The Bruins outhit the Rainbow Wahine .268 to .250. UCLA had 17 kills and six errors in 41 swings.
After Hawai'i took an early lead in the third set, the Bruins came back again to take a 2-1 advantage in the match. Down 10-6, UCLA scored five of six to even the set at 11. Camp had one block, while Gil and Piggott combined for a roof during the streak. Tied at 17, the Bruins took their first lead of the set on a kill by Piggott. It was part of a 5-0 run by the Bruins which gave them a 20-17 advantage. McGraw added two kills during the run, while Piggott and Gil had a combo block as well.
Hawai'i wasn't done yet though, tying the score at 22, 23 and 24. But the Rainbow Wahine served an error to give the Bruins a second set point and they converted this time, as Camp and Piggott blocked one to give the Bruins the 26-24 win. McGraw had five kills in the set, as the Bruins hit .231 (15-6-39) to the Rainbow Wahine's .205 (17-9-39).
In the fourth set, Hawai'i held an early 4-3 lead until the Bruins posted five straight to take an 8-4 advantage. Following a Rainbow Wahine service error to start the run, the Bruins received a Camp kill, a Camp/Daley combo block, a Daley solo roof and a Spicer kill to go up by four. UCLA raised its lead to as many as six at 18-12, but Hawai'i came back to make the Bruins sweat things out.
The Bruins led 24-21, but squandered three match points, as Hawai'i scored four straight to get a set point at 25-24. The teams traded sideouts for the next seven serves, as the Rainbow Wahine blew three more set points. Trailing 28-27, a McGraw kill tied it at 28. Gil then spiked one home to give UCLA its fourth match point and it was the lucky one, as Gil and Spicer teamed up for the match-clinching block to win it 30-28. Spicer had five kills in the set and Daley added four. The Bruins hit .231 (17-5-52) to the Rainbow Wahine's .132 (18-11-53).
Jamie Houston had 18 kills and 15 digs for Hawai'i. Kanani Herring added 14 kills and 18 digs, Nickie Thomas had 13 kills and Aneli Cubi-Otineru recorded 12 kills. The Rainbow Wahine hit .229 for the match.
The Bruins continue their season-opening, 14-match road trip on Wednesday when they travel to UC Riverside for a non-conference match. First serve is at 7 p.m. No live stats will be available for the match.
Article courtesy of UCLA athletics.