Nov. 7, 2008
PULLMAN, Wash. -- The Washington State volleyball team could not capitalize on its largest crowd of the season as the No. 9 UCLA Bruins swept the Cougars 25-13, 25-18, 25-17, Friday night on Marcia Saneholtz Court in Bohler Gym before the Dad's Weekend crowd of 1,407.
WSU drops to 7-16 overall record and 0-12 in the Pacific-10 conference action as UCLA moves to 16-7 overall, 6-6 in league play.
Brittany Johnson led the Cougars with six kills and Jackie Albright, Brittany Tillman and Emily Rooney each added five more kills. Renee Bordelon had 22 assists and the lone WSU ace. Kelly Hyder had a match-high 20 digs. Albright and Rooney each contributed a pair of blocks. Freshman setter Breann Nesselhuf sprained her ankle in practice Wednesday and did not play.
UCLA's Dicey McGraw led all players with 14 kills while hitting .414. Sara Sage and Amanda Gil had four blocks each as the Bruins out-blocked the Cougs 10 to 5. Nellie Spicer had 37 assists and Jessica Fine added 14 digs. Ali Daley had a pair of aces.
With the score tied at 6-all in the first set, UCLA tagged 11 unanswered points to take a commanding lead. WSU managed to score a pair of points twice in the set after this but the Bruins won, 25-13. UCLA hit .233 but held the Cougars to a -.032 hitting percentage.
The Cougs battled back to come within two of the visitors, down 14-12. UCLA out-scored WSU 5-3 for a 19-15 lead when a kill by Rooney, an ace from Bordelon and attack error by Sage put the Cougs within one. UCLA took a timeout and came out to score the final six points for the 25-18 win.
There were five ties and four lead changes in the third set. Two UCLA runs made the difference in this set; the first when WSU was took a 10-8 lead and the Bruins ran off six straight points. Later in the set, the Cougars battled back to within three, 19-16, but five consecutive points put UCLA serving for set and match. A kill by Meagan Ganzer only delayed the Bruins' 25-17 win.
"We did throw in a change in our defense from the standpoint of where they beat us the last time we played them and we did a better job of that part of it," WSU Head Coach Andrew Palileo said. "Our players made some nice individual plays but we keep thinking that the play is over and UCLA did a great job of saving a lot of balls. I pointed out to our team is that every UCLA player wants to make a play and that is how they are able to be scrappy. The way I see it, whenever we make a great play, everybody defers on who is going to make the next play instead of going to the ball and wanting to make that play that we need. That was the difference defensively tonight."
Washington State hosts No. 10 USC Sunday, Nov. 9, in a 1 p.m. match in Pullman. No. 5 Washington defeated USC Friday night 3-0.