Nov. 13, 2009
LOS ANGELES, CALIF.-- The No. 25 Washington State volleyball team fell at No. 6 UCLA Friday night at Pauley Pavilion with set scores of 25-23, 25-14, 23-25, and 25-23.
"We have to execute down the stretch and we made some critical decisions at the end of the fourth set. We had an opportunity to win this set and take it to a fifth," WSU Head Coach Andrew Palileo said. "We did play better (than last week). Mostly steady. We hung in there. The difference between early in the season to where we are now is that we are not closing out sets. Players are not making the plays. We are putting ourselves in position (to win) but we have to keep battling."
Jackie Albright's double-double of 16 kills and 22 digs was not enough as Washington State (16-9, 5-9) lost its fifth consecutive Pacific-10 Conference match. Meagan Ganzer added 16 kills and both Albright and Ganzer had three blocks. Brittany Tillman's nine kills and seven blocks, and Cassie Robbins' seven kills and four blocks helped keep the Cougs in contention. Oceana Bush contributed 15 digs and Renee Bordelon had 51 assists. The Cougars hit .173 and had 13 blocks for the match.
Kaitlin Sather and Dicey McGraw combined for 31 kills to lead UCLA (20-6, 10-3). Lainey Gera had 26 digs as the Bruins had five players with double-digit digs. Amanda Gil (5), Sara Sage (4), Katie Camp (4) and Rachel Kidder (4) put up a potent block on the night. Lauren Cook had 54 assists. The Bruins did not land on ace on the night but hit .258 as a team and had 16 blocks.
WSU held the lead for most of the first set until UCLA tied it at 14-all and moved to an 18-16 advantage. The Cougars scoring three in a row to wrestle back the lead at 19-18. The teams traded scores but UCLA went up 21-20 on a block. After a WSU timeout, Albright's attack found the back line to knot the set at 21. The teams traded scores again but Cougar errors placed the Bruins serving for set, 24-22. McGraw's attack went long but Sather landed the final attack and the home team won the opener, 25-23. Albright had five kills, hit .400 and had six digs in this set. McGraw had five kills.
The Bruins raced out to a commanding 20-10 lead in the second set. Kills from Conley Kipp, Bordelon, Tillman and Ganzer could only get the Cougars to 14 while UCLA hit .385 on the way to its 25.
In the third set, WSU took an early lead at 11-6 and extended the lead to 19-16. UCLA chipped away to tie at 20-all. The Bruins went ahead 21-20 and again at 22-21. Back-to-back kills from Albright and Ganzer forced a UCLA timeout. On the next play the Cougars block attempt went out of bounds and the set was tied at 23-all. Ganzer finished the set with a solo block of Sather and a slam. WSU wins the set 25-23.
UCLA took a 14-9 led in the fourth set but WSU battled back, scoring six straight to take the 15-14 lead and forcing both UCLA timeouts. The teams tied it five more times before Ganzer landed three attacks to give WSU the 21-20 lead. Bordelon won a blocking joust at the net for the 22-21 lead but a UCLA kill and a Robbins attack that went long tied the set at 22. Gil's two blocks put the Bruins serving for set. Robbins blocked Gil to stop the first set point but the set and match ended with a kill from Sather. UCLA takes the four of the final five points to get the 25-23 win.
The Cougars will play at No. 17 USC (16-9, 5-8) at the Galen Center at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. USC upset No. 4 Washington 3-2 Friday night.