No. 6 UCLA Sweeps Ohio in Season Opener
HONOLULU, Hi. - Sophomore Dicey McGraw had 13 kills, senior Ali Daley added 10 and senior Nellie Spicer posted a double-double with 32 assists and 10 digs, as the sixth-ranked Bruins opened 2008 on a winning note with a three-set sweep of Ohio. Game scores were 25-21, 25-22, 25-17.
Freshman Amanda Gil had a great collegiate debut, posting seven kills and no errors in 12 swings for a .583 hitting percentage. McGraw swung at .370, while Daley had a .348 percentage. Sophomore Emily Clements added six kills, senior Jessica Fine had 10 digs and sophomore Jazmin Machado recorded three service aces.
The first set featured 11 ties, but the Bruins pulled away at the end to win the opener. Squared at five, the Bruins recorded three of the next four points to take an 8-6 advantage. Clements and Daley each had kills during the mini-run. The Bobcats countered though with five straight points, forcing the Bruins into a timeout. Out of the break, Clements registered back-to-back kills to cut the deficit to one, but Ohio netted the next two to go back up by three.
That is when UCLA went on its big run, scoring five in a row to go up 15-13. Two kills by McGraw, an ace by Machado and a combo block by Gil and Spicer were part of the scoring, as the Bruins took a lead that they would not relinquish for the rest of the set. Ohio would come back to tie it up again four times, but could not take the lead back. At 21-all, the Bruins scored the final four points to win set one 25-21. Three successive kills by Clements, Gil and McGraw gave the Bruins set point and an Ohio attack error clinched it. McGraw had five kills in the first set, while Clements and Daley added four. The Bruins hit .355 with 14 kills and just three errors in 31 attacks, while the Bobcats swung at a .241 percentage.
UCLA staged a late comeback in the second to go up two sets to none. The lead was never larger than two for either team early on when with the Bruins on top 11-10, the Bobcats scored six of the next seven points to go up 16-12. UCLA was struggling with its hitting at that point, recording as many kills as errors with four apiece. But the Bruins got their offensive attack going to take back the lead.
Trailing 17-14, the Bruins scored five straight to forge ahead 20-17. Gil started the run with a kill and Daley added four kills, including three in a row at one point. The Bobcats could get no closer than two the rest of the way. On their third set point, McGraw netted her fifth kill of the set to give the Bruins the 25-22 victory. Daley also had five kills in set two, as the Bruins rebounded from their slow hitting start to post a .256 hitting percentage with 15 kills and five errors in 39 attempts. Ohio hit .229 in the second set.
The Bobcats scored the first two points of the third set, but the Bruins responded with the next three on an Ohio attack error, a combo block by Gil and Spicer and a McGraw kill to take a 3-2 lead. UCLA still led at 6-4, but the Bobcats scored three in a row to take the lead back 7-6. The Bruins battled back to record four in a row on two attack errors, a Clements kill and a Spicer ace to go ahead 10-7. UCLA would not trail for the rest of the set.
Ohio got no closer than two, as UCLA extended its advantage. Leading 16-11, the Bruins went on an 8-4 run to increase their edge to a set-high nine at 24-15. A service error by the Bobcats on match point gave the Bruins a 25-17 victory in the third. UCLA hit .348 in the third, with nine kills and just one error on 23 attempts. The Bruins took advantage of a poor hitting attack by the Bobcats, who swung .094 (11-8-32). Gil and McGraw each had three kills in the third.
The Bruins continue play at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic on Saturday against #1 Penn State at 8 p.m. PT. Live stats will be available on Hawaii's website at www.hawaiiathletics.com.
Article courtesy of UCLA athletics.