Senior Dicey McGraw recorded her 13th-career double-double at the game against St. Mary's on Friday. (Photo credit: UCLA Athletics)
After the retirement of long-time coach Andy Banachowski, the winningest Division I women's volleyball coach in history, the UCLA women's volleyball team could have faltered. But the hiring of Mike Sealy, a former Bruin player for legendary Al Scates who had spent the last four years as an assistant at Hawai'i, one of the best programs in the country, boded well. And Sealy has not disappointed. UCLA started off the season with a 5-1 record, including a sweep at the SJSU/SMC Tournament last weekend (and a three-set sweep of Kansas State in the season opener).
The Bruins play their first home game of the season on Wednesday, September 8th at 7 pm at Pauley Pavilion.
This year's team is a relatively young team, with just two returning seniors. One of them is Dicey McGraw, named to the All-Pac-10 Conference Honorable Mention team after leading the team in kills and points per set. A promising freshman class includes 6'-3" middle blocker Mariana Aquino, who was selected to the Brazilian National Junior Team multiple times, and 6' outside hitter Kelly Reeves, who played on the U.S. Women's Junior National Team this year.
After starting the year ranked #16, the Bruins have edged up to #13. Their only loss has been to #6 Hawai'i, at the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational in Honolulu.
The Bruins will face Pepperdine at the home opener on Wednesday, then go on the road to face CSU Bakerfield, CSU Northridge, Penn and UC Irvine at the ASICS Challenge, #8 USC, then WaSu and #9 Washington until finally coming home to host #10 Cal and #2 Stanford on October 8-9. The game against USC at the Galen Center will be televised on Fox Sports Net on a tape-delay basis (per the UCLA Athletics site). You can also listen to live broadcasts on uclabruins.com.
Let's cheer the Bruins on to another winning season!