Heading into last night’s game, the UCLA Women’s Volleyball team really needed a win. At 4-2 in conference play, the Bruins started the night fifth in the Pac-12 and already two games behind conference leader Stanford, who was a perfect 6-0 so far in conference play as they came into Westwood.
The Bruins were unable to pick up that much needed win last night as UCLA lost to Stanford in 4 sets, 21-25, 25-20, 23-25, 18-25, and they are now 3 games behind the Cardinal in the conference standings.
In the first set, the teams split the first sixteen points, but, then, Stanford went on a 6-1 run to make it 14-9 that the Bruins could not come back from. UCLA got as close as one at 19-18 but a 4-1 Cardinal run sealed the deal.
In the second set, the Bruins started the set with a 6-2 run. They widened their lead to 11-5 before Stanford went on a 5-1 run of their own to make it 12-10. The teams split the next 12 points in alternating runs. With the score now 18-16, UCLA went on a critical 5-1 run that included two kills by Jenny Moser to take a commanding 23-17 lead. After the Cardinal closed the Bruins’ lead to 3, UCLA closed out the set on a Stanford service error and attack error to tie the match at one set each.
After the break, the Bruins started the third set out strong by scoring the first three points of the third set. Twice in this set they had a four-point lead. First, it was at 8-4 and then again at 13-9. But, Stanford scored the next four points to tie and then took a 14-13 lead on a service ace. Sure, Mac May tied it back up on the next point for the Bruins, but the teams would tie it up six more times in the set with the final tie coming at 22-22. That’s when the Cardinal scored three of the last four points to close out the set.
To the Bruins’ credit, they kept fighting hard. They took an early 3-0 lead again in the fourth set. But Stanford wasn’t going away either as they tied it up 3-3. And, the set stayed close with four tie scores in the first 16 points. That fourth tie, at 8-8, was the start of a Bruin 6-2 run that gave UCLA a 13-10 edge. Stanford cut the Bruin lead to just two but UCLA responded with a point of their own at 14-11. The Cardinal then accomplished what the Bruins couldn’t. They finished strong. Stanford went on a 14-4 run to close out the set and the match and earn their seventh conference win.
Reily Buechler and Jenny Mosser led the Bruins with 10 kills each. Savvy Simo had 17 digs. Buechler added 13 digs of her own to give her a double-double and Sarah Sponcil picked up 12. Sponcil also had 32 assists to give her a double-double as well.
Tonight, the Bruins host UC Berkeley in the annual pink game at Pauley Pavilion at 6 pm.