UCLA women’s volleyball hasn’t had to endure five-set matches often this season.
But the Bruins faced one Saturday after rallying from a 2-1 deficit. They finished on the right end of the long, grueling matchup.
After being handily defeated by Utah in its previous bout, No. 16 UCLA (13-6, 6-4 Pac-12) edged Colorado (15-6, 5-5) despite scoring fewer points overall and boasting a lower hit percentage.
Several streaks highlighted the opening set.
UCLA faced a deficit in the beginning after yielding four of the first five points, but regrouped with an eight-point streak to take a 14-7 lead. Before the Buffaloes had an opportunity to rally back, freshman pin hitter Jenny Mosser slammed the door shut to give them the first set, 25-17.
After cruising through the first set, Colorado fought back to take the next two sets with relative ease at 25-15 and 25-18.
The Buffaloes had two chances to put the Bruins away, but Mosser and senior outside hitter Riley Buechler disallowed them to. The two recorded critical kills in the fourth set to extend the game, taking the set 28-26.
UCLA went tit-for-tat with Colorado until the club finally pulled away, claiming the final three points of the fifth set and the victory at 16-14.
The pair of powerful outside hitters took control on the Bruins’ offense. With freshman pin hitter Mac May unavailable due to sickness, Buechler and Jenny Mosser had to contribute more than usual.
That wasn’t an issue.
Mosser garnered a season-high 28 kills in the match, while Buechler tallied 23 of her own. They accounted for 73.9 percent of the team’s kills.
Now travels to Pullman, Washington to take on Washington State (13-9, 2-8). The Bruins defeated the Cougars 3-1 in their previous bout earlier this month.
Washington State sits in the cellar of the conference, but still possess a platoon of potential playmakers. Taylor Mims is the biggest threat for the Cougars, as she averages nearly four kills per set.
The Bruins don’t boast any hitters with an average above 3.30 in that category. But they have been more successful in conference games, and they will hope to extend their dominance against Washington State.
This is your UCLA women’s volleyball vs. Washington State game thread.