UCLA women’s volleyball is enjoying its home stay.
For the first time in more than a month, the Bruins are on a winning streak. Following a victory against Arizona, No. 18 UCLA (15-8, 8-6 Pac-12) vanquished Arizona State (10-16, 0-14) with a 3-0 sweep – 25-16, 25-16, 25-21.
Both teams battled for the lead in the beginning of both the first and second set, but then the Bruins torched the Sun Devils in a mid-set barrage both times. In the first set, UCLA enjoyed a 6-1 streak at one point. It rolled out an 8-1 stretch in the second one.
The final set was much closer than the previous two, but Arizona State was still no match. Freshman pin hitter Mac May notched a critical ace at the end of the set, while senior outside hitter Riley Buechler ended any chance of a comeback with two late-set kills.
While just a few players typically stuff the stat sheet week by week, it was a much more spread affair. Five players compiled more than six kills. Five players also recorded at least one ace.
But the team’s main veteran led the squad. Buechler led the team with 12 kills, but she was fourth on the night in hitting percentage. May, sophomore blocker Madeleine Gates and junior blocker all hit better than .400 on the evening as well.
The Sun Devils and their winless record in conference play were no match for the Bruins. Yet UCLA prepares to take on a much more formidable team Thursday in No. 25 Colorado (19-6, 9-5).
Though they rank pretty high in RPI, the Buffaloes didn’t make their first appearance in the national top 25 until this week. But they’re the real deal.
Since its last loss, which was against UCLA, Colorado has accrued four straight wins, including two key wins over ranked opponents No. 16 Oregon – on the road – and No. 13 Washington.
The team’s offensive attack force begins and ends with its star – Alexa Smith. The junior pin hitter leads the team with more than four kills per set and 62 kills across her last four matches. She doesn’t own the best hitting percentage on the club, but she’s still a threat at the net against any opponent.
Colorado’s second-best weapon is Frankie Shebby, who has averaged about 3.3 kills per set. Her hitting percentage isn’t as shiny though – .194 – and she’s susceptible to committing a considerable amount of errors.
As it is against most opponents, if the Bruins can contain the Buffs’ best hitters, they can continue to improve their resume as the postseason looms.
This is your UCLA women’s volleyball vs. Colorado game thread.