For some reason, it almost always seems like the NCAA has a sick sense of humor when it comes to setting up potential matchups between teams. We’ve seen that a lot when it comes to the Men’s Basketball Tournament, but now it looks like the Women’s Volleyball selection committee is doing the same thing.
Why? Well, it has to do with the recent football news where UCLA beat out Florida in landing Chip Kelly as the new football coach in Westwood. Ultimately, Florida ended up hiring Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, but it doesn’t change the fact that there has been some serious animosity between the Bruins’ fanbase and the Gators’ fanbase as a result of that drama.
Next weekend, you can add some more fuel to the fire as the UCLA Women’s Volleyball team has advanced to the Third Round of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament where they will face the Florida Gators in Gainsville.
That’s because, tonight, the UCLA Women’s Volleyball team defeated the Cal Poly Mustangs in 4 sets, 26-28, 25-19, 25-16, 25-18, to advance to the Third Round next weekend.
Of course, tonight’s matchup also was awfully coincidental as well. That’s due to the facts that Cal Poly was placed into UCLA’s pod of the Tournament and that Cal Poly featured Torrey Van Winden who played her freshman season at UCLA last year, but transferred in order to play with her older sister.
The Mustangs delivered a harsh wake-up call for the Bruins in the first set. It was a tough fought set that saw nine ties and five lead changes. UCLA trailed for most of the set, even though they took five of the first eight point
Cal Poly went on a 5-0 mini-run to take and an 8-5 lead. The Mustangs would maintain their lead until the Bruins finally tied the set again at 19-19. UCLA would even take the lead in this set twice only to lose it both times and Cal Poly took the set 28-26.
That was seemingly enough for the Bruins to fix enough of their problems to win the next 3 sets. In the second set, after the team’s split the first four points, UCLA went on a 6-1 run, giving the Bruins an 8-3 lead. The teams split the next 32 points and UCLA led 24-19 when the Bruins picked up the their 25th point to win the set.
The teams split the first 24 points of the third set as well. But, then the Bruins shut down the Mustangs by scoring 13 of 17 points to win the third set, 25-16.
The final set was similar to the third set. The teams battled it out through the first 28 points and then, as if UCLA had flipped a switch inside Pauley, they just shut down Cal Poly by only allowing 4 more points en route to scoring 11 of their own to win the set and the match, 25-18.
Reily Buechler led all players with 26 kills while adding 11 digs for a double-double. Madeleine Gates and Savvy Simo were both in double-digits for kills and digs, respectively. Meanwhile, Zana Muno led everyone with 26 digs and Sarah Sponcil was right behind with 24. Sponcil also had a double-double with 49 assists.
Meanwhile, Cal Poly was led by both Van Winden sisters. Torrey led the Mustangs with 16 kills and added 18 digs while her sister Adlee had 11 kills and 14 digs. That earned both of them double-doubles for the game.
In the end, it just wasn’t enough and the Bruins overpowered the Mustangs and now UCLA advances to face Florida next week because of those NCAA pranksters.