Despite the fact that the Bruins were swept at home last weekend, UCLA only dropped two spots to #22 in the most recent poll. If the UCLA’s losing streak continues when they visit the Oregon State Beavers this evening, they will likely drop out of next week’s poll.
That’s why tonight’s match against the Beavers couldn’t come at a better time for the Bruins. UCLA has been swept in three straight matches including both of last weekend’s matches against the Northern California schools.
Last Time Out
When UCLA met Stanford on Sunday, it was definitely going to be a tough match because the Cardinal are ranked #2 in the nation.
In what has become a troubling trend, UCLA could not maintain their lead in the first set. The Bruins jumped ahead to lead 7-2 and still held a four-point lead as late as 17-13, but that’s when a 4-0 run by the Cardinal tied the set. The teams battled a little and were still tied as late as 21-21. That’s when the Cardinal scored four of the next five points to win the first set.
The second set was worse. Not only did the Bruins fall behind early, but they never had a lead in the set. UCLA came within a point on four separate occasions, but with the score 9-8, the Cardinal went on a 4-0 run and the closest the Bruins would get for the remainder of the set was three points down. Stanford won the second set, 25-20.
In set three, neither team led by more than three points until Stanford went on a 3-0 with the score 16-14 which put the Cardinal up 19-14. But the Bruins finally put up a fight and stormed back with 7-2 run of their own to tie the set 21-21. UCLA even managed to take a late 24-23 lead, but the Cardinal proved to be too much as the score the next three points to win the third set, 26-24 and the match, 3-0.
Oregon State Beavers
The Beavers come into tonight’s match with the most hope they’ve probably had since Pac-12 play began. That’s because OSU finally won a conference match on Sunday against Arizona State after losing their first 11 Pac-12 matches of the season. That makes the Beavers the worst team in the conference.
When the Beavers visited Pauley Pavilion last month, the Bruins swept them as UCLA started a four-match winning streak.
Despite Oregon State’s win over the Sun Devils last weekend, there is very little reason to believe that tonight’s match won’t finish the same way that last month’s match did — with a 3-0 sweep by the Bruins.
Is it possible that the Beavers could get lucky against a UCLA team that has been struggling the past few weeks? Of course, it is, but a match against Oregon State may be just what the doctor ordered for a Bruin team that limped its way into November and starting October with a 4-1 record in Pac-12 play.
This is your UCLA women’s volleyball vs. Oregon State open thread.