The UCLA Women’s Volleyball team fell again in the Top 25 this week despite having won their only match last week against Long Beach State, 3-1. Tonight, the Bruins kick off Pac-12 play by traveling across town to face Southern Cal.
Last Time Out
On Thursday, UCLA went down the 405 to the Pyramid in Long Beach where they defeated the 49ers. After the Bruins scored first to start the match, Long Beach used a 5-1 run to take the lead. UCLA chipped away to tie it up at 8-8. The 49ers used a 3-0 run and a 4-1 run to jump ahead 15-11. A 3-0 UCLA run left the Bruins down 15-14 and a pair of consecutive points by Long Beach stretched the lead back to three. UCLA re-took the lead with a 5-1 run and it was 19-18, Bruins. After a 3-1 Long Beach mini-run, the Bruins again trailed, but they came through with a 5-0 run to win the set, 25-21.
The second set belonged to the 49ers. They took a quick 4-0 lead and UCLA was unable to put together any kind of run as Long Beach State cruised to a 25-17 win.
It looked like the third set was going to turn out the same way when the 49ers jumped out to a 3-1 lead, but a 10-3 run by the Bruins gave them an 11-6 lead. The Niners closed the Bruins’ lead to just one with a 4-0 run. UCLA stretched the lead back to five with a 5-1 run and it was 16-11, Bruins. Long Beach fought back again and, soon, trailed by just one again at 18-17. They even managed to tie it up at 23-23, but the Bruins got a critical kill from Jenny Mosser followed by a Long Beach attack error to win the set.
After jumping out to a 3-1 lead in the fourth set, UCLA soon trailed 8-5 due to a 7-2 run by the 49ers. But, much like the rest of the match, UCLA stormed back with a 6-0 run. Long Beach would take what proved to be their final lead of the match with a 5-1 run that made it 13-12. With that match tied 16-16, UCLA scored three consecutive points to take the lead for good. Long Beach would get as close as one point down at 24-23, but they then committed an attack error to give the Bruins the win in the set and the match.
Southern Cal Trojans
Southern Cal enters Pac-12 play on the three-match winning streak. The Trojans last lost to Marquette at the Marquette Invitational. They’ve also lost to BYU and UCF. They beat San Diego, their only common non-conference opponent, 3-0 on Friday. By comparison, UCLA needed five sets to beat the Toreros. Both matches were in San Diego.
Look for sophomore Brooke Botkin and junior Khalia Lanier to lead the attack for the Trojans. Botkin leads the team with with 4.43 kills per set and Lanier is second with 4.10 kps.
While I think tonight’s match will be close, I think UCLA is going to have some problems on the road tonight. I’m going to predict a five-set loss for the Bruins on the road tonight. UCLA just hasn’t been playing well enough to stretch their four-match Galen Center win streak to five.
I hope I’m wrong.
This is your UCLA women’s volleyball at Southern Cal open thread.