This afternoon, the UCLA women’s volleyball team hosts Oregon State in the final home match of the season. Since it’s UCLA’s final home match, it’s Senior Day and the team will honor its two seniors, Savvy Simo and Cali Thompson, prior to the start of the match.
Last Time Out
On Friday, the Bruins hosted the Oregon Ducks. This match should have been an easy win for UCLA, but this team found a way to make it difficult. In fact, what should have been a three-set sweep turned into a five-set battle, which UCLA finally won 24-26, 25-17, 25-18, 23-25, 15-6.
The first set was a seesaw battle that went back and forth. Each time one team took the lead, the other team came back. Eventually, it was tied 23-23. A bad set by Oregon’s Kylie Robinson gave the Bruins a 24-23 lead, but Oregon managed to tie it up again. A Mac May attack error gave the Ducks a set point at 25-24. The Ducks then closed out the set, 26-24.
After Oregon scored the first point of the second set, UCLA went on a 12-3 run. That was enough as the Ducks weren’t able to close the gap to fewer than seven points at 23-16 and again at 24-17. UCLA closed out this set when Oregon committed a service error to win 25-17.
After the break, the third set began with Oregon scoring first and the teams alternating points until the Ducks had a 4-3 lead. The Bruins began a 5-0 run by tying it 4-4 and then taking an 8-4 lead. Soon, UCLA lead 14-9, but the Ducks then went on a 7-2 run to tie the set up at 16-16. The Bruins managed to finish off the set with a 9-2 run to win the set, 25-18.
The start of the fourth set was unusual. It began with three 4-0 runs. First, the Ducks had a 4-0 run while the Bruins followed with one of their own. Oregon then went on another 4-0 run to take an 8-4 lead. The Ducks extended their lead to six at 13-7, but UCLA quickly cut it back to three points with a 3-0 run. A 3-1 Oregon run pushed the lead back to five. UCLA responded with a 7-0 run which gave the Bruins a two-point lead at 18-16, but the Ducks responded with an 8-2 run, which gave them a 24-18 lead. The Bruins fought off three set points to make it 24-23, but Oregon finally got their 25th point before UCLA could tie the score and the Ducks won the set 25-23 to tie the match at two sets each.
UCLA scored first in the fifth set, but a service error tied it up and the Ducks to a 2-1 lead on the next point. The Bruins went on a 7-0 run to take a commanding 8-2 lead. Oregon cut the lead to four points by winning four of the next six points, but the Bruins closed out the set and the match with a 5-0 run to win 15-6 and 3-2.
Oregon State Beavers
Since UCLA beat the Beavers in Corvallis, Oregon State defeated Arizona in their next match and have lost their next eight matches. During the Beavers’ losing streak, they have won just nine sets, but their last three matches have gone to five sets including Thursday’s match against Southern Cal.
So, today’s match looks to be tougher than expected at first glance. In fact, I won’t be surprised if the Beavers push today’s match to a fifth set as well. And, if it goes to a fifth set, all bets are off and Oregon State could pull off an upset.
So, the key for a Bruin win today is to close the match out in either three or four sets.