Freshmen Pivotal as #18 UCLA Downs Cal in Straight Sets

  0 Bill Stadick | October 15th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, News, Pac 12


The #18 UCLA Bruins used key contributions from several first-year players to defeat the California Bears in consecutive sets.

Freshman outside Mac May led the Bruins with 12 kills, hitting at a .375 clip. She also recorded seven digs and three blocks. Freshman outside Jenny Mosser added eight kills and also hit .375. Another freshman, middle Sabrina Smith, led the front-row defense with a team-high six blocks.

Other key contributors included sophomore Savvy Simo, who had a team-best 11 digs, and senior Sarah Sponcil, who dished out 27 assists and added eight digs.

For the Bears, senior Christine Alftin had 15 digs in her first-ever start at libero, while senior Antzela Dempi notched 10 kills on .389 hitting.

UCLA scored the first 11 points of the first set and never trailed, winning 25-16 on a Cal hitting error. In the second, the Bears stayed close and led 15-12 midway through the frame.

The second set featured eight ties and four lead changes, with the Bears leading by 15-12 at the media timeout. UCLA eventually pulled away and ended 25-22 on a Mosser kill.

In the third, UCLA again pulled out to an early lead, but the Bears fought back to get as close as 14-12. UCLA sustained its lead and took the set on a six-point scoring run that featured back-to-back kills by the freshmen outsides, May and Mosser, back-to-back blocks by Smith-May and Smith-Mosser, a Cal error and Sponcil ace.

Cal returns to play Washington State and #13 Washington on Friday and Saturday, while UCLA travels to #11 Utah on Friday and Colorado (RV) on Saturday.



Courtesy: UCLA Athletics

#12 Bruins Bounce Back With Sweep of Bears

LOS ANGELES – Freshman Mac May had a match-best 12 kills to go with seven digs and three blocks, while senior Sarah Sponcil added 27 assists and eight digs, setting UCLA to a .323 hitting percentage, as the 12th-ranked Bruins swept California on Saturday at Pauley Pavilion. Set scores were 25-16, 25-22, 25-15.

Senior Reily Buechler added nine kills, six digs and three blocks, junior Kyra Rogers produced eight kills and a .400 hitting percentage and freshman Jenny Mosser had eight kills and six digs. Sophomore Savvy Simo had 11 digs, while freshman Sabrina Smith notched six blocks.

The Bruins (12-5, 5-3 Pac-12) scored the first 11 points of the match before California (11-8, 2-6) got on the board. May posted four kills, Buechler had a kill and teamed up with Smith on a block and Cal committed five errors. Eleven would be UCLA’s largest lead of the set on three occasions. The Golden Bears would trim their deficit to five at 17-12 but could get no closer. At 20-14, the Bruins scored three straight on a Rogers kill, a Buechler ace and a Cal attack error to go back up by nine, eventually winning the set 25-16 on another Golden Bear hitting miscue. May had six kills, Sponcil added five digs and Mosser posted four digs, as the Bruins out-hit the Golden Bears .205 to .045.

Set two featured eight ties and four lead changes, with Cal leading late, but UCLA eventually taking the set. The Golden Bears’ largest lead was three as late as 15-12. With the Bruins down by two at 18-16, the home team scored three in a row on a May kill and two Cal errors to take the lead for good. At 21-20, UCLA scored four of the final six to take the second 25-22, as a Mosser kill concluded the victory. Rogers led the Bruins with five kills, Buechler and Mosser each had three and Simo notched four digs, as the Bruins out-hit the Golden Bears .469 to .423.

UCLA never trailed in winning set three. Up 6-5, the Bruins scored six of eight to go ahead 12-7. Smith was a part of three of the points on a kill, a solo block and a combo stuff with Sponcil. May and Mosser also added kills and Cal made an error. At 14-12, a May kill and two Buechler kills put the Bruins back up by five. Leading 20-15, UCLA scored the last five to win the third 25-15, as May had a kill, Cal committed a bad set, Smith teamed up on two blocks with Mosser and May and Sponcil served an ace to wrap up the match. Buechler and May each had four kills in the third, while Mosser added three, as the Bruins out-hit the Golden Bears .321 to .077. Simo had four digs and Smith added four blocks.

The Bruins are on the road for four matches in a row, starting on Friday, Oct. 20 against #13 Utah at 5 p.m. The contest will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.

Courtesy: California Athletics

Bears Fall To No. 12 UCLA In Three Sets

LOS ANGELES – Senior Antzela Dempi recorded 10 kills at a .389 hitting percentage and senior Christine Alftin had 15 digs in her first career start at libero but the Cal volleyball team fell to No. 12 UCLA 25-16, 25-22, 25-15 on Friday night at Pauley Pavilion.

Junior Carmen Annevelink added eight kills while sophomore Maddie Haynes had five kills in her first extended action of the season. Freshman Mima Mirkovic had five kills and seven digs.

The Bears (11-8, 2-6 Pac-12) got off to a sluggish start, falling behind 11-0 in the first set. Cal was able to stabilize things for the rest of the set but had fallen too far behind to make a comeback.

The Bears were much more competitive in the second set and led 15-12 at the media timeout. Cal still led 18-16 before five of the next six points to go in front 21-19. The Bears were still within 23-21 but the Bruins were able to polish things off.

Cal fell behind early in the third set but battled back to cut the deficit to 14-12. The Bears were still within striking distance at 18-14 but UCLA pulled away.

After playing their past four matches on the road, the Bears finally return home next week to host the Washington schools. Cal plays Washington State on Friday at 7 p.m. and No. 14 Washington on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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