Strong Offensive Performance Lifts #12 UCLA over Long Beach State

  0 Brandon Johnson | September 15th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, News, Pac 12

Match Info

  • #12 UCLA at Long Beach State
  • UCLA improves to 7-2;  Long Beach State drops to 1-10
  • Long Beach, CA
  • Match stats

The visiting UCLA Bruins closed their non-conference schedule traveling down road to Long Beach, taking on a struggling 49ers team. Despite hitting a lull in the second set, the Bruins were able to close the match out in four strong sets. Scores were 25-20, 18-25, 25-16, and 25-15. Senior setter Sarah Sponcil lead a well-balanced offense that outhit the hosts .421 to .167. Sponcil finished the night with 45 assists and 9 digs. Kyra Rogers led the offense with 14 kills and Reily Buechler, Jenny Mosser and Mac May all collected 13 kills. The #12 ranked Bruins improved to 7-2 on the year and will return to action as they open Pac-12 play on September 20th when they host USC.

UCLA got off to a hot start in set one, jumping out to an early 8-4 lead on a kill down the line from Mosser. After a Long Beach hitting error, the 49ers called their first timeout. The Bruins continued to add to their lead when Savvy Simo served up an ace. May crushed a kill down the line to end a long rally and extend the lead to 22-17, forcing Beach to call their final timeout of the set. They were unable to stop the momentum and the Bruins closed out the first set on another kill from May, who finished the set with six kills.

Set two saw Long Beach start much quicker, jumping out to an early 8-5 lead. A huge kill in the middle from Yizhi Xue opened the lead to 10-7. A double block from the Beach ballooned the lead to 15-10, forcing UCLA to use their first timeout. Another double block from the 49ers, this time by Xue and Megan Kruidhof extended the lead to 18-11, but the set was far from over as the Bruins rattled off four straight points. That run was short lived as the 49ers went on their own 4-1 run and never looked back, finishing the set on a from Radi Marinova.

Set three was all about the Bruins early as they jumped out to a 7-2 lead behind the strong serving of Simo. An ace from Sponcil followed directly by a kill down the line from May grew the lead to 13-8 for the Bruins. A double block from Sponcil and Rogers gave UCLA their biggest lead of the set at 23-15 and never looked back, finishing the set on a Beach attack error.

Set four was all about the Bruins early on as they jumped out to a 5-0 lead, forcing the 49ers into a quick timeout. The lead reached 8-0 on an ace from Sponcil before the 49ers were able to get on the board. The Bruins never looked back, dominating the set from start to finish.

Xue led the 49ers with 11 kills and Alexis Patterson collected 22 assists and 11 digs. Long Beach State drops to 1-10 on the season and will return to action on September 16th when they host San Francisco and Montana State.

Press Release:

Courtesy of UCLA Athletics

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Junior Kyra Rogers led all players with a career-best 14 kills, hitting .440, to lead four Bruins in double figures in kills, as #13 UCLA closed out the non-conference schedule with a four-set victory against Long Beach State on Friday at The Walter Pyramid. Set scores were 25-20, 18-25, 25-16, 25-15.

Freshman Jenny Mosser recorded the first double-double of her career with 13 kills and 11 digs, with senior Reily Buechler equaling those totals to notch her second double-double of the season and 18th as a Bruin. Freshman Mac May was the fourth Bruin in double figures, also producing 13 kills. Sophomore Savvy Simo had 16 digs and junior Zana Muno added seven. Freshman Sabrina Smith, in her first career appearance, totaled seven kills and four blocks, while senior Sarah Sponcil tallied 45 assists and nine digs. The Bruins hit .255 for the match.

After dropping two of the first three points of set one, the Bruins (7-2) scored the next two on a May kill and a Simo ace and led for the rest of the opener. At 5-4, a 6-1 run on two Mosser kills, one each by Buechler and Rogers, the first kill of Smith’s career and a Long Beach State attack error made it 11-5. The 49ers (1-10) closed to within three at 14-11, but an LBSU service error, a Simo ace and a May kill put the Bruins back up by half a dozen.

On the Bruins’ second set point, May’s team-best sixth kill of the first gave the visitors a 25-20 win. Buechler, Mosser and Rogers each had three kills, with Mosser adding five digs and Buechler hitting .500 with no errors in six swings. Muno recorded four digs. The Bruins out-hit the 49ers .273 to .194.

The Bruins held slim one-point leads at 1-0, 2-1 and 4-3 in set two, but that was as large an edge as they would have, as Long Beach evened the match. Tied at five, the 49ers went on a 13-6 run to go up 18-11. Four in a row for UCLA on two Rogers kills, one by Buechler and an LBSU service error cut the deficit to three, but the 49ers netted seven of the last 10 of the set to win it 25-18. Buechler posted four kills, Mosser and Rogers each had three and Simo added five digs, as the Bruins were out-hit .367 to .121.

UCLA dropped the first point of set three, but would score seven of the next eight to go ahead 7-2. Smith had two kills during the run, Buechler, May and Rogers each posted one, May and Rogers teamed up for a block and LBSU committed an error. At 10-7, three in a row on a 49er service error, a Sponcil ace and a May kill made it 13-7.

Long Beach got as close as three again at 16-13, but a 9-3 run for UCLA finished off the third. Rogers had four kills and teamed up on a block with Sponcil, who also had a solo stuff during the run. Mosser had a kill, Buechler served an ace and an attack error on set point gave the Bruins the 25-16 win. Rogers was 6-for-9 with no errors in the third, while Buechler, May and Smith each added three kills. The Bruins out-hit the 49ers .306 to .088.

UCLA stormed out to leads of 8-0, 12-1 and 18-3 in set four. The first eight points came on four Mosser kills, a Smith kill and combo block with May, a Sponcil ace and a 49er error. After a sideout, two May kills and one each by Buechler and Smith made it an 11-point advantage. Long Beach got two of the next three, but five straight on two Buechler kills, a Rogers kill and two 49er errors made it 18-3.

The 49ers would rally to get their deficit to just eight at 21-13, but the Bruins would score four of the last six to win the fourth 25-15, as a May kill completed the match. Mosser posted five kills, while Buechler and May each had three in the fourth. Simo notched six digs. The Bruins out-hit the 49ers .312 to .032.

The Bruins open up Pac-12 Conference play on Wednesday at Pauley Pavilion as they take on #18 USC at 8 p.m. The match will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Networks National and Los Angeles, while free live audio and live stats will be available at

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