Behind the Score:
Tabi Love's kills on the weekend
Times UCLA has swept an opponent
During the middle of the second set of the Bruins’ match against Arizona on Sunday, senior libero Bojana Todorovic laid out to make the dig.
Her pass inexplicably found sophomore setter Megan Moenoa, who surprised everybody by hitting the ball herself. Her pinpoint kill shot found the only hole in the Arizona’s defense on the play, right in the middle, for the score.
Like Moenoa taking control of the kill attempt, No. 6 UCLA (12-3, 4-2 Pac-12) took control of Arizona State (13-6, 2-4) and Arizona (9-8, 1-5) this past weekend, sweeping both teams.
The Bruins’ only blemish of the weekend occurred late Sunday against the Wildcats. With his team leading 14-5 in the third set, coach Michael Sealy began to insert substitutes into the game.
However his backup players couldn’t maintain UCLA’s advantage as Arizona clawed back to tie the set, 25-25, and force the starters back into the match.
On the very next play, senior outside hitter Tabi Love sent a kill off the Arizona block to give UCLA a 26-25 edge.
For her encore, Love sent yet another kill off the Arizona block for the UCLA point, set and match win.
For Sealy, his team’s gutsy play late in the match Sunday was exactly what he was looking for.
“The biggest positive was the last two points of the match. We actually had to earn two points; crucial points in a pressure situation,” Sealy said.
“Up until those two points, I was very disappointed in the whole night. But after I saw those two points and couple clutch blocks and plays we made, I was happy with it.”
Aside from UCLA’s near collapse in the third set Sunday, the Bruins’ play gave little to be disappointed about the entire weekend.
The team’s offense tore through both the Sun Devils’ and the Wildcats’ defense, and players seemed to have a better grip on the new offensive system.
Meanwhile, the defense did its part as well.
“I think our defense was good. We always want to be digging more balls and getting more touches on the block but we got a lot of blocks tonight and in the other game against Arizona State,” Love said.
In total, UCLA had 22 blocks in two games. The Bruins hope their success this weekend will propel them next weekend.
“I think this was a really important weekend for us because normally with Arizona (and Arizona State), we always split, or something always goes wrong,” said junior outside hitter Kelly Reeves.
“But I think we came in with the mindset that we wanted to get after it and we wanted to get these wins.”