UCLA women’s volleyball wasn’t able to control the game nor its outcome when it fell to Washington State 2-3 last Friday at home.
This Friday on the road was dramatically different.
The No. 12 Bruins (11-2, 2-1 Pac-12) delivered a steady, dominant performance in taking down No. 25 Utah (11-3, 2-1 Pac-12) in Salt Lake City.
UCLA held onto a lead throughout the first game, claiming the set 25-23 despite the Utes coming back to close the point margin. Senior outside hitter Jordan Anderson came out of the gates strong with nine kills in set one.
Anderson continued to be a crucial offensive weapon in the front row, posting a total of 15 kills on the match. Utah even switched from a 5-1 to a 6-2 rotation so that Anderson would have to contend with a hitter-blocker instead of swinging against the Utes’ setter.
UCLA struggled initially in set two, swinging against a massive wall from Utah up at the net. The Utes tallied a total of four consecutive blocks at one point, bulding a six-point lead early on in the set.
UCLA rallied back to make the game a much tighter race and eventually took set two 25-22. On the match, senior middle blocker Jennie Frager posted a hitting percentage of .588 with her 11 kills, scoring six in the second set alone.
The Bruins maintained their momentum in set three, putting pressure on the Utes’ passers and keeping them out of system.
UCLA served tough, targeting feared outside hitter Adora Anae in the back row to keep Utah out of system.
With a clean sweep, the Bruins extended their margin of victory with each game and took the third set 25-20.
Coach Michael Sealy began to see rewards of his new 6-2 rotation, evidenceed by a strong, balanced attack coming from a large outlet of hitters for either junior redshirt Ryann Chandler or freshman Kylie Miller to utilize.
Junior outside hitter Reilly Buechler finished with eight kills, along with sophomore Zana Muno and freshman Torrey Van Winden sharing time on the right side to nab three and five kills respectively. Chandler had 26 assists in the game, with Miller contributing 14.
UCLA heads to Boulder, Colorado, next to face Colorado at 11 a.m. on Sunday.