The Bruins are coming off a brutal loss to the No. 7 Washington Huskies – a game that could have won them a share of the Pac-12 title.
But as UCLA women’s volleyball prepares to face USC on Saturday, it’s important to remember that the Bruins haven’t lost two matches in a row a single time this season.
“We’ve been pretty good at bouncing back from disappointing matches,” said coach Michael Sealy. “I think that every match that we’ve lost – we’ve come back and refocused.”
After Wednesday’s loss to the No. 7 Huskies, only one match stands between the Bruins and NCAA selection Sunday.
No. 8 UCLA (23-6, 14-5 Pac-12) will play unranked USC (18-12, 10-9 Pac-12) in both teams’ final conference contest of the season.
The Bruins will likely receive a bid to the 64-team tournament regardless of Saturday’s result, but the Trojans’ mediocre Pac-12 record and RPI ranking of 43 make them a team on the bubble.
The two teams most recently faced off in their Pac-12 opener in September when UCLA took down then-No. 21 USC in four sets. This matchup was also when the Bruins debuted their original 6-2 rotation, though they’ve made many lineup adjustments since.
Senior middle blocker Claire Felix said the Bruins’ loss on Wednesday in Seattle will sting for a while, but with only a three-day turnaround, the loss should fire the team up for USC.
Saturday’s match will be a test to see if the team can continue to bounce back from disappointing losses.
“Even if we’re not feeling it or things aren’t clicking, we gotta find a way to get back to our game and play our volleyball and be confident in that,” said senior libero Taylor Formico.
Sealy has emphasized playing well in the tournament throughout the season, and this last conference match is the Bruins’ last chance to work out the kinks.
“Hopefully we can settle in, finish the Pac-12 strong and when it’s done it’s a clean slate,” Sealy said. “The season’s over, and the tournament is a whole new season.”
The Bruins will play at Pauley Pavilion at 5 p.m. and will honor their senior class before first serve.