Friday, September 22

Women’s volleyball maintains victory streak in New Mexico


Senior pin hitter Reily Buechler tallied 11 kills against New Mexico State on Friday to lead UCLA to victory. The Bruins swept both the Aggies and the Rebels over the weekend. (Daily Bruin file photo)

Senior pin hitter Reily Buechler tallied 11 kills against New Mexico State on Friday to lead UCLA to victory. The Bruins swept both the Aggies and the Rebels over the weekend. (Daily Bruin file photo)


The Bruins faced two opponents, and neither was able to steal a single set.

No. 11 UCLA women’s volleyball (5-0) sustained its undefeated record in New Mexico, taking home wins over New Mexico State (3-3) and UNLV (3-4).

For coach Michael Sealy, consistency in the games was a key takeaway, both in performance and in the areas that need improvement.

“The quality of contact can be better in all facets of the game,” Sealy said. “Not only knowing our assignments but hitting them more consistently and aggressively. Just being in the right place at the right time.”

Senior pin hitter Reily Buechler led the team with 11 kills and eight digs, followed by freshman pin hitter Mac May who tallied nine kills and five digs in the Bruins’ Friday victory over the Aggies.

Senior setter Sarah Sponcil put up 39 assists, eight digs and four blocks. As a team, UCLA hit .236, out-hitting New Mexico State’s .120.

When facing the Rebels on Saturday, May had another strong showing with 16 kills in 30 attempts for a .500 hitting percentage. The freshman currently leads the Bruins in kills with 68.

“There’s no way I could do anything without my defense and my setters,” May said. “I’m really excited to keep working hard and being as effective as I can.”

Sponcil recorded 37 assists, along with seven digs, three kills and an ace against UNLV.

However, despite the straight-set victory, Sponcil said the game was not the team’s best in comparison to Aug. 27′s win over Hawai’i.

“When our passing is there, we’re an unstoppable team,” Sponcil said. “Our pins and our middles are really strong so once that ball is right to me or even just in the area, I can sell hitters or middles on the other side, creating one-on-ones for my hitters, so I think in Hawai’i, our passing was a little bit better.”

Sponcil, a new transfer, said thus far, running her offense has been easy. Good communication with her passers and trusting her hitters has been the greatest factor to her success, she added.

The Bruins hit .321 against the Rebels, led by May and followed by Buechler, who had 10 kills, and freshman pin hitter Jenny Mosser, who posted eight kills.

Compared to the nine blocks against New Mexico State, UCLA had only one block against UNLV. This is often due to the opponent’s hitting percentage, Sealy said, as UNLV hit into the block more whereas New Mexico State challenged it.

With a perfect five-game record to start the season, the Bruins look to keep up a strong mindset as they prepare for some challenging matchups ahead.

“We definitely played some good teams, but we have a lot of things to work on,” May said. “We’re really excited to work on those before we go to Nebraska.”

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