Volleyball triumphs over Utah with powerful performances from multiple women
In her first full game playing at setter this season, junior Kylie Miller recorded a personal best in assists and digs with 41 and 22, respectively. (Liz Ketcham/Assistant Photo editor)
|No. 17 UCLA||3|
|No. 23 Utah||1|
Sep. 22, 2018 2:20 pm
The Bruins were able to bounce back.
After falling in straight sets to No. 14 USC on Wednesday, No. 17 UCLA women’s volleyball (6-3, 1-1 Pac-12) defeated No. 23 Utah (8-5, 0-2) 3-1 Friday night.
“The USC match made it more imprinted of ‘Hey, we’re a work in progress,’” said coach Michael Sealy. “We need to accept that (and) we need to be excited about that. It’s not a bad thing to be.”
UCLA never trailed in set one but had the score tied up five times. At 12-12, the Bruins took eight of the next 10 points. The Utes narrowed the lead to get the set within two, but UCLA pulled back ahead for a 25-21 win.
Junior setter Kylie Miller nearly posted a double-double in the first set with 12 assists and nine digs.
“I knew that I had to step in and lead this team offensively,” Miller said. “My passers were able to get the ball to me, which was very helpful, and then the hitters knew the open areas on the court and were hitting them accurately.”
Utah came back to take a 10-1 lead early in the second set. The Bruins fought back and scored 5 of the next 8 points, but the Utes held on for a 25-18 win.
UCLA’s momentum late in the second set continued into the third, as it snagged an 5-1 lead to start the set. But Utah made a run late to tie the score at 22-22 and then 23-23.
After four set points for UCLA and three late kills by sophomore outside hitter Mac May, the Bruins took the set 29-27.
“We were ahead and I think we just needed to keep that run,” May said. “Because of the cushion, we were able to keep fighting hard and we just battled it out in the end.”
With a 2-1 lead in the match, UCLA dominated the fourth set, scoring the first five points en route to a 25-13 victory.
May recorded a double-double in the match with 16 kills and 10 digs. Sophomore outside hitter Jenny Mosser also posted 11 kills, while junior middle blocker Madeleine Gates added 10 kills and five blocks.
The Bruins registered 10 total blocks compared to Utah’s four.
“That was a product of serving,” Sealy said. “I think we serve tough, so they had bad passes and had to set high balls outside and I think our blockers did a good job of getting in the right spot and then just played defense around it.”
In her first full game at setter this season, Miller recorded a personal best in assists and digs with 41 and 22, respectively.
“She did a good job of just trying to find matchups,” Sealy said. “Getting the right ball to the right person at the right time (and) just working on slowing some things down.”
UCLA will continue Pac-12 play when it heads to Stanford next week – a team the Bruins lost to twice last season.
“We’re definitely going to need to battle,” May said. “We can’t take a game off or anything because when we do, we know how we play – and we don’t play well.”