Friday, February 28

UCLA women’s volleyball ready to topple Oregon in its first home match in a month

Sophomore outside hitter Jenny Mosser has recorded 118 kills so far this season, good for second on the team. Mosser and UCLA will play its first home matches in over a month this weekend against conference foes Oregon and Oregon State in Pauley Pavilion. (Liz Ketcham/Assistant Photo editor)

Women’s volleyball

Today, 7 p.m.
Pauley Pavilion
Pac-12 Networks
Oregon State
Tomorrow, 7 p.m.
Pauley Pavilion
UCLA Live Stream

The Bruins are playing at home for the first time in over a month.

No. 17 UCLA women’s volleyball (7-4, 2-2 Pac-12) will face No. 20 Oregon (9-5, 2-2) on Friday night and Oregon State (10-6, 0-4) on Saturday in its first games at Pauley Pavilion since the end of August.

“I think we’re ready to put on a show,” said sophomore outside hitter Jenny Mosser. “And since we’ll have more students here, it’s exciting to show everyone what we’ve been working on and show them that we can win.”

Oregon comes into this weekend having lost back-to-back matches at home – a five-set loss to No. 21 Arizona and a three-set sweep to unranked Arizona State.

The Ducks are second in the conference in kills per set, averaging 14.84, while the Bruins are last in the Pac-12 with 12.22 kills per set. However, in digs per set, Oregon’s 17.25 just edges out UCLA’s 17.11.

Middle blocker Ronika Stone leads the Ducks this season in kills, recording double-digits in Oregon’s last six matches. Stone also scored a career-high of 19 kills in Oregon’s upset of then-No. 1 Minnesota earlier this season.

Oregon is hitting for .258 this season – good for third in the Pac-12 – while UCLA is ranked 11th with a .208 hitting percentage, only besting Oregon State’s .180.

“I think what we need to do is focus on what we can control if we have a bad set,” Mosser said. “It’s just being smart with our options, and then once we’re feeling it we can take the good swings and get those kills.”

The Bruins will play the Beavers after facing the Ducks. Oregon State started their season 10-2 but have since gone 0-4 so far in conference play, getting swept at home last week in their matches against Arizona and Arizona State.

The Bruins are 60-3 all-time against the Beavers, and have won the last 19 matches in a row. Oregon State is second overall in the conference in blocks per set with 2.82 but ranks near the bottom in kills per set at 12.44. They are led by middle blocker Lindsey Schell, who ranks fifth in the conference with 1.29 blocks per set.

“Every game is super important and every team is super good, so we can’t take anyone lightly,” said junior libero Savvy Simo.

UCLA has had mixed results in conference play so far, as it won its last match against California in a five-set comeback victory and beat out No. 24 Utah in four sets, but was swept at both No. 12 USC and No. 2 Stanford.

Coach Michael Sealy said in order to get the wins this weekend, the team needs to be consistently strong for every single set.

“We’ve shown we can play with a lot of emotion and focus and energy, and we’re just trying to do that from the first point,” Sealy said. “It’s about us battling, and if we’re going to consistently show up in that way, then everything else is going to take care of itself.”

Assistant Sports editor

Smith is currently an assistant Sports editor on the softball, gymnastics, women's volleyball, swim & dive and rowing beats. She was previously a reporter on the softball, women's volleyball, rowing and swim & dive beats.

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