Saturday, March 28

Women’s volleyball return from Washington with mixed results

Redshirt freshman outside hitter Alexis Light recorded eight kills and a career-high nine digs in the Bruins' loss on Sunday to Washington State. On Saturday against Washington, Light posted 11 kills and one block. (Alice Naland/Daily Bruin)

It was an up-and-down weekend in Washington for the Bruins.

No. 20 UCLA women’s volleyball (11-6, 6-4 Pac-12) beat No. 19 Washington (13-7, 5-5) on Friday in four sets but fell to No. 23 Washington State (15-5, 6-4) in three sets Sunday.

The Bruins trailed for most of the first set against Washington. But at 20-17, UCLA went on a 5-1 run to take the lead, and despite the Huskies tying the score at 22-22 and again at 24-24, the Bruins were able to edge them out for a 26-24 set win.

“I think we were just very gritty,” said redshirt freshman outside hitter Alexis Light. “We just need to make sure we’re giving ourselves an opportunity to score.”

Down 5-3 in set two, the Bruins scored six of the next seven to take a lead they would not give up for the rest of the set. UCLA scored four of the last five points on kills by sophomore outside hitter Mac May to take the set 25-19.

The score was tied nine times in the third set before the Bruins took the lead at 14-13. UCLA, however, was unable to complete the sweep despite leading 19-15, allowing the Huskies to score 10 of the last 13 points of the set to win 25-22.

The Bruins scored five in a row to take the lead after going down 10-8 in the fourth set, but Washington would overtake them again at 19-18. But UCLA rallied again to take the set 25-21 for the match win.

“Overall, it’s a good thing to have to go to a fourth set, and be able to regroup,” said coach Michael Sealy. “Getting a lot of sweeps isn’t going to be realistic as far as the future of the season. You’ve got to make sure you can … fight through and win fourth sets.”

May led the Bruins with a career-high 27 kills and 13 digs against Washington, while sophomore outside hitter Jenny Mosser also recorded a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs. UCLA outhit the Huskies .235 to .196 overall.

The Bruins were unable to win a set against the Cougars on Sunday.

UCLA was ahead by as many as five points at 16-11 in the first set, but Washington State scored 14 of the next 20 to take the set 25-22.

The Cougars started the second set with a 9-3 run and extended their lead to as many as seven points en route to a 25-20 set win. The Bruins never got within three points of Washington State after the Cougars’ initial run.

The third set consisted of four lead changes and 10 ties. Neither team led by more than three points until the last point, when Washington State completed the sweep with a 25-21 set win.

“It’s a good reminder that we still need to work hard and still need to get after it every day in order to be successful in the Pac-12,” May said. “You can’t really take a break with all these great teams.”

The Cougars outhit the Bruins .189 to .143 overall, and recorded 41 kills to the Bruins’ 38. May posted her second double-double of the weekend with 13 kills and 10 digs, and Light posted eight kills and a career-high nine digs in the loss.

The Bruins will come home next weekend to face California on Friday and No. 2 Stanford on Sunday.

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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