The Cougars proved to be too much for the Bruins.
No. 21 UCLA women’s volleyball (12-10, 7-8 Pac-12) fell to No. 19 Washington State (19-6, 10-5) in four sets Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion. This is the Bruins’ second loss to the Cougars this season after losing to them in three sets last month in Pullman.
The Bruins were able to maintain the lead in the majority of the first set but allowed a 7-1 Cougar run to give Washington State a 25-19 win. The Cougars outhit the Bruins .333 to .200.
Despite the loss, senior libero Zana Muno set a new UCLA record for the most digs in a single game with 38.
“It’s always cool to leave some sort of legacy behind,” Muno said. “But you don’t get all those digs unless the rest of the team keeps the ball on the court and we had a lot of long rallies, which gave me the opportunity to have a lot of digs.”
UCLA trailed by as much as five late in the second set, but seven kills from sophomore outside hitter Mac May and another seven from junior middle blocker Madeleine Gates helped tie the game at 22. While the Cougars rallied late, the Bruins pulled through with a 29-27 set win.
The teams were tied 7-7 to start the third set, but a 6-1 run by UCLA gave the Bruins the lead. However, the Cougars countered with a 9-3 run to take a 17-16 lead. The set went back-and-forth until Washington State recorded two consecutive kills to win the set 28-26.
Muno had 24 of her 38 digs in the second and third sets, keeping her team in the game.
“She’s everywhere on the court,” May said. “She is definitely working her ass off and continuously getting better and better throughout every match we have, so we’re all very proud of her.”
UCLA began the fourth set with service and attack errors, causing it to trail 13-7. Despite an 8-3 run – led by a block and two kills from Gates to tie the set at 19 – the Bruins ended with another series of errors, lifting the Cougars to a 25-21 win.
“Not always, but enough, we will make some bad errors in opportune times,” said coach Michael Sealy. “Once the teams get to 20, you want to kind of play a little more error-free volleyball. Those little things add up, so we kind of let them off the hook a little bit.”
UCLA will next face No. 25 Washington on Saturday at home.