It was the Bruins’ turn to bring out the brooms.
UCLA women’s volleyball (3-2) swept all three of its opponents at the Long Beach State Mizuno Classic, one week after getting swept twice on the road.
“We definitely had to put our head down and keep working, since we didn’t have the results that we wanted last weekend,” said senior outside hitter Savvy Simo. “Today everyone stuck together really well, kept fighting, and we executed the game plan and it was really fun.”
With the Bruins’ victory against Texas State (3-4) on Friday, coach Michael Sealy recorded the 200th win of his career.
UCLA started the weekend with a match against Georgia (3-3) on Thursday. The Bulldogs led by as many as five points early in the first set, but with Georgia up 14-10, the Bruins went on a 9-2 run before eventually winning the set 28-26.
Georgia was winning 5-2 in the second set, but UCLA won 23 of 30 points for the rest of the set to win 25-12, its biggest set win of the season so far. The sweep was secured with a 25-21 third set.
UCLA recorded nine blocks compared to Georgia’s four, and was able to hold the Bulldogs to a .109 hitting percentage in the match, including a -.156 percentage in the second set.
The opening set against Texas State included nine ties and eight lead changes on the way to a 26-24 set for UCLA. In contrast, the Bruins led throughout the second set, winning 25-18.
“It was really important for us to see (that we could finish sets),” Simo said. “To be honest, it didn’t ever feel like we were down because we just kept our head down and kept working and stayed composed.”
The Bobcats held a 22-20 lead late in the third set, but a Texas State error and four kills from UCLA junior outside hitter Mac May sealed the 25-23 set win for the Bruins.
May led UCLA in kills against both Georgia and Texas State, with 19 and 17, respectively, adding three aces against the Bobcats.
In UCLA’s final match of the weekend versus the host team Long Beach State (2-4), the Bruins needed more than the standard 25 points to win in each of the three sets. UCLA saved three set points and the 49ers saved four set points in the first set, until the Bruins were able to break the back-and-forth and win the set 31-29.
The Bruins won final two frames by a score of 27-25, with the second and third sets featuring nine and eight ties, respectively. The sweep included a total of 31 ties and 14 lead changes among the three sets.
“Patience seems to be a common theme so far,” Sealy said. “I think the girls just don’t get flustered, we just keep going.”
Simo recorded the first double-double of her career in the final match of the weekend, recording 13 kills and 14 digs. May and sophomore opposite Hawley Harrer added 14 and nine kills, respectively, as the Bruins outhit the 49ers .297 to .235.
“We had really good blocking and really good defense throughout the match,” Harrer said. “We kept the seams closed, and the defense was just all around scrappy.”
The Bruins will go on the road again next weekend in Hawaii for the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Volleyball Challenge.