Wednesday, April 8

Women’s volleyball gets chance to avenge 2018 season losses to USC

UCLA women's volleyball junior outside hitter Mac May recorded her third double-double of the season against UC Santa Barbara, collecting 12 kills and 15 digs. The Bruins will next face off against conference rival USC on Wednesday night. (Liz Ketcham/Photo editor)

Women's Volleyball

Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.

Pauley Pavilion
Pac-12 Networks

The Bruins have a chance for revenge.

UCLA women’s volleyball (5-4) will return home to face off against No. 20 USC in Pauley Pavilion on Wednesday night. This will be the Bruins’ first game at home this season, as they played all nine of their nonconference games on the road.

UCLA is coming off a loss to UC Santa Barbara in its last nonconference game. It was UCLA’s first loss of the season to an unranked opponent and the ninth sweep in a row for the team, win or lose. UCLA had previously lost to now-No. 1 Nebraska, No. 5 Baylor and No. 13 Hawai’i. The Bruins recorded 16 attack errors and seven service errors in the loss to the Gauchos, hitting .252.

The Trojans have had a similar season to the Bruins’ so far, also recording three losses to ranked opponents – No. 3 Texas, No. 16 Kentucky and No. 15 Creighton – all in four sets.

USC is led in kills by outside hitters Kalen Owes and Brooke Botkin. The pair are also tied for No. 2 on the team in service aces.

UCLA leads the all-time series 64-59 and has won six of the last 10 games versus USC.

The teams met twice in 2018, and neither match ended favorably for the Bruins. In the first matchup at the Galen Center, then-No. 14 USC swept then-No. 17 UCLA, capped by a 25-8 second-set victory – the largest margin of defeat for the Bruins since 2014.

The rematch was not without drama either, as the teams met in Pauley Pavilion for the Bruins’ last game of the season.

UCLA’s whole season was riding on that game, as it was holding a 13-13 record after losing eight of its previous 10 games. With a victory, the Bruins could have avoided recording the first losing record in program history.

In addition, teams with a record under .500 are ineligible for postseason play, so despite sitting just outside the top 25, the Bruins had to beat the Trojans to extend their season into a playoff run.

With the season on the line, UCLA fought back from two sets down to force a decisive fifth set, but were unable to close the deal, finishing the season with a losing record and no chance of making the playoffs.

The Bruins will start and end Pac-12 play with games against the Trojans this year and will have a chance to avenge their 2018 losses.

UCLA and USC will face off at Pauley Pavilion on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

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.

Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.