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Women’s volleyball fails to win a set in second straight match, falls to Colorado

Junior outside hitter Mac May had 20 kills in No. 23 UCLA women’s volleyball’s three-set loss to unranked Colorado. The Bruins had a .188 hitting percentage in the match and recorded just 41 kills. (Keaton Larson/Daily Bruin)

Women's Volleyball

No. 23 UCLA0

By Lexi Grimes

November 8, 2019, 1:03 am

The Bruins haven’t won a set in two matches.

No. 23 UCLA women’s volleyball (13-9, 8-5 Pac-12) was swept by Colorado (11-12, 3-10) on Thursday night, only their third loss this season to an unranked team.

The Bruins had previously bested the Buffaloes 3-0 on Oct. 13. The Thursday night loss is the Bruins’ second in a row, after UCLA fell to then-No. 12 Washington on Sunday.

Coach Michael Sealy said the Bruins’ inability to win close points and lack of energy on the court were major factors in the loss.

“For us it was a crazy off-night, almost every facet of our game was off, and we still were able to battle in and create opportunities to win sets,” Sealy said. “We just didn’t close it out.”

The Bruins lost the first set 25-21, the second set 28-26 and the third set 25-22. However, there were a total of 26 ties and 8 lead changes, with the Bruins leading by no more than one point in the first two sets, before leading by a match-high four points early on in the third set.

After recording a combined nine blocks in last weekend’s two games, the Bruins only recorded six blocks this match.

Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Sabrina Smith, who had a hand in five of the six UCLA blocks, said a lack of communication has contributed to UCLA’s difficulty in executing successful blocks.

“I think we just need to continue getting up, doing our blocking assignments and just allowing our defense to play behind us and trusting that they’re going to be behind us even if we aren’t getting blocks,” Smith said. “We just needed to communicate that to the back row and just have good communication.”

Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Sabrina Smith recorded three solo blocks and two assisted blocks in the Bruins' three-set loss to the Buffaloes. (Liz Ketcham/Photo editor)

UCLA will try to get its rhythm back before Saturday’s game against No. 16 Utah (16-7, 8-4). When asked about specific areas for the team to work on before the game, Smith stated that energy was a major aspect the team would try to improve on after today’s loss.

“It was kind of a slow start for us in all the sets,” Smith said. “We kind of dug ourselves into a ditch a little bit, and so I think just coming out stronger, coming out with more energy, and challenging them and not letting them take control of the game early on.”

Despite the outcome of Thursday’s match, junior outside hitter Mac May, who rebounded from her season-low six kills last game to lead the Bruins tonight with 20, had a positive outlook for the Utah game.

“For Utah, we’ve just got to let this (game) go and focus on the next thing,” May said. “Like, take what we can learn and then just go on to Utah and work hard, play better. Obviously this is a tough loss, and if we win against Utah it’ll kind of even it out, so that would be really big for us and kind of a good bounce back.”

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Lexi Grimes | Sports contributor
Grimes is currently a Sports contributor on the beach volleyball beat. She was previously a contributor on the women's volleyball beat.
Grimes is currently a Sports contributor on the beach volleyball beat. She was previously a contributor on the women's volleyball beat.
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