This post was updated Dec. 8 at 10:08 p.m.
The Bruins’ season came to a close Saturday afternoon.
UCLA women’s volleyball (19-12, 13-7 Pac-12) was swept by No. 4 seed Wisconsin (22-5,15-1 Big-10) in the second round of the NCAA tournament, eliminating the Bruins and ending their season.
Coach Michael Sealy said the Bruins’ lack of consistency in each set was a reason UCLA was not able to advance, as the Bruins gave up early leads in two of the three sets.
“We got exploited in a lot of ways,” Sealy said. “(Wisconsin was) very clean and you’re going to play them for long enough stretches. To win that match, you’ve got to be pretty consistent for a pretty long time.”
UCLA began the first set with an early 6-3 lead, but a six-point run from Wisconsin gave the Badgers the advantage. Despite evenly splitting the last six points of the set, the Bruins lost the first set 25-18.
The second set also started with UCLA establishing an early three-point lead. However, Wisconsin was eventually able to tie the score 8-8 before taking the lead on the next point and winning the set 25-21.
The Bruins performed the worst in their last set against the Badgers, leading for only one point and scoring 14 points total. UCLA recorded a hitting percentage of .027 in the set that ended the match and its season.
The Bruins also had issues with their hitting against the Badgers, recording more attempts than Wisconsin but eight fewer kills and twice as many attacking errors. The Bruins also recorded a .194 hitting percentage compared to the Badgers’ .366, with junior outside hitter Mac May being held to 15 kills, her lowest total since Nov. 17.
Despite UCLA’s offensive statistics in the match, May said she was very proud of the way that the team played, both in this match and this season.
“From the start of the season to the end of it, we’ve made great strides,” May said. “Everything we’ve done this season is going to push us forward to next season. (I’m) very proud of how we finished. We would have liked to go further, but (we’re) by no means disappointed.”
By qualifying for the NCAA tournament, UCLA ensured it would finish the season better than last year. Junior outside hitter Jenny Mosser said she believes, despite the elimination, the Bruins are going to continue to improve and come back stronger for next season.
“Tonight we fell short and that’s OK,” Mosser said. “Last year we didn’t even make the tournament, so just making it this far is a huge step in the right direction.”