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UCLA women’s volleyball defeats Oregon State, falls to Oregon to end winning streak

Graduate student Mac May receives the ball. The outside hitter/opposite finished with seven digs and eight kills in the loss to Oregon on Sunday. (Jennifer Xu/Daily Bruin)

Women's Volleyball

No. 12 UCLA3
Oregon State0
No. 12 UCLA0
No. 17 Oregon3

By Juliana Chen

Nov. 14, 2021 11:57 p.m.

The Bruins’ seven-game winning streak has come to an end.

No. 12 UCLA women’s volleyball (20-4, 13-3 Pac-12) defeated Oregon State (4-22, 2-14) in three sets in Corvallis on Friday evening but was swept by No. 17 Oregon (20-6, 11-5) in Eugene on Sunday afternoon. The blue and gold’s loss to Oregon punctuated its four-game road trip and put an end to a winning streak that lasted nearly a month.

Against the Beavers, the Bruins had a hitting percentage of .294. Graduate student outside hitter/opposite Mac May led the team with 19 kills, followed by redshirt sophomore middle blocker Anna Dodson with 11.

In its contest with Oregon, however, UCLA had a hitting percentage of .185, and May tallied eight kills, while sophomore outside hitter/opposite Allison Jacobs had six.

Coach Michael Sealy said the decrease in hitting percentage Sunday can be attributed to the team’s inability to fall into a clean and effective offense to maximize its success.

“We couldn’t find an offensive rhythm,” Sealy said. “We didn’t have the precision that we normally have, where the setters and hitters were completely in sync, so I think because we were trying to find the same speed and location together, we were forced there.”

Oregon outside hitter/libero Brooke Nuneviller, who is ranked seventh in kills in the Pac-12 with 331 this season, was held to eight kills in the Bruins’ previous matchup with the Ducks. However, on Sunday, Nuneviller had five kills in the first set alone.

Sealy said Oregon’s precise offense allowed it to outperform his team.

“They were getting into a lot of one-on-one situations and had a lot of crossing routes to get the blockers confused,” Sealy said. “They were insistent even in bad situations, so they played the type of game that we normally like to play.”

Freshman outside hitter/opposite Charitie Luper ranks second on the team in kills this season with 221 but did not compete in either game and is out indefinitely.

In the freshman’s place, Jacobs recorded 14 total kills this weekend and said the transition has been relatively seamless without Luper thanks to the team’s strong chemistry and support system.

“It doesn’t matter who is on the court – whether it’s me or someone else – it is just this new culture we have created where no matter what is going on, someone is ready to fill in,” Jacobs said. “I am just that person right now.”

Against the Ducks, the Bruins had 17 attack errors and nine service errors, with four service errors occurring at the beginning of the first set. In their matchup earlier this season, UCLA had 17 attack errors and five service errors.

May said that it was a different atmosphere playing Oregon this time around, especially with the absence of key players and home-court advantage.

“This match today was a bit tougher,” May said. “We are more run down this far into the season, so that was an added challenge, as well as just missing some players and having it be in their home rather than ours.”

UCLA will next match up against Arizona State on Friday at 6 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion.

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Juliana Chen | Sports contributor
Chen is currently a Sports contributor on the women's volleyball beat. She was previously a contributor on the women's basketball beat.
Chen is currently a Sports contributor on the women's volleyball beat. She was previously a contributor on the women's basketball beat.
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