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Women’s volleyball snaps three-match winning streak with loss to Oregon

Redshirt junior middle blocker Anna Dodson goes for a kill. Dodson earned zero errors and 13 kills for a .650 hitting percentage during UCLA’s loss to No. 17 Oregon on Sunday. (Alex Driscoll/Daily Bruin staff)

Women's Volleyball

Then-No. 17 Oregon3

By Sam Lieberman

Oct. 17, 2022 2:32 p.m.

This post was updated Oct. 18 at 10:30 p.m.

In their first five-set match of Pac-12 play this season, the Bruins fell short.

UCLA women’s volleyball (9-8, 3-5 Pac-12) dropped three sets against then-No. 17 Oregon (11-5, 5-3) en route to a 22-25, 27-25, 23-25, 25-21, 15-9 defeat on Sunday. The match snapped both the Bruins’ three-match winning streak and the Ducks’ three-match losing streak.

The first set involved a close back-and-forth affair in which neither team managed to achieve a lead larger than three points. Midway through the set, Oregon jumped out to 10-7 and maintained its advantage until 17-14.

UCLA then began its comeback, winning 11 of the next 16 points. The run was capped off by an ace from redshirt junior middle blocker Anna Dodson, which ricocheted off the top of the net and fell to the floor untouched.

“I did not think it would go over the net. But I’m definitely happy it did,” Dodson said of her set-winning ace.

Dodson said she recently changed how she serves, opting to hit from the back end line.

“I hit really hard and I like to really wail the ball. When I’m a little close to the net, it doesn’t work out so well,” Dodson said.

Dodson recorded four aces on the weekend, including a career-high three against Oregon State and the one set-point ace against Oregon.

In the match, Dodson racked up 13 kills and 0 errors on 20 attempts, notching a hitting percentage of .650. She added five digs and four blocks to go along with it.

The second set saw the blue and gold with a 24-22 lead, but after failing to convert on two set points, Oregon forced a deuce. A kill by sophomore outside hitter/opposite Charitie Luper, who led the Bruins with 18 kills throughout the match, gave UCLA a 25-24 lead. But with three straight points in a row, Oregon took the set and left the match tied at 1-1.

In the third set, the Bruins pushed their lead to as far as 19-10 before the Ducks went on a 13-5 run and clawed back to get the score to 24-23. At set point for UCLA, it appeared Oregon had tied the set at 24 to force a second straight deuce, but a challenge by coach Michael Sealy overturned the call, giving the Bruins a 2-1 advantage.

“My volunteer assistant Sammy Ramos noticed that their setter netted when she went to set the ball,” Sealy said. “Her right shoulder touched the net. Nobody saw it. He caught it from where he was sitting.”

After it was determined that Oregon’s setter netted, the Ducks used a challenge on the same play, checking to see if one of the players had reached over the net and touched the ball earlier in the rally. But the challenge proved unsuccessful, and the Bruins ended up winning the point.

Oregon managed to pull away in the fourth set, winning its 24th and 25th points with kills from outside hitter Mimi Colyer and outside hitter Brooke Nuneviller, who had 23 and 22 kills, respectively, throughout the match. Nuneviller also tallied a double-double, adding 10 digs to go along with a .314 hitting percentage.

The fifth set saw the Ducks outmatch the Bruins by the largest point difference in the match, coming out on top 15-9. Graduate student outside hitter/opposite élan McCall had a pair of kills to keep the Bruins within one, but after four Oregon kills and three UCLA hitting errors, the Ducks secured the victory.

“Towards the fifth set, the quality of contact wasn’t great,” Sealy said. “I didn’t think we showed up as best we could as things got tight.”

UCLA finished with a .269 hitting percentage, racking up 63 kills and six aces. The .269 hitting percentage was .045 points higher than the Bruins’ season average of .224.

“Today we focused on limiting our errors,” McCall said.

McCall led all Bruin outside hitters/opposites with a hitting percentage of .364, notching 15 kills and three errors on 33 attempts. The match also led to her sixth double-double of the season, as she ended with 11 digs.

Oregon as a team finished with a .309 hitting percentage, tallying 73 kills in the process.

UCLA will look to bounce back next weekend when it goes to Northern California to play No. 7 Stanford and California on Friday and Sunday, respectively.

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Sam Lieberman
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