Oct. 31, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. - Following a road trip to northern California last weekend, the Arizona (12-11, 4-8 Pac-12) volleyball team returns home to face No. 5 UCLA (17-4, 9-3 Pac-12) and No. 6 USC (21-3, 9-3 Pac-12) this weekend inside the McKale Center.
The Wildcats will host No. 5 UCLA on Friday at 8 p.m. and USC on Sunday at noon. Both matches will air live on the Pac-12 Networks.
Arizona is coming off a pair of road defeats at No. 1 Stanford and California last week. The Wildcats faced both UCLA and USC back in early October on the road. Arizona dropped both matches in three sets.
Tabi Love and Rachael Kidder had 13 kills apiece to lift No. 6 UCLA to a 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 27-25) victory over Arizona on Oct. 7 inside the John Wooden Center. Love hit an incredible .591 with no attack errors, while Kidder hit .333 with five blocks. UCLA hit .333 as a team, while Arizona hit .258. The Wildcats were led by sophomore Taylor Arizobal (Laguna Niguel, Calif.), who had a match-high 14 kills on .267 hitting. She also added a team-high three blocks. Halli Amaro (Los Alamitos, Calif.) and Madi Kingdon (Phoenix, Ariz.) each had seven kills, while Kingdon finished with a team-high 10 digs.
Samantha Bricio recorded a match-high 22 kills on .475 hitting to lead USC to a 3-0 (17-25, 16-25, 21-25) victory over Arizona on Oct. 5 inside the Galen Center. USC hit a solid .282 on the night, while its defense held Arizona's offense in check as the Cats hit just .140 on the night. Bricio recorded a double-double as she also added 11 digs to go along with her 22 kills. Meanwhile, Hayley Crone dished out a match-high 34 assists in the victory for the Trojans. The Arizona duo of Kingdon and Arizobal each had eight kills to lead the Wildcats. Junior setter Chanel Brown (Tempe, Ariz.) recorded a double-double as she recorded 13 digs and 12 assists. Candace Nicholson (Long Beach, Calif.) finished with a team-high 14 digs to lead the Arizona defense.
Kingdon leads the Wildcats and ranks sixth in the Pac-12 in kills at 4.20 per set, while ranking eighth in the league in points at 4.54 per set. Nicholson leads the squad and ranks fifth in the conference in digs with 4.15 per set. Meanwhile, Brown ranks seventh in the Pac-12 for service aces with 0.30 aces per set and she ranks 10th in assists at 7.20 assists per set.
Following this weekend's matches, Arizona will hit the road to take on Oregon and Oregon State. The Wildcats will face Oregon State on Friday, Nov. 9 before playing No. 2 Oregon on Saturday, Nov. 9.
UCLA (17-4, 9-3 Pac-12)
Date: Friday, Nov. 2
Match Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Tucson, Ariz.
Arena: McKale Center
Series: UCLA leads, 53-20-1
Last Time Out: UCLA defeated Arizona, 3-0 (16-25, 20-25, 25-27) on October 7 in Los Angeles.
Series History vs. UCLA
UCLA leads the all-time series against the Cats, 53-20-1. The Wildcats did defeat the reigning national champions both times last season, but the Bruins won the previous six matches against Arizona before that.
UCLA enters the week in the top five nationally in three categories, ranking second in kills per set (14.91) and fifth in both assists per set (13.92) and hitting percentage (.302). The Bruins are also 18th in blocks per set at 2.79, making them one of two teams (Penn State) that are ranked in the Top 20 in hitting, kills, assists and blocks per set ... UCLA leads all Pac-12 teams in hitting percentage and is second in kps and aps. The Bruins also have the highest hitting mark in the conference in league matches at .304 ... UCLA has hit over .300 14 times this season and is undefeated when eclipsing the mark. The Bruins went over the .300 mark 12 times all last year ... 12 of UCLA's 17 victories have been sweeps ... UCLA is 13-0 when holding its opponent under a .200 hitting percentage ... the Bruins hit .519 as a team against Idaho on Sept. 7, which was the highest hitting percentage in a match for UCLA in the rally scoring era (since 2001).
USC (21-3, 9-3 Pac-12)
Date: Sunday, Nov. 4
Match Time: Noon
Location: Tucson, Ariz.
Arena: McKale Center
Series: USC leads, 55-17
Last Time Out: The Trojans defeated the Wildcats 3-0 (17-25, 16-25, 21-25) in Los Angeles back on Oct. 5.
Series History vs. USC
USC leads the all-time series against Arizona, 55-17. The Trojans have won the last six meetings and nine of the last 11 in the series. The Wildcats last defeated USC on September 25, 2009 in Tucson.
Scouting the Trojans
The Trojans have won five matches in a row and and seven of their last eight. USC is led by freshman outside hitter Samantha Bricio who puts down 4.13 kills per set and ranks sixth in the conference with 4.77 points per set. Bricio also leads the Pac-12 with 0.37 service aces per set. Senior opposite hitter Katie Fuller is second on the team with 3.39 kills per set while the Trojans rely on junior libero Natalie Hagglund (4.80 digs per set) on the defensive side of the net. Hagglund is second in the league in digs per set.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat volleyball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaVBall.