Tucson, Ariz. ?- The University of Arizona women’s volleyball team (9-7, 0-4 Pac-10) fought hard to come back from a two-game deficit, but fell short to the No. 3-ranked UCLA Bruins (18-0, 4-0 Pac-10) in four games on Friday night in McKale Center. Game scores were 30-24, 30-23, 20-30, and 30-25.
The Wildcats hit .209 overall in the match, notching 59 kills on 178 swings with 32 errors. UA posted 20 blocks in the match to UCLA’s nine, one short of the Wildcats’ season-high mark.
Sophomore Brooke Buringrud led the way for Arizona with 17 kills, freshman Whitney Dosty posted 14 kills, and sophomore Randy Goodenough added 12 kills for the Wildcats.
“This was our best match defensively from top to bottom,” head coach Dave Rubio said. “Our defense kept us in the games. We are improving every week, but we just have to score more.”
Arizona trailed by two early in the first game before using a mini 5-1 scoring run to take its first lead at 13-12. UCLA responded with an 8-1 run of its own to go up 20-15 and maintained that distance down the stretch to take game one, 30-24.
UCLA raced to a quick 5-1 advantage in game two, and used an 11-4 run midway to take a commanding 19-10 lead over Arizona. The Wildcats battled back behind some tough blocking to put together a 7-1 run and cut the deficit to 20-17. Arizona would get no closer as UCLA rallied late to win game two, 30-23.
The Wildcats caught fire early in the third game and never cooled off, dominating the Bruins for a 30-20 game three win. Arizona jumped on top of UCLA for a 10-4 advantage, and used an 11-3 scoring run to expand its lead to 24-14. The Wildcats held off the Bruins down the stretch to cruise to the 10-point win. Arizona finished the frame with a match-high .256 hitting percentage, with 17 kills on 43 swings with six errors.
The fourth game was back-and-forth for much of the action, but UCLA used a match-high .273 hitting percentage to pull away for a 30-25 match-clinching win. Arizona led 24-23 late in the fourth game, but UCLA outscored the Wildcats 7-1 down the stretch.
Arizona will host No. 4 USC on Saturday night at 7 p.m. in McKale Center