No. 12 UCLA upends No. 10 Hawaii
Bruins capture victory in matchup of unbeaten teams
HONOLULU, Hawaii -- Rachael Kidder had 17 kills, 12 digs and six blocks, junior Tabi Love led all players with 18 kills and senior Lainey Gera produced 23 digs, as the No. 12 UCLA won the Rainbow Wahine Volleyball Classic with a four-set victory against No. 10 Hawaii on Sunday. Set scores were 25-20, 28-26, 20-25, 25-17.
The Bruins improve to 6-0 on the season, their first 6-0 start since 2006, while saddling the Rainbow Wahine with their first loss of the year as they fell to 5-1. Gera and Kidder were both named to the All-Tournament Team.
Kidder's double-double was the junior's first of the season and third of her career, as she set a career-high in digs and tied a personal best in blocks. Sophomore Mariana Aquino recorded eight kills and only one error in 18 swings for a .389 hitting percentage and tied a career-high with 10 blocks. Senior Lauren Van Orden produced 48 assists and eight digs and junior Bojana Todorovic (12) and sophomore Kelly Reeves (13) both had double figures in digs. Both teams hit .216 for the match.
The teams exchanged seven lead changes to go with nine ties early on, but thanks to six blocks, the Bruins took the first set. Trailing 7-6, UCLA scored three consecutive points on kills by Kidder, Van Orden and freshman Zoë Nightingale to make it 9-7. The Rainbow Wahine won the next three points to re-take the lead, but UCLA responded with a 9-2 run to take an 18-12 advantage. A Kidder kill, an Aquino/Van Orden combo block and a kill by Love gave the Bruins a 12-10 lead. After Hawaii scored two of the next three, UCLA posted the next five points to break the first set open.
With the Bruins up 13-12, a bad Hawaii set and a kill by Aquino made it 15-12. Aquino and Kidder then teamed up for a pair of blocks, with a Kidder kill in between, to give UCLA a set-best lead of six at 18-12. The Rainbow Wahine closed to within three on three occasions, but could not come all the way back. Leading 22-19, a Love kill and a combo block by Aquino and Reeves gave the Bruins set point. Hawaii saved the first try, but a Reeves kill finished off a 25-20 victory. Aquino was a part of all six Bruin blocks in the set and added three kills, while Love paced UCLA in kills with four. Kidder also had three kills, as the Bruins out-hit the Rainbow Wahine .387 to .205.
In an incredible, back-and-forth second set with 13 ties and four lead changes, the Bruins trailed early, came back to lead by as many as five and then staved off three Hawaii set points to go up 2-0 in the match. Hawaii scored six of the first eight points of the set, but a 6-2 UCLA run tied the score at eight. Kidder had three kills during the run, Love added one and Hawaii committed two errors. Down by two at 13-11, the Bruins netted two in a row, seven of eight and nine of 11 to go up by a set-best five at 20-15.
Kills by Aquino and Kidder tied the score at 13. After a Hawaii sideout, the Bruins scored five in a row on two consecutive kills by Kidder, a Wahine attack error, a Nightingale solo block and a combo roof by Kidder and Nightingale to make it 18-14. After another Hawaii sideout, a service error and a Kidder kill put the Bruins up by five. Hawaii stood tall though and grabbed the lead back with runs of 5-0 and 7-1 to go ahead 22-21. After four straight sideouts, Hawaii had its first set point, but a combo block by Aquino and freshman Karsta Lowe tied it at 24.
Hawaii earned a second set point, but a kill by Lowe made it tied the score at 25. After another Rainbow Wahine sideout gave them a third set point, senior Sara Sage crushed an over pass to tie the score at 26. Love then pushed a ball over and found the floor to give UCLA its first set point and Love finished the second stanza off with another kill, her seventh of the set, to give the Bruins a 28-26 win. Kidder also had seven kills in the second, while Gera added nine digs, as the Bruins out-hit the Rainbow Wahine .234 to .190.
The Bruins used the momentum from their second-set victory to score six of the first eight points of the third on three kills by Love, one each from Aquino and Reeves and an ace by Van Orden. But the Rainbow Wahine came back, and for the third-straight match, UCLA was unable to finish off an opponent with a sweep. Down 9-5, Hawai'i scored eight of nine to take a 13-10 edge. UCLA responded with three consecutive on a Kidder kill and ace and a Hawaii ball handling error to tie the score at 13. After a Rainbow Wahine sideout, a Van Orden kill and an Aquino/Van Orden combo block gave the Bruins the lead back at 15-14.
But it was all Hawaii for the rest of the set, as UCLA managed just five more points. Trailing by one, the Rainbow Wahine scored three in a row, five of six and seven of nine to go up by four at 21-17. Kills by Lowe and Sage cut the Bruins' deficit to two, but Hawaii scored four of the final five points of the set to take it 25-20. Kidder and Love paced the Bruins with three kills apiece. The Bruins were out-hit .400 to .152.
The Bruins never trailed by more than one on three occasions in the fourth set and made a long run midway through to finish off Hawaii. UCLA scored three of the first four on a kill and block by Aquino and a dump by Van Orden, but four of five by the Rainbow Wahine put them ahead 5-4. However, three in a row by UCLA on a kill by Aquino, a Hawaii attack error and a combo block by Kidder and Sage put the Bruins up 7-5, a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the set.
Up 8-7, the Bruins went on a 7-0 run to break it open. After a Hawaii service error, a Kidder ace and a Love solo block and kill put UCLA up by five at 12-7. Another Kidder kill and two in a row by Love extended the Bruins' advantage to 15-7. After a Hawaii sideout, the Rainbow Wahine committed a service and attack error to put the Bruins up by a set-best nine at 17-8.
Hawaii responded with five of the next six to trim its deficit to five at 18-13, but would get no closer. Five of six by the Bruins on two kills by Kidder, one from Aquino, a Kidder/Sage combo block and a Hawai'i attack error put them back up by nine again at 23-14. After the Rainbow Wahine scored three in a row to make it 23-17, the Bruins received a Lowe/Sage combo block to earn match point and fittingly a kill by the tournament's Most Outstanding Player gave the Bruins a 25-17 win. Kidder and Love each had four kills in the fourth, Aquino added three and Sage posted three blocks. The Bruins out-hit the Rainbow Wahine .149 to .073.