UCLA sweeps Md.-Eastern Shore
Kidder posts 15th match in a row with double-digit kills
LOS ANGELES -- Junior Rachael Kidder had a match-best 11 kills to go with five digs and three blocks, while senior Lainey Gera added 13 digs and a career-high four service aces, as UCLA defeated Maryland Eastern Shore in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday at the John Wooden Center.
Set scores were 25-12, 25-12, 25-9.
The Bruins improve to 25-6 overall and will face San Diego in the second round at 10 p.m. ET Saturday. The Toreros knocked off Long Beach State in four sets earlier on Friday. The Hawks conclude their season with a 24-7 record.
Junior Tabi Love produced eight kills and only one error in 13 attempts for a .538 hitting percentage. Senior Lauren Van Orden recorded 28 assists and three kills, senior Sara Sage added six kills and sophomore Kelly Reeves posted four kills, five digs and three blocks. The Bruins hit .380 for the match.
The Bruins led wire-to-wire in the opening set, scoring the first five points on three kills by Kidder, one from Reeves and a combo block by Kidder and sophomore Mariana Aquino. The Hawks trimmed their deficit to three on two separate occasions, but with the score 9-6, the Bruins got five of the next six to take a 14-7 lead. Reeves had a kill and teamed up with Aquino on a block during the 5-1 run, Van Orden served an ace and the Hawks committed two errors.
The closest the Hawks would get from that point is five, as at 16-11, the Bruins scored eight unanswered and went on to win the set 25-12. The 9-1 run to end the set consisted of five Love kills and four UMES errors. Love led the Bruins in the first with those five kills, while Kidder added four. Gera posted six digs, as the Bruins out-hit the Hawks .276 to -.111.
The only tie in the next set was at 1-all, as the Bruins didn't trail in the second. Up 7-4, the Bruins scored three in a row on a kill by Van Orden and back-to-back aces from Gera to make it 10-4. UCLA's lead never dipped below five for the rest of the set. Leading 17-10, the Bruins scored eight of the last 10 points of the set to win it 25-12. Kidder had two kills during the run, Aquino posted a kill and two blocks and Sage added a kill and a roof. Kidder had four kills to lead the Bruins in the set, as they out-hit the Hawks .280 to .000.
The Hawks had their first two leads of the match at 2-1 and 3-2 in the third set, but the Bruins scored seven in a row to take a 9-3 advantage. A UMES attack error, a Kidder kill, a Kidder/Sage combo block and a Sage kill accounted for the first four points, while the last three came from a Van Orden kill, a Reeves ace and another Kidder kill. The closest the Hawks would get for the rest of the set was four at 9-5 and 10-6.
The Bruins went on a 6-0 run on kills by Van Orden and Aquino, back-to-back UMES attack errors and consecutive Gera aces to make it 16-6. With the score 20-9, UCLA scored the final five points of the match to win the third 25-9. Three kills by freshman Karsta Lowe, a combo block by Kidder and freshman Zoë Nightingale and a UMES attack error accounted for the last five points. Kidder and Lowe posted three kills apiece in the third, as the Bruins had 13 kills and only one error in 17 swings for a .706 hitting percentage. The Hawks hit -.087.