Battling the entire night, Santa Clara fell in a tight match from start to finish to No. 10 UCLA 3-1 on Thursday night at Hawaii. Set scores were 21-25, 12-25, 25-21 and 25-27.
UCLA moves to 4-0 and the Broncos fall to 2-2. Things don't get any easier for the Broncos Friday night as they battle host No. 9 Hawaii at 10:30 pm Pacific at Stan Sheriff Center.
Santa Clara hit .175 with 55 kills (27 e, 160 att.). They collected 54 digs, 47 assists, seven team blocks, five service aces and 15 service errors. UCLA hit .267 with 51 kills (15 e, 135 att.). They collected 63 digs, 48 assists, 12.0 team blocks, four service aces and seven service errors.
Megan Anders scored 16 kills, hitting .353 (4 e, 34 att.). Taylor Milton scored 13 kills, 10 digs and three aces. Nikki Hess added 11 kills and 13 digs. Haley Cameron collected eight kills and three block assists. Alyssa Anderson had 28 assists, one ace and seven digs. GiGi Cresto added 17 assists, an ace and four digs. Danielle Rottman collected 14 digs.
"Nikki, Taylor and Dani passed really well which gave us a shot to be in the match because UCLA is a really good serving team," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace. "We gave our hitters to do a pretty good job with our passing – it really assisted our hitters."
Wallace praised Milton's play again. "We are excited about the direction that Taylor is going in. She is getting better every time out. She is better at managing all facets of the game from passing to serving to attacking to defense," said Wallace.
Karsta Lowe was the only Bruin in double-digit kills. She hit .342 with 19 kills (6 e, 38 att.). Monica Stauber collected 18 assists to Megan Moenoa's 24 assists and two aces. Karly Drolson had 17 digs.
The Broncos were tied up 13 times before UCLA took the lead for good at 19-18 on a kill by Fleix. SCU whistled for time. The Broncos pulled within one on a kill by Taylor but gave up the net two points. After a Bruin service error, Lowe scored a winner for UCLA and Anders scored one for the Broncos to make it 24-21 UCLA. UCLA closed out the first set 25-21 on a kill by Zoe Nightingale. The Bruins hit .333 with 15 kills (5 e, 30 att.). SCU hit 281 with 13 kills (4 e, 32 att.).
The two teams were tied four times before UCLA rallied for eight straight points to jump out 12-4 before the Bruins called for time. SCU scored the next three of five points to pull within seven points, 14-7 Bruins. The Bruins cruised to a 25-12 victory in set two. The Bruins hit .321 with 10 kills (1 e, 28 att.). SCU hit -.079 with 8 kills (11 e, 38 att.).
"We made some errors in game two," said Wallace. "We changed our line-up around after that to what we played last weekend and it was more comfortable for us."
The two teams were again tied four times before SCU moved ahead 8-6 on a kill by Anderson and another by Clayton. UCLA scored three of the next four points to advance to an 11-10 lead. The teams rallied back and forth to tie it up at 11 and 13. UCLA scored three of the next four points to tie it up 16-16 on a kill by Lowe. The Broncos weren't finished as they scored two on a kill by Anders and an error by UCLA. A service error by UCLA and a kill by Hess gave SCU a 20-18 lead. The Bruins scored two straight kills, but Haley Cameron answered with her own to give SCU a 21-20 lead. Lowe tied it up with a kill, but Lacey Maas and Anders scored back to back kills to put SCU up 23-21. An attack error by Haley Lawless gave SCU a chance at set point, up one, 24-21. An attack error by Lowe gave the Broncos the third set victory, 25-21. The Broncos won five of the last six points to win the third set. SCU hit .152 with 15 kills (8 e, 46 att.). The Bruins hit .162 with 10 kills (4 e, 37 att.).
The fourth set started with five straight kills, including two by Anders and another by Taylor to put SCU up 3-2. UCLA scored four straight before Milton knocked down a booming ace and Cameron crushed a kill to tie it up 6-6. Trading points, Katherine Douglas served it out to give the Bruins a sideout. A kill by Hess tied it up 8-8 and then 9-9. A kill by Anders and then one by Lowe pushed it to 13-11 Bruins. UCLA scored three of the next four points to go up 15-12. Hess' kill stopped the Bruins charge. UCLA scored six of the next eight to go up 19-14.
The Broncos showed life with a team block by Hess and Anders and a kill by Milton and then two by Anders, 19-18 UCLA. Lowe stopped the four straight Bronco kills with two of her own, 21-18 UCLA. Timeout Broncos. Anders and Milton scored back to back kills before a Nightingale kill and a team block by Milton and Anders made it 22-21 Bruins. A kill by Cameron and a team block by Douglas and Cameron put SCU up 23-22. Timeout UCLA. Another team block by Douglas and Cameron gave the Broncos set point, but SCU served it into the net and an error by Milton tied it up 24-24. A kill by Ngauamo gave UCLA set and match point, up 25-24. A kill in the middle by Cameron tied it up 25-25. Mariana Aquino's kill gave the Bruins their second set point, up 26-25. A kill by Kelly Reeves gave the Bruins the fourth set, 27-25 and the match. The Bruins hit .275 with 16 kills (5 e, 40 att.). SCU hit .341 with 19 kills (4 e, 44 att.).
"We focused on playing hard and we played pretty well," said Wallace. "Megan took awhile to get going, but she and Haley had some key blocks at the end. I was happy to see that."