Women’s volleyball records six straight wins to finish non-conference season

Not long ago, the UCLA women’s volleyball team looked to be off to a shaky start. Snubbed from the AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll to start the season and staring at the possibility of having a losing record before Pac-12 competition even began, UCLA needed to win, and win convincingly.

In a matter of weeks, the Bruins did just that and transformed their 2014 season from a mediocre 3-2 start into a respectable 9-2 by rattling off six straight wins in as many matches.

Half of those latest wins arrived courtesy of the Fullerton Classic, which pitted No. 22 UCLA against its last set of non-conference opponents scheduled for the regular season.

Starting on Friday and continuing through Sunday, the Bruins held a tight grip on each of their opponents, not losing a single match and maintaining a hitting average above .300 in all three of their victories.

In the final, championship match of the weekend, UCLA showcased its top-25 rank by ousting host Cal State Fullerton (6-7) in three straight sets, with UCLA always holding a lead after UCLA’s first ten points.

With a match-high 17 kills in the championship match against Fullerton, senior outside hitter Karsta Lowe secured the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award, totaling 37 kills throughout the entire three-day tournament.

A standout in the team’s opening match against Georgetown (6-7), freshman Olga Strantzali recorded her UCLA-best 17 kills, demonstrating the depth and talent the newcomers of this team possess.

UCLA’s recent dominance when hitting above .300 in matches reached a milestone Sunday when the team recorded its fiftieth straight victory while maintaining an average above its magic number of .300.

These three strong victories arrive as UCLA prepares itself for the start of conference play, where newly ranked No. 1 Stanford and five other top-25 teams await UCLA in the coming weeks.

First up from the Pac-12 for UCLA, however, is crosstown rival, No. 9 USC (7-3) at the Galen Center. The match will be broadcast live on Pac-12 networks on Sep. 23 at 8 p.m.

New home court for the Bruins

In light of Pauley Pavilion’s floor being replaced, the UCLA women’s volleyball team announced that its Oct. 15 and Oct. 17 home matches against No. 13 Oregon and Oregon State, respectively, will be played at the Crossroads School in Santa Monica.

Compiled by Erik Kaye, Bruins Sports contributor.


Read more here: http://dailybruin.com/2014/09/22/womens-volleyball-records-six-straight-wins-to-finish-non-conference-season/
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