Sept. 15, 2007
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Sophomore outside hitter Amy DeGroot's career-high 26 kills combined with Laurel Abrahamson's 16 kills and Ali Troost's 13 kills were not enough to get the 18th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team past No. 5 UCLA in the championship of the USD Tournament, as the Bruins barley escaped the Jenny Craig Pavilion with a 3-2 (30-20, 23-30, 30-27, 25-30, 13-15) win.
With the loss, the Toreros fall to 7-4 overall and saw their five-match winning streak come to an end. With the win, the Bruins improve to 10-1 overall and run their winning streak to nine.
DeGroot and Abrahamson were both named to the All-Tournament team as DeGroot finished with her career-high and match-best 26 kills and also added in 18 digs, while posting a .285 attack percentage. Abrahamson racked up 16 kills on 40 attempts and posted a .300 attack percentage. Troost added in 13 kills on 28 attempts to post a .321 attack percentage. Kelsi Myers recorded 33 assists and Jessica Nyrop added in 30 more assists to help direct USD to a .258 team attack percentage.
San Diego began the showdown in stylish fashion as they scored four of the first five points of the initial game and maintained the lead the whole way. Leading 8-5, Erin Wiskar recorded a kill followed by back-to-back kills by Abrahamson, which would move the score to a six point advantage at 11-5. The Bruins got back to within two on four straight kills to make it 11-9. However, UCLA could get no closer than two the rest of the game, as the Bruins struggled with their hitting down the stretch. San Diego led 25-19 and scored five of the final six points of the game to win it 30-20. Three of those five points came on hitting errors by UCLA, which hit just .184 in the first game. On the flip side, the Toreros hit .400 in the first.
In game two, the Bruins bounced back and jumped out of the gates with a 4-1 run sparked by a Dicey McGraw kill and capped by an attack error by USD. The Toreros would then real off three straight points to again be on level terms with the Bruins. DeGroot began the run with a kill off a set from Abrahamson and the run was capped with an attack error by UCLA. San Diego took its first lead of the game at 7-6 on an attack error by UCLA, but the Bruins responded with a 5-0 run to regain the momentum. The Toreros sliced the margin to a pair on two occasions, one time forcing a UCLA timeout. Out of the break and still up 23-21, the Bruins got the serve back on a kill by Kaitlin Sather and two straight aces by junior Jade Machado gave UCLA a 26-21 advantage, and the bruins never looked back going on to claim game two by a final of 30-23.
San Diego regained its hitting stroke at the start of the third game, scoring five of the first seven points to jump out to an early lead. The run was sparked by a DeGroot kill off a set from Myers and was capped on a Abrahamson kill off a set from Myers. Back-to-back kills by UCLA cut the deficit to 5-4, but San Diego went on runs of 4-1 and 7-2 to take a 12-6 lead and force the Bruins into a timeout. After the UCLA timeout, the Bruins went on a 5-0 run to pull within one at 12-11, and they would eventually even the score at 14-14. USD would then remain in control of the momentum as they refused to surrender the lead with Troost throwing down a kill. The two teams then remained in a close battle until UCLA took back the lead at 20-19 on a McGraw kill. The with the score at 23-23, Jaimarie Sutherland put the Toreros ahead for good with a kill, as USD closed out the game on a 7-4 run.
UCLA took a 4-2 lead to start the fourth game, but three in a row by the Toreros gave them a 5-4 edge. That would be San Diego's last lead of the game though, as the Bruins scored three straight and seven of the next eight to take an 11-7 lead. On top 14-10, the Bruins scored four consecutive points to take an 18-10 lead, the Bruins then never looked back as they forced a fifth and deciding game.
The Bruins scored the first three points of the deciding game, but the Toreros got the next two. Six sideouts later and trailing 6-5, the Toreros recorded a kill to even things at six. After a UCLA kill gave the Bruins the lead back, three straight points were reeled off by San Diego to give them a 9-7 advantage, prompting a UCLA timeout. The Bruins scored four of the next five to take an 11-10 lead, but the Toreros got the next two to go up 12-11 and cause another UCLA timeout. A kill by Abrahamson made it 13-11, but Sather and Daley had back-to-back kills to even the game at 13, as San Diego called a timeout. A kill by Sather out of the timeout gave the Bruins match point.
The Toreros will return to action on Tuesday as they host cross-town rival San Diego State University in a 7 p.m. match at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.