Women’s volleyball makes mid-game comeback in 3-2 victory over California

Sophomore outside hitter Mac May posted a match-best 20 kills and a career-high 14 digs – marking her third double-double of the season – in the Bruins' 3-2 victory over California on Friday night. (Liz Ketcham/Assistant Photo editor)

After going down two sets, coach Michael Sealy wasn’t focused on the scoreboard – he was focused on the team’s effort levels.

“It was a success for me once we showed up in the third set,” Sealy said. “Whether we won or not, we have played enough matches where we just don’t show up.”

No. 18 UCLA (7-4, 2-2 Pac-12) recovered to inch past California (8-6, 0-3) 3-2 at Haas Pavilion on Friday night.

The Bruins had three service errors in the first set, equaling the number of service errors they would commit for the rest of the night. After winning the opening point, UCLA never led again in the first set. The second set was tied at 11 apiece, but Cal ended up taking the set 25-19.

“We were kind of cruising through the first two sets and at halftime we realized enough is enough,” said sophomore outside hitter Mac May. “It wasn’t our best volleyball. We had to grind through and fight for it.”

Sealy subbed in freshman setter Devon Chang for junior Kylie Miller late in the second set. Chang stayed in the lineup for the remainder of the match and recorded 32 assists, 10 digs and two aces. It was the first time Chang saw the court since Sept. 19.

The two setters have both received significant playing time this season battling for the starting spot. Chang has played 31 sets, while Miller has played 21.

Bruins posted a .324 and .250 kill percentage in the first two sets, respectively. In the final three sets, UCLA’s kill percentage did not drop below .400.

May posted five consecutive kills to help UCLA close out the fourth set on a 7-0 run and win the set 25-21. May notched a team-high 20 kills from 51 attacks with 10 errors and registered a career-high 14 digs.

“Our setters and out-of-rotation setters did a great job of getting the ball up there and covering me,” May said. “We started making some ridiculous plays and had some amazing momentum pushes.”

May said the momentum carried over to the deciding set in which the Bruins never trailed, winning 15-13.

Redshirt freshman outside hitter Alexis Light also posted 19 kills and had a .405 hitting percentage – both career-highs. Her previous career-high was seven kills in UCLA’s season-opening match. She sat out last season due to injury.

“(I was) truly playing like myself again,” Light said. “I was happy, smiling and excited to be on the court.”

UCLA will return home to face No. 12 Oregon (9-4, 2-1) on Friday.

“We might not be super consistent or refined at this point, so we are going to have to work our butts off,” May said. “This match showed how much fight we have.”

Read more here: http://dailybruin.com/2018/09/29/womens-volleyball-makes-mid-game-comeback-in-3-2-victory-over-california/
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