Jayhawks End Season With 3-1 Loss at #12 UCLA

Dec. 3, 2005

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Despite a valiant effort by its short-handed squad, the University of Kansas volleyball team fell to 16th-seeded, #12 ranked UCLA, 3-1 (14-30, 30-26, 17-30, 24-30), Friday night in the opening round of NCAA Tournament play at Pauley Pavilion. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

With the loss, the Jayhawks end their season 15-15 overall after making their third consecutive postseason trip while the Bruins (19-10) moved on to face San Diego in their 24th postseason appearance.

Senior Paula Caten led KU with 12 kills in her final career appearance and added six digs in the effort. Freshman Savannah Noyes totaled 10 kills on a team-best .438 attack percentage and four block assists.

Junior Megan Hill rounded out the top hitters with eight kills and three blocks and junior libero Jamie Mathewson led all defenders with 12 digs.

The Jayhawks were without starters Andi Rozum (senior setter) and Jana Correa (junior outside hitter), who both suffered season-ending injuries. KU managed with just nine active players in its lineup.

Sophomore right side hitter Emily Brown, KU’s leading hitter through most of the season, set her second collegiate game and had a career-high 30 assists.

Junior Caitlin Mahoney, who made her first career start, added four kills and senior four-time All-Big 12 First Team selection Josi Lima added four.

UCLA took a 15-6 lead in the first game behind five unanswered points. KU could not stop the Bruins’ solid offense, which hit .412 in the opening stanza behind sophomore Rachell Johnson’s four kills. Caten led the Jayhawks with three kills but the KU hitters registered just a .030 clip at the net.

KU picked up its offense in game two and led 12-11 after a solo block by Lima and Bruin hitting error. The Jayhawks battled to a 24-22 lead with four unanswered points, forcing UCLA’s first timeout of the match. The Bruins regrouped to take the next three points but KU held off the late rally behind two kills and a big block from Noyes. UCLA closed the stanza with a hitting error (30-26) to tie the match at the break.

Noyes paced KU in the second game with four kills as the Jayhawks outhit the Bruins .147 to .132 and totaled four aces.

The Jayhawks used two timeouts early in game three after falling behind 11-0. KU scored five straight behind solid serving from Lima and blocks from Mahoney and Hill, 17-9. The Jayhawks had 10 kills and 10 errors in 28 attempts (.000) while the Bruins managed 16 kills on a .407 hitting efficiency.

In game four, the Bruins struck with three straight service aces to take a 15-9 advantage. A depleted Jayhawk squad fought back to within three, 26-23, but could not hit through two straight UCLA blocks, falling 30-24.

KU hit .083 in the match and had 12.0 blocks while the Bruins totaled 13.0 blocks and a .269 hitting efficiency.