UCLA, coming back after a close opening game, easily won the first-ever Pacific 10 women's volleyball title Tuesday night with a 15-12, 15-2, 15-3 victory over USC before a Pauley Pavilion crowd of 1,723.
The Bruins had a 17-1 record in the conference and won the title by a one-game margin over Stanford. The key victory was last Friday's three-game decision over the Cardinal.
Leslie Brewer had a game-high 11 spikes for the Bruins, who will open the NCAA tournament against a yet-to-be named opponent Dec. 6. The Bruins have a 31-9 record overall. USC (2-30 and 0-18 in the Pac-10) got 10 spikes from Nancy Hillman, the only other player in double figures in that category.
UCLA Coach Andy Banachowski shuffled his normal starting lineup to use the team's four seniors--Lisa Ettesvold (a first-team player), Susan Taylor, Kim Poppa and Brewer--in their final regular-season home match, and USC took advantage. The Trojans had the nation's seventh-ranked team tied twice late in the first game and trailed by only one, 13-12, before falling.
Starting outside hitter Lori Zeno was inserted for the final two points, No. 1 setter Ann Boyer came in for the start of Game 2, and the Bruins, as expected, took off.
"When we get a little shabby, we tend to come back strong," Banachowski said.