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WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL : Krull's Kill Lifts UCLA Past Stanford


Kim Krull jumped, hit the ball through the Stanford defense and could not contain her smile when she landed.

Krull, a freshman middle blocker, scored the winning point as the third-ranked UCLA women's volleyball team rallied to beat the top-ranked Cardinal, 7-15, 2-15, 15-8, 15-10, 15-12, Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion.

The match was a replay of last season's NCAA championship final, when Stanford defeated UCLA. The Bruins improved to 6-0; the Cardinal fell to 5-1.

It was fitting, however, that a freshman should make the winning kill Thursday, because both teams are almost entirely different from last season.

Five senior starters are missing from last season's teams, including Bev Oden from Stanford and Natalie Williams from UCLA. Oden and Williams were the two most prominent players in the past four years.

But current members of both teams said that they were not even thinking about last year's championship final.

"The whole match I didn't even think about last year at all," said Julie Bremner, UCLA's senior All-American setter. "You play on emotion, but on emotion of the game, not of the past."

Sophomore outside hitters Jenny Johnson and Annett Buckner have taken over the leadership roles for UCLA. Johnson had 15 kills and Buckner 15 digs.

Marnie Triefenbach, a sophomore outside hitter for Stanford, had a match-high 21 kills.

With the score tied at two-games each and 11-11 in the fifth and final game, Triefenbach hit the ball long and UCLA took the lead.

Alyson Randick hit one down the left side for the Bruins and Stanford mishandled the ball to set up match point for UCLA. After Cary Wendell hit one through the block of Krull and Randick to make the score 14-12, Krull took a set from Bremner for the match-winner.

"I was just so excited that she set me," Krull said.

Krull, from Decatur, In., then flashed a smile that has become her trademark, according to Bruin Coach Andy Banachowski.

"Some coaches said, 'Does that bother you that she's out there smiling all the time?' " Banachowski said.

But Banachowski hopes that Krull will keep smiling.

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