Natalie Williams had 12 kills and five aces Thursday as top-ranked UCLA advanced to the finals of the NCAA Division I women's volleyball tournament with a 3-0 sweep of Louisiana State.
The Bruins (35-1) will next face Pacific in Saturday's championship game. Pacific moved into the finals with a 15-13, 11-15, 15-9, 15-12 victory over No. 2 Nebraska.UCLA beat Pacific in five games when the teams met last month.
UCLA got 17 kills from Jenny Evans and 14 from Marissa Hatchett in a 15-13, 15-10, 15-6 victory over LSU (34-7). The Bruins reached the final four in 1988 and 1989 but were swept in the semifinals on each occasion.
LSU came away empty in its first appearance in the final four despite a fine performance by Monique Adams, who had 22 kills and 6 digs.
Krissy Fifer had 21 kills for Pacific (30-6), including three in an 8-point run in the final game. Down 7-3, the Tigers roared back to take an 11-7 lead and held on to upset the Cornhuskers (32-3).
Two kills by Fifer provided the Tigers with their final two points.
Pacific scored the last four points of the first game, then dropped the second game when Nebraska pulled out of a 10-10 tie with a 5-1 burst. In the third game, it was the Tigers who got hot at the end, scoring the final six points.
In the opening match, Williams, who was a prep standout at Taylorsville High, had four kills and got five points on her serve to help the Bruins capture the first game. UCLA built a 10-6 lead before LSU pulled even by notching four points on Daniela Reis' serve.
Moments later, LSU used an ace by Lisa Sulatycki to take its first lead at 12-11. But a kill by Williams made it 12-12, and after the teams traded points the Bruins used kills by Samantha Shaver and Hatchett to win the game.
The second game was a virtual carbon-copy of the first. UCLA took command early, holding leads of 5-0 and 10-4 before LSU creeped back into contention.