UCLA beats Texas to reach volleyball semifinals



LEXINGTON, Ky. — Rachael Kidder had a match-high 26 kills, Tabi Love recorded 18 kills and senior Lainey Gera added 22 digs, as UCLA knocked off Texas 3-1 on Saturday in the Lexington Regional championship match.

Set scores were 19-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-21.

The Bruins improve to 28-6 and advance to their 12th national semifinal and first since 2006.

UCLA will play either Iowa State or Florida State on Thursday.

Texas finishes the season 25-5.

Kidder had 15 kills as UCLA swept four-time defending national champion Penn State 25-20, 25-22, 25-21 on Friday night to end the Nittany Lions’ record 26-game postseason winning streak.

The Nittany Lions have participated in every NCAA postseason event since 1981, but are 1-5 in tournament play against UCLA.

Kidder, the Most Out­standing Player in the regional, hit .417 for the match on Saturday and was joined on the all-tournament team by teammate Lauren Van Orden, who had 57 assists, five digs and three blocks, and sophomore Kelly Reeves, who recorded nine kills and 14 digs.



In Gainesville, Fla., Colleen Ward had a season-high 23 kills and Illinois beat Florida (25-22, 23-25, 25-14, 25-20 to earn its first trip to the Final Four since 1988.

The Illini (32-4) will face the winner of the Southern California-Pepperdine match on Thursday.