UCLA beats Texas to reach volleyball semifinals

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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.

ILLINOIS 3, FLORIDA 1

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.


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