She knocked over a photographer, ran into a table, rolled on the floor and made spectacular saves with a fist that doubled as a hammer on offense.
Of course, Samantha Shaver was psyched up.
"This is the NCAA playoffs, you got to go all out and do whatever you have to do," Shaver said after leading the UCLA women's volleyball team to victory over Brigham Young, 15-7, 15-7, 15-13, Friday night in the second round of the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. playoffs at Pauley Pavilion.
UCLA (33-0) will play surprising Washington (22-6) tonight for the West Regional championship and a berth in the Final Four next week at Minneapolis.
In a hard-fought second match, No. 9-ranked Washington shocked No. 2 Stanford, 15-11, 3-15, 9-15, 15-9, 15-8. Stanford, which had only 2 losses before Friday, both to No. 1 UCLA, finished the season 28-3.
UCLA's victory was a bit of redemption for Coach Andy Banachowski, whose team was eliminated by BYU in the second round of the playoffs last season. No. 12 BYU finished 26-11 this year.
"It was certainly in my mind it was payback time, and I think it added some motivation for the players who were here last year," Banachowski said after the match.
Brigham Young's strategy was to keep play from UCLA's tough middle blockers, Daiva Tomkus and Elaine Youngs, by hitting the ball to the outside, or deep, or anywhere Tomkus and Youngs were not.
But waiting on the outside was Shaver, who had 14 kills and 10 digs in the match, and outside hitter Jenny Crocker, who had 11 kills.
"Last time we played UCLA we were able to stop the middle and keep the outside hitters under control, and that's why we could play them close," said BYU Coach Elaine Michaelis, referring to the Bruins' 3-2 victory over the Cougars 2 weeks ago.
"But I think the middle of the first game they started serving well and we got into trouble receiving, and it a took our offense out of the game."
In the first game, Crocker had a kill for a point, combined with Youngs on a block and hit a cross-court kill to tie the score, 5-5. The Bruins' scored the next 9 points with the help of 3 aces--2 by Laurie Jones and 1 by Youngs--Tomkus' kill and setter Ann Boyer's dink. The Bruins also gained 2 sideouts during the span on Shaver kills.
"This is the best I have played in a while," Shaver said.
The Bruins' led the second game from the start, taking a 10-7 lead on a kill down the line by Crocker off a Boyer backset.
"It's hard to find a weakness in UCLA--once in a while they break down," said Dylann Duncan, BYU's 6-foot 3-inch middle blocker who led the Cougars with 18 kills.
" . . . In order to beat them, it's going to take a lot of concentration and you got to keep coming back. They are solid as a rock."
In the third game, the Cougars looked strong at the start. With BYU ahead, 9-7, Shaver made 2 key kills for sideouts and tied the score, 9-9, with a cross-court kill after a BYU error. The Bruins went ahead by 2 on more Cougar errors, but BYU tied the score, 12-12, on two UCLA misplays.
Enter Shaver, who then had an ace to put the Bruins back in front, and kills by Jones and Crocker to end the match.
In the second match Friday, Laurie Wetzel had 24 kills, 19 digs and 8 blocks for Washington, who was trailing, 2-1, but rallied to upset the Cardinal. Jennifer Chaffee led Stanford with 15 kills and 16 digs.
In other regionals, No. 4-ranked Illinois beat Notre Dame, 3-2; Texas Arlington defeated Kentucky 3-1; Texas downed Colorado St. 3-1, and Oklahoma got past Nebraska, 3-2.