April 20, 2013
The fourth-seeded UCLA men's volleyball team defeated fifth-seeded Pepperdine in three straight sets on Saturday night in the John Wooden Center to advance to the semifinals of the MPSF Tournament next week at BYU. Scores of the match were 25-19, 25-18, 25-18. UCLA, which has captured 10 of its last 11 matches, improved its record to 21-10 on the season, while Pepperdine fell to 14-12.
UCLA advances to the MPSF Tournament semifinals at the site of the highest remaining seed (BYU) in the field - the semifinals will be played on Thursday Apr. 25 and the championship match will be played on Saturday, Apr. 27. The winner will advance to the NCAA Men's Volleyball Championships at Pauley Pavilion. The national semifinals will be on Thursday, May 2 at 6 and 8 p.m. The national championship match is set for Saturday, May 4 at 6 p.m. Call UCLA-WIN for ticket information.
In set one, UCLA jumped out to a 4-1 early lead before the Waves sliced it to one point, at 5-4. Trent Kersten then helped propel the Bruins in front 8-5 with a kill. The Bruins stayed in control and took a 17-11 lead on a Kersten block. UCLA opened up a seven-point lead, 20-13, on a Pepperdine net violation. The Waves then scored the next three points, leading Bruin Coach John Speraw to call a timeout. The team responded with a Gonzalo Quiroga kill for a 21-16 advantage. Point 24 came on a Spencer Rowe / Connor Bannan block and the set point came off a right-hand blast from Quiroga for a 25-19 win.
UCLA took the early lead in set two and maintained a slim margin until back-to-back kills by Robart Page and Dane Worley kill lifted them into a 13-9 advantage. Pepperdine battled back to narrow the margin to 19-18. Following a timeout, UCLA rattled off five straight points to move ahead 24-18. Page's cross court spike sealed the deal for the Bruins at 25-18. UCLA hit .522 for the set.
After Pepperdine took a 2-1 lead in set three, UCLA went on a 5-1 blitz for a 6-3 edge. The Bruins went up 9-5 on a Page kill. The Waves came back to pull to 9-7, but UCLA answered with a its own run for a 13-8 lead. The home team went ahead 16-9 after a nice dig from Page and closed out the match at 25-19 on a hit off the block by Worley.
Worley led the Bruin attack this evening with 13 kills. Page, who had six digs, and Quiroga, who had three blocks, added nine kills each. Rowe was a force at the net with seven block assists and had six digs. Bannan totaled 33 set assists for the Bruins who hit .386 for the contest. Evan Mottram added five digs.