Top-ranked UCLA notched its ninth win in a row with a four-set decision at No. 8 UC Irvine on Saturday night in an MPSF match. Scores of the contest were 25-19, 25-21, 20-25, 25-18.
The Bruins rallied from an 11-13 deficit in set one to tie the score at 13-all after a kill and an ace by Robart Page. UCLA extended the advantage to 20-16 after kills by Michael Fisher and Gonzalo Quiroga and went on to post a 25-19 win.
In set two, UCLA broke an early 5-5 tie and went up 10-8. Irvine came back to even things up at 15-all. Back-to-back aces from Quiroga made it 21-16 and UCLA closed out the Anteaters 25-19 following a service error.
UCLA enjoyed a 5-3 lead early in set three. The defending national champs stormed back to go up 12-14. UCLA tied it at 15-all on a kill by Quiroga. Irvine then rattled off the next three points to go up 15-18. The Bruins could not get closer and fell 20-25.
In set four, UCLA started strong and opened up a 7-2 lead. UCLA still led 14-6 after a Page kill. Another Page kill made it 21-14. A block by Spencer Rowe and Quiroga ended set four with UCLA owning a 25-18 edge.
Page finished the match with a team-best 16 kills and two aces. Quiroga added 15 kills, 12 digs and four aces. Rowe hit .600 and totaled six blocks. Michael Beals recorded 43 set assists, seven digs and two blocks. Ian Sequeira registered eight digs.
UCLA will take a 9-1, 6-0 record into next week’s MPSF match at No. 3 Pepperdine on Wednesday, Feb. 5. That match is set to start at 7:00 p.m. The Bruins do not return to Pauley Pavilion until Feb. 12 in a match against Long Beach State. Tickets will be available at the door.