This Week — The second-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team (10-2, 7-1) returns home after a couple of weeks on the road to host No. 6 Long Beach State (6-3, 5-3) on Wednesday night in Pauley. The Bruins will host No. 13 Cal State Northridge (3-6, 3-5) on Friday in Pauley. Both matches are set to begin at 7 p.m.
Live Coverage — The match vs. Long Beach State will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks. Both of this week's matches will be radio broadcast on the internet at uclabruins.com. Fans may also follow the matches on UCLA's live Twitter feed @UCLAMensVB. Streaming will be available for the CSUN match at uclabruins.com.
In The Rankings — The Bruins slipped back into second place in the rankings on Monday after last week's loss at Pepperdine. The Beach is listed No. 6 this week, while Northridge came in at No. 13.
Scouting the Opponents — Long Beach is coming off of a couple of road wins at Stanford at at Pacific on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 in its last action. CS Northridge was swept at Hawai'i last week.
A Look Back — UCLA split a pair of matches last season with Long Beach -- losing at home on Jan. 15 (23-25, 22-25, 25-16, 17-25) and winning at Long Beach on Mar. 13 (21-25, 21-25, 25-19, 26-24, 15-10). The Bruins scored a season sweep over CSUN last season (Jan. 8 home --- 25-18, 19-25, 25-19, 18-25, 15-13 / Mar. 15 away --- 20-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-13, 15-10).
Recapping Previous Action — The Bruins rebounded from a season low hitting percentage of .110 (previous low was .252 in loss to Stanford) at Pepperdine to produce at a .372 clip at USC. Gonzalo Quiroga hit .625 with zero errors in 24 swings and a season-high tying 15 kills vs. the Trojans. UCLA outblocked USC 12.0 to 3.0 and out-aced them seven to one. Trent Kersten totaled eight blocks on the night and Robart Page added five. Not one Bruin managed to hit over .200 in the straight set loss at Pepperdine (14-25, 20-25, 19-25) last Wednesday. Pepperdine, which hit .345, outblocked the Bruins 14.5 to 5.0. Page's 15 kills topped UCLA.
Trending Numbers —UCLA began the week leading the MPSF in hitting % .327 and in service aces/set 1.60 ... The nine-match winning streak, snapped at No. 3 Pepperdine on Wednesday, was the team's longest under coach Speraw ... The Bruins have won eight straight home matches (four this season and last four in 2013 (last home loss was to Cal Baptist on Apr. 4, 2013) ... UCLA's 9-1 overall start was its best since the 2012 squad opened by winning 12 of its first 13 matches (10 in a row overall and the first seven MPSF matches), the lone loss was to UCI, coached by Speraw ... The last Bruin winning streak longer than 10 in a row was the 14 straight wins which ended the 2006 championship season ... Gonzalo Quiroga has double-digit kills in 11 of the 12 matches this season ... Robart Page has double-digit kills in the last 11 matches and has gone over the 20 mark in both 5-set matches this season ... The last time UCLA was ranked #1 by AVCA was March 5, 2012 - week 9 poll.
Last Three Matches — Block leaders in the last three matches: Spencer Rowe (12), Trent Kersten (12), Quiroga (9) ... Kills Leaders in last three: Page (41), Quiroga (40) ... Ace Leaders in last three: Quiroga (6), Page (5) ... Dig Leader in last three: Quiroga (23), Michael Beals (18), Ian Sequeira (18).
Coach Speraw: Year Two at UCLA — John Speraw (UCLA '95) is in his second season as the head coach at his alma mater. In year one, the Bruins went 21-11 and advanced to the semifinals of the MPSF Tournament. In 10 seasons at UC Irvine, Speraw led the Anteaters to three NCAA championships (2007, 2009, 2012), and a 199-106 (.646) overall record. On Mar. 25, 2013, he was named head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team for the next quadrennial ending at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero. In the summer of 2012, he had served as an assistant coach for the USA Men's National Team, which advanced to the quarterfinals of the London Olympics. Speraw earned AVCA National Coach of the Year in 2006 and was given the USA Olympic Committee's National Coach of the Year award in 2007.
Coming Up — The Bruins host CSUN on Friday at 7 p.m. in Pauley. Tickets will be available at the door or for information, please call 310-UCLA-WIN or check the website at uclabruins.com. Next week UCLA is back on the road at Pacific (F23) and Stanford (F24)
This Week in MPSF: F12--Cal Bap. at Haw., CSUN at UCSB, LB at UCLA, Stan at Pacific; F13-- USC at UCSB; F14-- Cal Bap. at Haw., Pepp at UCI, CSUN at UCLA, BYU at Pacific, LB at UCSB, USC a UCSD; F15--BYU at Stan, Pepp at UCSD. For Current MPSF Standings go to mpsports.org