Next Up — The fifth-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team (13-5, 10-4) is on the road for an MPSF match at No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (10-5, 9-5) on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. PT. The Bruins will then return home, and host a match for the first time since Feb. 14, welcoming UC San Diego (1-16, 0-15) on Saturday evening in Pauley at 7 p.m.
Live Coverage — Audio webcast vs. UCSB: uclabruins.com --- Live stats: (at UCSB) www.ucsbgauchos.com/livestats/landing --- Fans may also follow the matches on UCLA's live Twitter feed @UCLAMensVB.
In The Rankings — The Bruins are ranked fifth in this week's AVCA listing. UCSB came in No. 7.
Scouting the Opponent — UCSB split its last two matches, losing at UC Irvine on F28 1-3 and then winning at UCSD on M1 3-0.Stat Comps: Hitting % UCLA .304 / UCSB .249; Kills per set UCLA 13.16/ UCSB 12.60; Set Ast per set UCLA 12.52/UCSB 11.84; Serve ace per set UCLA 1.40 / UCSB 1.29; Digs per set UCLA 9.34/ UCSB 9.64; Blks. per set UCLA 2.33/ UCSB 3.59. UC San Diego defeated Grand Canyon on Feb. 28 (3-2) and lost to UCSB on Mar. 1 (0-3). The Tritons play at UCSB on Friday.
A Look Back — UCLA defeated UCSB earlier this season (Jan. 21) in straight sets in Pauley Pavilion (25-12, 25-22, 29-27). Robart Page and Gonzalo Quiroga led the attack with 15 and 11 kills, respectively. The Bruins had a sideout percentage of 85% in the first two sets of that contest. Page topped the Bruins with 15 kills in a 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-20) win at UCSD on Jan. 30. The Bruins hit .532 in that match.
Recapping Previous Action — Gonzalo Quiroga had 15 kills in the five set loss at Hawai'i on Mar. 1 (25-22, 18-25, 26-24, 16-25, 11-15). Robart Page added 16 kills and Michael Fisher checked in with 13 in a start. The Bruins hit just .246 in the match. Quiroga totaled 19 kills in the four set loss at Hawai'i on Feb. 28 (23-25, 24-26, 27-25, 22-25). Page added 17 kills in that contest. Setter Hagen Smith had 47 set assists on Mar. 1 and 44 on Feb. 28 to go along with four kills, two aces, two blocks.
Quiroga paced the Bruin attack with a season-high 21 kills and totaled four aces and 12 digs in the five-set win at Stanford (Feb. 24--25-23, 28-26, 20-25, 19-25, 17-15). Smith registered 51 set assists and four blocks. Page added 18 kills. Quiroga led UCLA with 15 kills, three aces and four blocks and hit .522 in a straight set win (25-15, 28-26, 25-20) at Pacific (Feb. 23). The Bruins hit .302 with Smith doling out 32 set assists and freshman hitter Jackson Bantle recording 10 kills and a .529 hitting percentage. UCLA hit .284 in its win over CSUN (25-15, 25-18, 34-32) behind Smith who was making his first start. Page had a monster match with 21 kills and hit .400.
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.
Trending Numbers —UCLA began the week 4th in the MPSF listings in hitting % .300 and 3rd in service aces/set 1.31 ... Gonzalo Quiroga was second in the MPSF with his 0.52 service aces/set average ... Quiroga has double-digit kills in 16 of the 18 matches this season ... Quiroga has at least three service aces in six matches this season ... Robart Page has double-digit kills in16 matches and has gone over the 20-kill mark a team-high three times this season ... Trent Kersten has at least four blocks in his last six matches played ... The nine-match winning streak earlier this season, snapped at Pepperdine, was the team's longest under coach Speraw ... The Bruins had an eight-match home win streak stopped by Long Beach on Feb. 12 ... 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 ... Before this season, the last time UCLA was ranked #1 by the AVCA was Mar. 5, 2012 - week 9.
Last Three Matches — Block leaders in the last three matches: Trent Kersten (13), Robart Page (10), Spencer Rowe (9), Hagen Smith (8) ... Kills Leaders in last three: Quiroga (55), Page (51) ... Ace Leaders in last three: Quiroga (5), Kersten, Page, Smith (2) ... Dig Leaders in last three: Page, Grant Chalmers (19), Jackson Bantle (18), Quiroga (17), Smith (15).
Coming Up — The Bruins return home on Mar. 8 at 7 p.m. in Pauley to host UCSD. Tickets will be available at the door or for information, please call 310-UCLA-WIN or check the website at uclabruins.com. After the match at UCSB (M5) the Bruins will then be home for matches against the Tritons, Pepperdine and USC.
In the MPSF: M4--St. Francis at Cal Bapt.; M5--UCLA at UCSB; M6--CSUN at Cal Bapt.; M7--BYU at Long Beach, Stan. at Pepp., Pacific at USC, UCI at Haw., UCSD at UCSB; M8--BYU at CSUN, Pacific at Pepp., UCSD at UCLA, Cal Bapt. at Long Beach; M9--UCI at Haw., Stan. at USC. For Current MPSF Standings go to mpsports.org