Ninth-ranked UCLA won a four-set decision at Cal Baptist in an MPSF match played on Thursday night. Scores of the contest were 25-22, 21-25, 25-18, 25-23. The Bruins are now 15-8 overall and 12-7 in MPSF play.
UCLA stormed out to a 5-0 lead in set one behind the serve of Trent Kersten. The Lancers rallied to narrow the Bruin edge to 8-6. UCLA came back to extend the margin to 10-6 but CBU was soon able to tie the score at 14-all. The score was level again at 16 and 17 before UCLA made it 18-17 on a kill by Jake Reeves. The gap was 21-18 following a block by Spencer Rowe and Mitch Stahl. The Lancers got within one point at 23-22 before a kill by Reeves and an ace from Stahl settled matters.
Cal Baptist grabbed a 2-5 lead in set two and quickly moved it out to 7-14. A block from Gonzalo Quiroga and Stahl made it 11-15. The Lancers maintained their edge and led 18-21 after a kill from Quiroga. CBU took the second set on a Bruin service error at 21-25.
Set three was even at each point from two through 11. The Bruins owned a 13-11 edge after a Stahl ace, but CBU was able to even things up at 13-all. UCLA then rattled off six straight points behind the serve of Steve O’Dell and enjoyed a 19-13 lead after a block by Kersten. The third set went to the Bruins, 25-18, on a block by Stahl and O’Dell.
UCLA established a 4-2 lead on an ace by Quiroga in set four. The lead was 7-4 after a kill by Robart Page. Cal Baptist rallied to tie the score at 8-all and went on to take a 10-12 lead. A Quiroga ace knotted the score at 13’s. CBU went up 17-19 only to see the Bruins rally to tie the score at 20 on a block by Stahl and Quiroga. UCLA took a 23-21 edge on a pair of CBU attack errors. A kill by Quiroga moved the margin to 24-22. CBU reduced the deficit to one before giving UCLA the win on a service error at 25-23.
UCLA was outhit .343 to .302 by the Lancers, but out aced the home team 12-3. Quiroga had 16 kills and three aces. Stahl recorded seven kills, four aces and seven blocks. Page came off the bench for 14 kills and hit .565. O’Dell finished with 39 set assists and four block assists. Hagen Smith led the team with seven digs.
UCLA will play at No. 2 BYU on Saturday night in a battle that begins at 7 p.m. PT. The next home match will be on April 10 in a return engagement with Cal Baptist.