Next Up — The ninth-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team (15-10, 12-9) will stay on the road to do battle at No. 6 Long Beach State (16-8, 13-8) on Saturday night in the Walter Pyramid at 7 p.m. The next home match is on Apr. 10 in a return contest against Cal Baptist in Pauley Pavilion. Note: The April 12 home match vs. BYU will be played in the Wooden Center.
Live Coverage — Audio Webcast: www.uclabruins.com -- Live stats: longbeachstate.com. Fans may also follow the matches on UCLA's live Twitter feed @UCLAMensVB.
Scouting the Opponent — Long Beach State dropped a five-set decision at home against UC Santa Barbara on Thursday. Last week, the 49ers lost to UC Irvine 0-3 and defeated UCSD 3-0.
A Look Back — The Bruins had an eight-match home win streak halted by Long Beach State on Feb. 12 in Pauley Pavilion during a 1-3 setback (16-25, 20-25, 25-22, 23-25). Quiroga led the Bruins with 20 kills in that contest. Spencer Rowe had seven blocks and nine kills. Page added 18 kills. Hagen Smith and Michael Beals saw action at the setter position in the match. UCLA won a 3-2 decision at Long Beach State last season on Mar. 13.
Recapping Previous Action — Spencer Rowe put down a career-high 24 balls in a five-set loss at Cal State Northridge (22-25, 25-19, 26-28, 25-16, 21-23) on Thursday night. Steve O'Dell added career-highs in digs (9) and blocks (6). Trent Kersten had four blocks and a career-high seven digs.***Rowe collected19 kills in a (25-22, 22-25, 26-28, 21-25) loss at BYU on Mar. 29. O'Dell had 52 set assists and four blocks. The Bruins were outblocked by the Cougars 13.5 to 6.5 on the night.***Gonzalo Quiroga topped the Bruins with 16 kills in a 3-1 win over Cal Baptist on Mar. 27 (25-22, 21-25, 25-18, 25-23). Mitch Stahl added seven kills, four aces and seven blocks. Robart Page totaled 14 kills, while posting a season-high .565 attack %. ***Quiroga led UCLA with 15 kills in a 1-3 loss to USC (20-25, 25-19, 17-25, 23-25) on Mar. 15. Jackson Bantle had a career-best 12 kills and 11 digs in the match. ***UCLA was dealt a 1-3 setback on Mar. 11 in Pauley by No. 5 Pepperdine (18-25, 30-28, 23-25, 22-25). The team hit .156 for the match. Quiroga had 16 kills, hitting .205. Setter Hagen Smith had 42 set assists and five blocks in the contest. Rowe totaled 10 kills, while hitting .538. ***Page blasted 12 kills in the win against UCSD (25-18, 25-21, 25-15) on Mar. 8. UCLA outhit the Tritons .414 to .079 and outblocked the visitors 12.0 to 3.5. Quiroga added nine kills and four aces.
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.
In the MPSF: A4--Cal Bapt. at Stanford, BYU at Hawai'i, UCI at UCSD; A5--UCLA at Long Beach, BYU at Hawai'i, UCSB at CSUN, Cal Bapt. at Pacific, USC at Pepp, UC Merced at UCSD; A10--CSUN at Long Beach, Cal Bapt. at UCLA; A11--Stanford at UCI, BYU at UCSB, Pacific at UCSD, Hawai'i at Pepp; A12--BYU at UCLA, Long Beach at CSUN, Hawai'i at Pepp, Pacific at UCI, Stanford at UCSD. The top eight teams advance to the MPSF Tournament with the top four finishers serving as first-round hosts on Saturday, April 19.
Standings as of Apr. 3: BYU 18-2, Pepperdine 15-6, Stanford 14-7, UCSB 14-7, UC I 13-8, Long Beach 13-8, USC 14-9, UCLA 12-9, Hawai'i 11-9, CSUN 8-13, Cal Bapt. 2-18, Pacific 1-20, UCSD 1-20. For current MPSF standings go to mpsports.org
Trending Numbers —Gonzalo Quiroga has taken over the top spot on the school career list for service aces (185), moving past Adam Naeve, 1997-01 (178) ... Quiroga began the week sixth in the MPSF listings in hitting % (.297) and third in service aces/set 1.40 ... Quiroga tops the MPSF with his 0.52 service aces/set average, a mark which would be a UCLA school record by a player since the change to rally scoring in 2001 ... Quiroga has double-digit kills in 23 of the 25 matches this season ... He has at least three service aces in eight matches this season (last time, three at Cal Baptist on Mar. 27) ... Robart Page has double-digit kills in 20 matches and has gone over the 20-kill mark a team-high three times this season ... Page began the week ranked sixth in the MPSF in kills per set (3.99), a mark which would rank among the top five in school history in the rally scoring era ... Quiroga was eighth (3.74) ... Page is fourth in points per set (4.55); Quiroga is fifth (4.54) ... Spencer Rowe had a career-best 19 kills at BYU (Mar. 29) and then topped that performance with a 24-kill effort while hitting .525 at CSUN on Apr. 3 ... He began the week ranked eighth in the MPSF in hitting percentage (.365) ... Setter Steve O'Dell has returned to the active list after missing 15 matches due to injury and had career bests in digs (9) and blocks (6) at CSUN ... The nine-match winning streak earlier this season, snapped at Pepperdine on Feb. 5, 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 AVCA was Mar. 5, 2012 - week 9.
Last Three Matches — Block Leaders in the last three matches: Mitch Stahl (16), Steve O'Dell (14), Trent Kersten (8), Spencer Rowe (5), Gonzalo Quiroga (5) ... Kills Leaders in last three: Quiroga (48), Rowe (46),Robart Page (25)Stahl (21) ... Ace Leaders in last three: Quiroga (5), Stahl (5), O'Dell (3), Rowe (3) ... Dig Leaders in last three: Hagen Smith (25), Quiroga (19), O'Dell (17).