February 17, 1999
Defending NCAA mens volleyball champion UCLA takes its six-match winning streak on the road to a pair of MPSF matches this week.
The Bruins (9-2, 7-1) will be guests at Cal State Northridge (1-7, 1-6) on Wed., Feb. 17 and at UC Santa Barbara (3-5, 2-5) on Fri., Feb. 19. Both matches begin at 7 p.m.
On Feb. 3, the Bruins swept the Matadors 15-3, 15-9, 15-4 in Pauley Pavilion, capturing their 15th straight victory over their Valley rivals. Five UCLA players recorded double-digit kill totals, led by Ed Ratledge, who spiked 15 to go along with a pair of aces and four digs. UCLA leads the series, 38-2.
The Bruins opened the 1999 league campaign with a 3-0 victory over UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 13. Despite hitting a team season low .283, the Bruins got solid bench support from junior Matt Grace, who spiked five kills (.625) in relief of Evan Thatcher. That win was UCLAs 93rd in the series.
Last week the Bruins swept three league opponents -USC, San Diego State and UC San Diego - to move into a second place tie with Pepperdine in the MPSF Mountain Division race. The Waves lost 3-2 to Long Beach State, Feb. 13.
In beating USC for the 13th straight time, the Bruins got 20 kills from Thatcher and 19 from All-American Adam Naeve, while hitting .395 and outblocking USC 12.5-3.0. The loss snapped a six-match Trojan winning streak.
Four UCLA players recorded double-digit kill totals in the 15-5, 15-8, 15-5 sweep over San Diego State, Feb. 12. The Bruins hit .432, limited the Aztecs to a percentage of .074 and outblocked them 11-7.
Ratledge spiked a UCLA best 20 kills in the 3-0 victory over UC San Diego, Feb. 13. With most of the starters on the bench, the Bruins received solid performances from non-starters Seth Champi (9 kills, .412, 6 blocks), Matt Grace (9 kills, .615, 5 blocks) and Matt Davis (7 kills, .600, 3 blocks). The victory was UCLAs 29th straight over the Tritons, one of four league teams which have never beaten the Bruins.
UCLA VB QUICK FACTS Upcoming Matches Feb. 17 at CSN*, 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at UCSB*, 7 p.m. Feb. 24 vs. UC Irvine*, 7 p.m. (PP) *MPSF matches. PP-at Pauley Pavilion. JWC - at John Wooden Center
Recent Results*: Feb. 10 UCLA d. USC*, 3-0 Feb. 12 UCLA d. SDS*, 3-0 Feb. 13 UCLA d. UCSD*, 3-0
Projected Starters: #3 Brandon Taliaferro, Jr., S, San Clemente, CA (1.0kpg, 15.8apg, 1.1bpg) #5 Mark Williams, So., OH, Los Angeles, CA (3.0kpg, 2.3dpg, 0.6bpg) #9 Evan Thatcher, Jr., Op, Encinitas, CA (4.0kpg, 1.5dpg, 0.9bpg) #14 Fred Robins, Sr., OH, Waimanalo, HI (2.6kpg, 2.0dpg, 0.5bpg) OR #4 Matt Davis, Jr., OH, Encinitas, CA (2.1kpg, 1.0dpg, 1.0bpg) #15 Danny Farmer, Sr., Q, Los Angeles, CA (3.5kpg, 1.5dpg, 0.9bpg) #18 Adam Naeve, Jr., Q, Westchester, CA (4.7kpg, 1.2dpg, 2.1bpg)