March 6, 2007
The fifth-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team hosts No. 11 Loyola University Chicago on Wed., Mar. 7 in Pauley Pavilion before traveling to No. 2 UC Irvine for a key MPSF match on Fri., Mar. 9 at the Bren Center.
First serve for both matches is set for 7 p.m.
Darren Preston will call the action live for both matches on www.uclabruins.com.
Loyola Chicago enters Wednesday' match with a 14-3 overall record and a nine-match winning streak. Featuring the nation's fifth-ranked hitting percentage at .340, LUC boasts four players ranked among the nation's offensive leaders this week. Senior MB James Grunst ranked second in hitting percentage at .562, junior opposite Ian Anderson ranked sixth at 4.95 kpg, sophomore MB Nick Lamoureux ranked 15th with .377 aces per game and senior setter Brian Guntli ranked ninth at 12.92 assists per game.
The Bruins lead this series, 2-0, and defeated the Ramblers 3-2 last season on the same date.
UC Irvine, coached by former UCLA All-American John Speraw (UCLA '95), was 19-3 overall and 13-3 in league play after beating No. 14 Long Beach State in five games on the road Mar. 3. On Jan. 6, the Anteaters swept the Bruins in the finals of the UCSB Elephant Bar Classic, extending their string of victories against the Bruins to three. Since Speraw's first season in 2003, the Bruins have won six of 11 matches and lead the overall series, 49-6.
Ranked No.1 for most of 2006, UCI won the regular season MPSF title before falling to Long Beach State at the Bren Center in the league championship semifinals. The Anteaters advanced to their first NCAA Championship, but fell 3-2 to host Penn State in the semifinals.
Last week, the Bruins split a pair of MPSF matches, losing 3-2 on the road to Long Beach State and winning 3-0 at home to UC San Diego. Seniors Steve Klosterman and Paul George continued their stellar play, combining for 74 kills in two matches. Both players were ranked among the conference's top servers this week.
The Bruins return home next week for a two-match, non-conference series against Ball State, Mar. 14 and 16, before taking a week off for final examinations.