March 6, 2008
Tenth-ranked UCLA visits No.6 UC Irvine for a key MPSF match Fri., Mar. 7 at the Bren Center.
A live audio broadcast will be offered at www.uclabruins.com with Darren Preston calling the action. In addition, Cox Cable will televise the match in the Orange County area. Check local listings for time and dates.
This week, the Bruins (12-9, 7-6) won a pair of non-conference matches against Lewis (3-1, Mar. 4) and UC Santa Cruz (3-1, Mar. 5).
UC Irvine (10-10, 6-7) lost in five games at home to No. 11 Ohio State on Mar. 1. That setback followed victories over No. 14 UCSB (3-0, Feb. 23) and the Buckeyes (3-0, Feb. 29).
Top players for the Anteaters include freshman Cory Yoder (3.25 kpg) and junior Jon Steller (2.44 kpg, 0.46 apg). Stellar is a nationally ranked server, and boasts more aces than any player in the country. Second-year freshman Kevin Wynne leads the `Eaters in blocking at 1.45 bpg and is ranked sixth nationally.
On Feb. 1, the Bruins defeated the Anteaters 3-1 in Pauley Pavilion. Despite dropping the first game, the Bruins won the next three behind 14 kills apiece from sophomore Garrett Muagututia and junior Jamie Diefenbach.
In Tuesday's win, outside hitters Sean O'Malley and Muagututia combined for 39 kills as the Bruins snapped a four-match skid that began on Feb. 20. The Bruins recorded a hitting percentage of .393 and out-gunned the Flyers 73-58 in kills.
In Wednesday's victory, four players recorded double-digit kills, led by Muagututia (21) and O'Malley (19). The Bruins hit .480 with six aces and 11.0 total blocks.
Senior All-American Libero Tony Ker broke the UCLA career digs record on Tuesday night, recording 14 digs and ending the evening with 1,095 digs after 112 matches. On Wednesday, he surpassed the 1,100 digs plateau with 13 digs. He enters the UC Irvine match with 1,108 digs and 54 career double-digit digs matches. Ker began the week as the conference's digs leader (3.42 dpg) and was ranked second nationally.