March 8, 2007
The fifth-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team travels to No. 2 UC Irvine for a key MPSF match on Fri., Mar. 9 at the Bren Center. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
Darren Preston will call the action live on www.uclabruins.com.
UC Irvine, coached by former UCLA All-American John Speraw (UCLA '95), is 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.
The Anteaters feature a veteran lineup led by 2006 AVCA Player of the Year Jason Jablonsky, a senior. Jablonsky leads UCI in kills (3.9 kpg) and points (4.7 ppg). UCI's David Smith leads the MPSF in hitting percentage (.556) and ranks third in league blocking (1.5 bpg).
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 while the Bruins won their 19th NCAA title.
On Wednesday, the Bruins swept No. 11 Loyola Chicago in Pauley Pavilion. The victory was UCLA's fifth in its last six matches and ninth win in its last 11. Seniors Steve Klosterman and Paul George combined for 28 kills as the Bruins hit .376, served seven aces and out-blocked the Ramblers, 7.5-4.0.
Following this week's competition, the Bruins return home next week for a two-match, non-conference series against No. 15 Ball State, Mar. 14 and 16. Both matches are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion. Each match will be High School/Club Team Night. Call 310-206-3444 for more information or to register a team.