April 6, 2007
The fourth-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team staged an exciting comeback Friday night edging No.2 UC Irvine 3-2 in Pauley Pavilion.
The Bruins won 23-30, 24-30, 30-28, 30-28, 17-15 in front of 1,143 spectators in two hours and 20 minutes. The victory raised the Bruins' overall record to 17-10, 11-9 in MPSF play. The Anteaters, who dropped their second straight five-game match, fell to 22-5, 15-5. UCLA's win also snapped a four-match skid to UC Irvine.
The Anteaters were cruising along until they committed 10 service errors in Game 3 and lost by two.
In Game 4, the Bruins stepped up their net play and recorded nine total blocks to limit the Anteaters' attack to .186.
And in Game 5, the Bruins battled back from a 3-0 deficit and one match point to capture their 50th victory in the series against UCI. Also in the final game, the Bruins recorded another six total blocks, including one at match point to secure their 12th straight home victory and 10th win in their last 13 overall matches.
Coach Al Scates used 12 players in this match and all of them impacted the outcome. Sophomore setter Matt Wade came off the bench to score 4.5 points, tally 46 set assists and dig 10 balls. Backup libero Eric Chaghouri recorded three digs and provided consistent passing, and sophomore quick hitter Jamie Diefenbach, who has not started for three matches, came off the bench to hammer nine kills (.353) and total nine block assists.
The Bruins' two seniors -- Paul George and Steve Klosterman -- each pounded 17 kills. George was particularly effective, hitting .517 and serving one ace. Klosterman scored 21 points to lead the team and added six total blocks, including a pair of solos.
The Bruin block ultimately won this match. At the end of Game 2, UCI held an 8.0-7.0 lead in blocking. In the final three games, the Bruins outblocked the Anteaters, 19.0-3.5.
UCLA will host its final regular season match on Wed., Apr. 11 against Long Beach State. First serve is set for 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion. UCLA will honor several players who will be making their final appearance in Pauley Pavilion.