Feb. 19, 2008
Sixth-ranked UCLA continues the middle leg of its six-match road swing, traveling to UC Santa Barbara Feb. 20 and Cal State Northridge Feb. 22.
Both matches will be played at 7 p.m. and both will be broadcast by the home team's internet site. Access www.KCSB.org for the UCSB match and www.gomatadors.com for the CS Northridge match.
UC Santa Barbara entered the week with a record of 6-7 overall, 4-5 in ninth place of the MPSF. The Gauchos began the season dropping five of their first six matches, but have rebounded to win five of their last six. They are 4-1 in the month of February.
Senior middle blocker Theo Brunner is one of the Gauchos' best players. Earlier this season, he earned AVCA National Player of the Week and MPSF POW honors. Brunner leads the team in hitting percentage at .359 and ranks second in kills per game at 3.7.
The Bruins' 2007 season ended at UCSB last April in a 3-1 defeat in the first round of the MPSF playoffs. UCLA leads the overall series, 111-28, although the teams have split their last four matches.
Fourth-ranked Cal State Northridge is enjoying one of its best seasons in recent years. The Matadors (10-4, 6-3) are in third place of the MPSF race and have won their last four matches.
Junior Eric Vance leads CSUN at 4.2 kpg with 17 aces and 213.5 points. Middle blockers Kevin McKniff and Cody Loe are averaging more than a block per game each.
UCLA leads this series, 54-7 and has won three straight.
Last week the Bruins split a pair of league matches against Hawai'i in Honolulu. On Valentine's Day, the Bruins fell 3-2, despite battling back from a two games to one deficit and a five-point disadvantage in Game 5.
On Feb. 15, the Bruins avenged their previous night's loss with a 3-0 victory. In Game 1, however, the Bruins were staring at a 26-28 deficit before scoring the final four points of the game to win 30-28.