March 14, 2008
Ninth-ranked UCLA upset top-ranked BYU Friday, avenging a three-game sweep 24 hours earlier and boosting the Bruins' confidence as they take a week off for final exams before entering the stretch drive of the season.
The Bruins won 30-28, 23-30, 30-23, 30-21 in one hour and 59 minutes before 1,084 fans at Pauley Pavilion. The victory raised UCLA's record to 14-10 overall and 9-7 in league play. BYU suffered its second loss in 19 matches and dropped to 12-2 in MPSF play.
The aggressor in each game Friday night squirted out to early leads and used that momentum to prevail. Fortunately for the Bruins, they were the more aggressive team in three of the four games.
In Game 1 UCLA rode an 8-4 advantage until BYU tied the score at 16-16 following an ace by Ivan Perez. The two teams traded points until the Bruins broke from a 21-21 tie on a kill by UCLA's Garrett Muagututia and a bad set by Perez. The Cougars never got closer than one point, and UCLA's Ryan Ratelle converted the game-winner following teammate Brett Perrine's nervous service error.
BYU avenged the first game loss and raced to 4-0 lead in the second game. With the Cougars building a large lead that reached as many as seven points, Head Coach Al Scates replaced junior setter Matt Wade with sophomore Kevin Ker. Although the Bruins didn't win the game, Ker managed to improve their sideout ratio.
The move paid dividends in the final two games.
In Game 3, it was the Bruins who took a 4-0 lead and never trailed again. Late in the game, BYU cut it to 20-16, but a pair of kills by UCLA's Sean O'Malley pushed the cushion to six. BYU fought off two match points before O'Malley secured the victory with another kill.
The Cougars continued their downward spiral in Game 4, falling behind 7-4 before Head Coach Shawn Patchell was forced to call his first timeout. Three consecutive UCLA points later, Patchell called his final timeout down 10-4. Senior Russell Holmes slammed a kill for BYU, but the Bruins answered with a block on Perez. UCLA continued to pile up points as the lead reached nine when junior Ryan Ratelle served three straight points, two of them blocks on Holmes and Andrew Stewart. The lead eventually reached 11 when Muagututia smacked a kill to give the Bruins match point, 29-18. BYU scored three straight points, forcing Scates to call a timeout at 29-21. Ratelle scored the final point with a cross-court kill.
O'Malley, Muagututia, Ratelle and junior D.J. Stromath each recorded double-digit kills. O'Malley led UCLA with 17 kills and 19 points, followed by Muagututia with 16 kills (.303) and 17.5 points. Ker recorded 39 set assists and three block assists, while his brother Tony led both teams with 21 digs. Ratelle recorded a double-double of 14 kills (.400) and 10 digs.
Jonathan Charette and Holmes led the Cougars with 19 and 10 kills respectively.
UCLA's next home match is Wed., Apr. 2 against UC Santa Barbara.