Feb. 27, 2007
Following its best week of the season, the fifth-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team visits No. 14 Long Beach State on Wed., Feb. 28, then returns home to host UC San Diego on Fri., Mar. 2 in Pauley Pavilion. First serve for both matches is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Long Beach State and UCSD matches will be carried live (audio) on www.uclabruins.com with Darren Preston calling the play-by-play.
The Bruins (10-7, 8-6) won impressively twice last week with freshman setter Kevin Ker directing the offense. They crushed Cal State Northridge 3-0, hitting .537, and soundly defeated No.3 UCSB 3-1, hitting .380.
In both matches, the Bruins dominated the net by out-blocking their opponents and shutting down the top hitters. UCLA held UCSB's Evan Patak, who is nationally ranked in kills and points, to just 13 kills and a .111 hitting percentage. No player made a significant impact for CS Northridge, which hit .200.
On offense, the Bruins sizzled. Senior Steve Klosterman enjoyed one of the best nights in the history of collegiate volleyball against CS Northridge when he pounded 31 kills in 45 attempts with just one error (.667) and scored a career-high 35 points.
He also led the Bruins against the Gauchos with 23 kills (.314) and 25 points.
For his efforts, Klosterman was named Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week for Feb. 22 after recording 54 kills (.479) and 60 points in two matches. He became the 14th UCLA player to receive the award since its inception. He was also named MPSF Molten Player of the Week and was selected the UCLA Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week.
In addition, senior Paul George and freshman Garrett Muagututia enjoyed a fine weekend, George smashed 25 kills (.512) and recorded 28 points. Muagututia added 21 kills (.405), three aces and eight total blocks for 28.5 points in two matches.
Long Beach State enters Friday's match sliding on a three-match losing streak. The 49ers' most recent setback came at UCSD in five games on Feb. 24. The Beach also lost road matches to CS Northridge (Feb. 15) and UC Santa Barbarra (Feb. 17). The Bruins lead this series, 70-28, but have lost four consecutive matches at the Pyramid.
UC San Diego, ranked 20th by MiddleHitter.com last week, boasts an overall record of 5-10, 2-8 in MPSF play. In league play, the Tritons have defeated USC (3-1, Jan. 19) and Long Beach State. The Bruins lead the series, 42-0.
The first 250 fans attending Friday's match against UC San Diego (Mar. 2) will receive the 2007 UCLA Men's Volleyball Team Photo Card. The UCSD match also will be Public Safety Night -- all public safety and law enforcement personnel can present their badge or relevant ID at the Main Gate on game night and receive four complimentary admissions.