Feb. 9, 2007
Eighth-ranked UCLA edged No. 13 Pacific Friday night in a roller-coaster match that extended the Bruins' season-long winning streak to three matches.
The Bruins won 30-26, 27-30, 28-30, 40-38, 15-12 in two hours and 35 minutes before 513 fans. The victory evened UCLA's overall record at 6-6. They are 4-5 in league play. The Tigers, who saw their four-match winning streak snapped, fell to 6-6, 4-4.
Trailing 2-1 and 17-14 in Game 4, the Bruins scored four straight points to turn the momentum of the match. Freshman Garrett Muagututia got things started with a kill that made the score 17-15 in favor of the Tigers. Freshman Kevin Ker, who began Game 4 at setter in place of sophomore Matt Wade, served three consecutive aces to give the Bruins an 18-17 lead and forcing UOP to burn a timeout. Ker would serve into the net coming out of the timeout, and the Tigers would take a 23-20 lead, but the game and the match hung in the balance.
The Bruins clawed back into it. Sophomore Sean O'Malley recorded a kill and Muagututia blocked a ball to tie the game at 26-26. The two teams traded blows well past the 30th point with the Bruins unable to capitalize on nine game points. Finally, senior Steve Klosterman hammered a kill and UOP's Pekka Seppanen hit one long to give the Bruins a 40-38 victory.
The Bruins hit .421 in Game 5, raising their sub-standard average for the night to .212. Klosterman pounded five kills in the fifth game for a total of 15 for the match. O'Malley came off the bench and slammed eight kills (.538) and added two total blocks. Sophomore Jamie Diefenbach added 14 kills (.308), followed by 12 from George and 10 from Muagututia. The Bruins served seven aces, led by Ker's three. Junior Tony Ker dug a season high of 18 balls.
Seppanen led all players with 29 kills, a career high.
The Bruins will host Stanford Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion to end their six-match home stand.