April 18, 2007
The defending NCAA and MPSF Tournament champion UCLA men's volleyball team, winners of five straight and 12 of their last 15, travels to UC Santa Barbara for the quarterfinals of the 2007 MPSF playoffs on Sat., Apr. 21 at UCSB's Robertson Gym.
First serve is set for 7 p.m. with Darren Preston calling the play-by-play audio on uclabruins.com.
This season, the Bruins (19-10, 13-9) have won two of three matches against the Gauchos. UCLA defeated UCSB 3-0 in the second round of the UCSB Collegiate Classic on Jan. 5. The Gauchos returned the favor with a five-game victory on Jan. 17, and the Bruins avenged that loss with a four-game victory at Pauley Pavilion on Feb. 23.
In the MPSF playoffs, the Bruins own a 24-6 overall record since 1993. They have won seven conference tournament crowns and six NCAA titles in that span.
Against UCSB in the league playoffs over the last 14 years, the Bruins are 3-1, claiming victories in 2006 (play-in), 1997 (semifinals) and 1996 (championship). UCSB's lone playoff victory over UCLA came in the quarterfinals in 2002.
UCLA leads the overall series, 111-27 and last won at UCSB on Apr. 12, 2006. That win was their seventh straight on their 14-match march to the 2006 NCAA title.
UCSB presents a formidable challenge in senior All-American Evan Patak, the national leader in kills (5.75 kpg) and aces (0.98 apg). Patak also ranks second nationally in points (6.65 ppg). In three matches against the Gauchos, the Bruins have managed to hold Patak slightly below his averages: 5.17 kpg, 0.75 aces per game and 6.21 ppg. The 6-8 senior is hitting .371 for the season, but the Bruins have held him to a percentage of .201.
The Bruins completed the regular season with a 3-0 victory on the road against UC San Diego on Apr. 13. The victory was UCLA's 44th straight in the series against UCSD. Senior Steve Klosterman led the Bruins with 16 kills (.393), two aces and 18 points.
NOTES-- UCLA's five-game victory against UC Irvine on Mar. 6 will be shown on Channel 36 Sat., Apr. 21 beginning at 7 p.m. Check the Ch. 36 listings for other broadcast times. The 90-minute telecast begins in Game 3. ...For ticket information to Saturday's match, please call 805.893.UCSB.