Jan. 28, 2008
The fourth-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team returns to Pauley Pavilion for a four-match homestand that begins with a non-conference match against Cal Baptist on Wed., Jan. 30. The Bruins resume MPSF play on Fri., Feb. 1 with a key match against UC Irvine, the defending NCAA champion. First serve for both matches is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion.
Darren Preston will call the live play-by-play action on www.uclabruins.com at both matches.
Friday's match is also Club/High School Night. Please call 310-206-3444 to register a team.
In the series against Cal Baptist, the No.1 ranked team in NAIA, the Bruins have won all four matches, the last two in five games.
The Lancers, 2-3 overall, lost a two-match series at BYU over the weekend. They also lost their opener at UC Irvine on Jan. 2. Their victories came against SUNY New Paltz and UC Santa Cruz.
Junior Donald Baliaba leads the Lancers at 5.5 kills per game. Last season against the Bruins he pounded 23 kills.
After a slow start, No.9 UC Irvine beat a pair of quality opponents last week in USC (3-1) and Pepperdine (3-1) to even their record to 5-5 overall, 3-3 in MPSF play.
Junior Taylor Wilson leads the Anteaters at 4.5 kpg. Last week he pounded 43 kills in two victories, and earned AVCA National Player of the Week honors.
Anteaters' Coach John Speraw (UCLA '95) returns to Pauley Pavilion after winning UC Irvine's first NCAA title in men's volleyball last season. Speraw is 6-9 against the Bruins since 2002, and lost 3-2 to them in his last visit on Apr. 6.
Last week, the Bruins split a pair of rivalry matches against USC (2-3) and Pepperdine (3-2).
USC's victory was its second in the last three matches against the Bruins, although UCLA has won 26 of the last 29 matches and owns a record of 85-32 in the all-time series.
Against Pepperdine, the Bruins snapped several streaks with the five-game triumph. They won for the first time in four matches (dating to 2004) at Firestone Fieldhouse, and broke a two-match losing streak entering the contest. In the overall series, UCLA leads, 72-29.
Bruin Notes: On Wed., Feb. 6, UCLA will retire the jersey of former All-American and two-time Player of the Year Jeff Nygaard. Nygaard, who wore No. 9, led the Bruins to three consecutive trips to the NCAA Championship, winning titles in 1993 and '95. He was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in November. The Bruins will host USC at 7 p.m. and the match will be broadcast live on FSN/Prime Ticket. Former Lakers radio broadcaster Paul Sunderland and UCLA alumnus Karch Kiraly will call the action. ...The 31st Annual Kilgour Cup is scheduled for Sat., Feb. 9 against Pepperdine at 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion.