Jan. 23, 2008
The UCLA men's volleyball team dropped its second straight league match Wednesday night, falling in five games to USC at the Galen Center.
USC won 30-26, 30-24, 23-30, 18-30, 18-16 in two hours and 16 minutes in front of 750 fans. The Bruins fell to 5-3 overall, 3-2 in MPSF play. USC improved to 4-4, 3-2.
A key UCLA service error in Game 5 swung the momentum in USC's favor, and sparked the Trojans' match-winning rally. With the Bruins up 14-12, junior Ryan Ratelle committed the visitors' 29th service miscue and the Trojans' Andrew Vernon recorded a kill to tie the game at 14-14. The Bruins burned a timeout and the teams traded points. After UCLA junior Jamie Diefenbach tied the score at 16-16 with a block, he committed a service error to give USC a 17-16 advantage. USC won the match when Vernon and setter Jimmy Killian blocked UCLA's Garrett Muagututia for the final point.
Muagututia led the Bruins with 19 kills, two aces and seven total blocks for 24.5 points. Ratelle added 14 kills (.591) and a pair of aces and sophomore Brett Perrine recorded 13 kills (.550), an ace and two block assists for 15 points. Senior Tony Ker led the Bruins with nine digs.
USC senior Juan Figueroa led both teams with 20 kills (.359).
The Bruins travel to Pepperdine Friday, Feb. 25 for another league showdown that begins at 7 p.m.