May 6, 1998
UCLA's Al Scates guided the Bruins to their 17th NCAA men's volleyball title May 2 to establish an all-time single sport record for coaches. The men's volleyball national championship was the Bruins' third in four years and fourth in the last six seasons.
UCLA's athletic program now owns 77 NCAA championship trophies, a continuing collegaite record. Under current Athletic Director Peter T. Dalis, UCLA has won 30 NCAA team titles since 1983.
UCLA, 28-4, defeated top-seeded Pepperdine 3-0 in the NCAA championship match at the Stan Sheriff Center, hosted by the University of Hawaii.
The victory raised the Bruins' championship match record to 17-4 and their overall NCAA Tournament record to 46-5, both NCAA records. UCLA, which defeated Pepperdine in three out of four matches in 1998, improved its all-time series record against the Waves to 62-16, 3-1 in the NCAA finals.
In the NCAA championship match against the Waves, who fell to 23-5, five Bruin starters hit for double figure kills. The NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player, UCLA sophomore All-American Adam Naeve, spiked 23 kills with just one error in 35 swings. He also added a match high three aces and five blocks. The Bruins also received 21 kills, eight digs and two aces from sophomore Evan Thatcher, 18 kills and 11 digs from senior quick hitter Tom Stillwell, 17 kills and seven digs from junior outside hitter Fred Robins and 15 kills, six digs and a block from senior Ben Moselle. First-team AVCA All-American setter Brandon Taliaferro distributed 84 assists, dug eight balls, blocked six and served two aces. He earned All-Tournament honors along with Robins.
"The guys kept ripping the serves," said Scates. "The serving game is really important to us."
The Bruins served nine aces against the Waves, including four in Game 1. The Bruins' 217 aces this season set a school record and Naeve's 56 aces set an individual school record.
UCLA also extended its NCAA semifinals winning streak to 17 matches with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Lewis University. In that match, the Bruins were sparked off the bench by junior quick hitter Danny Farmer, who spiked a career high 26 kills, dug five balls, blocked four and served an ace. Farmer also ignited a UCLA run of 17 straight points in Games 2 & 3. Naeve added 34 kills, 10 blocks, six digs and two aces.
UCLA VB QUICK FACTS 1998 NCAA Tournament Results Apr. 30 UCLA d. Lewis, 3-2 May 2 UCLA d. Pepperdine, 3-0
1998 Honorees: #3 Brandon Taliaferro, So., Setter NCAA All-Tournament Team 1st Team AVCA All-American 1st Team All-MPSF AVCA and MPSF Player of the Week, Apr. 13
#14 Fred Robins, Jr., Outside Hitter NCAA All-Tournament Team 1998 Outrigger Invitational All-Tournament Team
#15 Danny Farmer, Jr., Quick Hitter Academic All-MPSF nominee
#17 Tom Stillwell, Sr., Quick Hitter 3rd Team All-MPSF 1998 Outrigger Invitational All-Tournament Team
#18 Adam Naeve, So., Quick Hitter NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player 1st Team AVCA All-American 1st Team All-MPSF 1998 Outrigger Invitational MVP MPSF Player of the Week, Feb. 3
#19 Charlie Jackson, Sr., Setter GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-America and Academic All-MPSF nominee
#20 Ben Moselle, Sr., Outside Hitter 2nd Team AVCA All-American 2nd Team All-MPSF