UCLA, which moved into the top spot in the national rankings earlier in the day, capped off its Monday with a straight-set win over the defending NCAA champs from UC Irvine. The victory marked the seventh straight win on the season for the Bruins who upped their record to 7-1 and 4-0 in the MPSF. Scores of the match were 25-14, 25-23, 25-23.
UCLA trailed only at 0-1 in the first set on the way to a 25-14 win. Freshman Michael Fisher helped the Bruins get off to the good start with three kills and two aces. Robart Page added six kills for UCLA which opened up an 8-4 advantage and then moved out to a 15-10 lead before putting the Anteaters away.
Set two was a hotly contested affair with 14 ties. Gonzalo Quiroga broke a 19-all tie with one of his seven kills in the set and UCLA was able to take a 22-19 lead. Irvine came back to tie it at 23-all, before the Bruins took the set on a kill by Page and a UCI blocking error.
UCLA broke out to a 7-2 lead in the third set only to see Irvine charge back and take the lead at 11-10. The visitors then extended the margin to 16-12 before coach Speraw called his second timeout of the set. Irvine errors helped UCLA climb back into the set and a Quiroga kill knotted things up at 19-all. A Quiroga ace handed UCLA a 22-20 lead and then his final kill of the evening pushed the Bruins to the win at 25-23.
Quiroga finished with 14 kills, hitting .435, and added three aces. Page totaled 11 kills. Fisher recorded 10 kills and three aces. Michael Beals registered 37 set assists and an ace. Ian Sequeira had six digs.
UCLA will now hit the road for a Thursday night MPSF battle at UC San Diego. First serve will be at 7:00 p.m. The Bruins and Anteaters will meet again on Saturday night Feb. 1, in Irvine, at 7 p.m.