This Week — The top-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team (7-1, 4-0) heads out on the road for matches at UC San Diego (0-7, 0-6) on Thursday Jan. 30 and a return match at No. 8 UC Irvine on Saturday Feb. 1. UCLA will not be back in Pauley until a Feb. 12 match against Long Beach State. The Bruins have now won seven straight matches on the season. It is the longest win-streak by a Bruin team since it captured 10-straight victories over January and February of the 2012 season
Live Coverage — There will be no audio of Thursday's match. Free match video will be available, after registering, through the www.ucsdtritons.com website. Live stats of the match at UCI will be available at livestats.prestosports.com/ucirvine or you can listen on www.uclabruins.com. Fans can also follow the matches on UCLA's live Twitter feed @UCLAMensVB.
In The Rankings — The Bruins moved into a tie for the top-spot nationally in the rankings with Loyola-Chicago on Monday. Loyola, which defeated UCI and BYU earlier this season, has an 11 first-place votes-to-five edge on the Bruins. UCI is ranked No. 8. This is UCLA's first #1 ranking by the AVCA since the 2012 season (March 5, 2012, week 9 poll).
Scouting the Opponents — The defending national champs, who earned the NCAA title in Pauley last May, have dropped matches at Loyola-Chicago (2-3), at Pepperdine (1-3), at USC (2-3) and at home to BYU (2-3). Irvine will host UCSD on Friday. UC San Diego is looking for its first win on the year after some losses to tough opposition in matches at UCSB (0-3), at USC (0-3), at Pepperdine (0-3) and at home to BYU (0-3)
The Series — UCLA leads the all-time series with UCI 57-17. The Bruins played UCI three times last season and lost (2-3---17-25,17-25,26-24,25-22,13-15) in the Santa Barbara Invitational and at home (2-3---19-25,25-22,25-20,20-25,11-15). UCLA scored a four-set win (25-16, 25-16, 19-25, 25-17) at Irvine last season on Mar. 30 and won in three sets (25-14,25-23,25-23) on Monday night in Pauley.
The Bruins captured all three meetings with the Tritons a year ago, besting UCSD 3-2 in the Santa Barbara tournament, 3-0 at home and 3-0 in the match in San Diego. UCLA leads the series 53-6.
Recapping Previous Action — The Bruins continued their winning ways on Monday, dealing UCI a 3-0 setback in Pauley. Freshman Michael Fisher made his second start of the season and contributed 10 kills, three aces and four digs. Gonzalo Quiroga led the Bruins with 14 kills while hitting .435. Robart Page totaled 11 kills. Michael Beals had 37 set assists.
Trending Numbers —The current seven-match winning streak is the team's longest under coach Speraw ... The Bruins have won eight straight home matches (four this season and last four in 2013 (last home loss was to Cal Baptist on Apr. 4, 2013) ... Quiroga has double-digit kills in all eight matches ... Kersten has hit at least .308 in each of the last seven matches ... The last time UCLA was ranked #1 by AVCA was March 5, 2012 - week 9 poll ... In MPSF matches, UCLA is outhitting opponents .357 to .237 and outserving them 23 aces-11.
Coach Speraw: Year Two at UCLA — John Speraw (UCLA '95) is in his second season as the head coach at his alma mater. In year one, the Bruins went 21-11 and advanced to the semifinals of the MPSF Tournament. In 10 seasons at UC Irvine, Speraw led the Anteaters to three NCAA championships (2007, 2009, 2012), and a 199-106 (.646) overall record. On Mar. 25, 2013, he was named head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team for the next quadrennial ending at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero. In the summer of 2012, he had served as an assistant coach for the USA Men's National Team, which advanced to the quarterfinals of the London Olympics. Speraw earned AVCA National Coach of the Year in 2006 and was given the USA Olympic Committee's National Coach of the Year award in 2007.
Coming Up — The Bruins remain on the road next week with MPSF matches at Pepperdine (Feb. 5) and at USC (Feb. 9) before returning home on Feb. 12 to meet Long Beach State in Pauley Pavilion. Tickets are available at the door or for information, please call 310-UCLA-WIN