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Bruins Ready For Action

Courtesy: UCLA Athletics
Top-Ranked Bruins Travel to No. 3 Pepperdine on Wednesday
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  02/04/2014

This Week — The top-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team (9-1, 6-0) remains on the road for a couple of MPSF matches at No. 3 Pepperdine on Wednesday Feb. 5 and at No. 5 USC on Sunday. UCLA returns to Pauley on Feb. 12 for a match against No. 6 Long Beach State. The Bruins have now won nine straight matches on the season. It is the longest win-streak by a Bruin team since it captured 10-straight victories during the months of January and February in the 2012 season.
Live Coverage — Fans can listen to a broadcast of the match at Pepperdine at www.uclabruins.com. The match at USC will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks and the radio broadcast also will be available on the internet at uclabruins.com. Fans may follow the matches on UCLA's live Twitter feed @UCLAMensVB.
In The Rankings — The Bruins moved into sole possession of the top-spot nationally in the rankings on Monday. Pepperdine is ranked No. 3 and USC is listed No. 5 this week. UCLA was last ranked #1 on the AVCA poll in the 2012 season (March 5, 2012, week 9 poll).
Scouting the Opponents — Pepperdine sports a 5-1 record with keys wins over BYU (3-2) and USC (3-1). The Waves' lone loss came at Long Beach (2-3). USC handed #2 Loyola-Chicago its lone loss (3-1) earlier this year in Chicago, but are coming off a 2-3 setback to BYU over the weekend.
A Look Back —  The Bruins played Pepperdine three times last season and won each match in straight sets (at Pepp Feb. 23---25-18, 25-17, 25-18 / at home Apr. 10---25-22, 25-20, 25-23/ at home in MPSF playoffs Apr. 20---25-19, 25-18, 25-18). UCLA also scored a season sweep over USC last season (Feb. 18 at USC --- 25-18, 25-21, 25-17 / Apr. 12 at home  --- 25-18, 25-22, 25-23).
Recapping Previous Action — The Bruins completed a season sweep of UC Irvine with a 3-1 win at the Bren Center on Saturday night. Gonzalo Quiroga led the attack with a season-best matching total of 15 kills and season-highs in blocks (5) and digs (12). Robart Page, who had 16 kills, and Quiroga each hit .344 for the match. On last Monday, UCLA dealt UCI a 3-0 setback in Pauley. Freshman Michael Fisher made his second start of the season in that match and contributed 10 kills, three aces and four digs. Quiroga led the Bruins with 14 kills while hitting .435. Page totaled 11 kills.  Michael Beals had 37 set assists.Page led UCLA over UCSD last Thursday with 15 kills and a .520 hitting percentage. Trent Kersten totaled six kills, an ace, and three blocks. Beals registered 34 set assists, an ace, eight digs and two blocks vs. the Tritons.
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.
Trending Numbers —UCLA enters the week leading the MPSF in hitting % .344 and in service aces/set 1.65 ... The current nine-match winning streak is the team's longest under coach Speraw ... The Bruins have also 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 nine of the 10 matches this season ... The last time UCLA was ranked #1 by AVCA was March 5, 2012 - week 9 poll ...UCLA's 9-1 overall start is its best since the 2012 squad opened by winning 12 of its first 13 matches (10 in a row overall and the first seven MPSF matches), the lone loss was to UCI ... The last Bruin winning streak longer than 10 in a row was the 14 straight wins which ended the 2006 championship season ... The last conference winning streak longer than seven matches was eight straight wins in the 2005 season ... UCLA opened the 1998 season with 16 straight overall wins, including victories in its first 10 conference matches.
Coming Up — The Bruins return home on Feb. 12 to meet Long Beach State in Pauley Pavilion at 7 p.m.  Tickets will be available at the door or for information, please call 310-UCLA-WIN or check the website at uclabruins.com.

 

 


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