Sunday — The top-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team (9-2, 6-1) remains on the road for an MPSF match at No. 5 USC (6-3, 5-3) on Sunday. The Bruins had their nine-match win streak snapped at Pepperdine on Wednesday. It was also the first MPSF loss of the season for the Bruins. UCLA returns to Pauley on Feb. 12 for a match against No. 6 Long Beach State.
Live Coverage — The match at USC will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks and the radio broadcast 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. 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 — USC, which defeated UCSB in five sets on Thursday in the Galen Center, handed #2 Loyola-Chicago its lone loss (3-1) earlier this year in Chicago.
A Look Back — UCLA 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 hit a season low .110 (previous low was .252 in loss to Stanford) in the straight set loss at Pepperdine (14-25, 20-25, 19-25) on Wednesday. Not one Bruin managed to hit over .200 for the contest. Pepperdine, which hit .345, outblocked the Bruins 14.5 to 5.0. Robart Page's 15 kills led UCLA. UCLA completed a season sweep of UC Irvine with a 3-1 win at the Bren Center last 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). UCLA dealt UCI a 3-0 setback in Pauley on Jan. 27. 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 on Jan. 30 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 began the week leading the MPSF in hitting % .344 and in service aces/set 1.65 ... The nine-match winning streak, snapped at No. 3 Pepperdine on Wednesday, was 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) ... UCLA's 9-1 overall start was 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, coached by Speraw ... The last Bruin winning streak longer than 10 in a row was the 14 straight wins which ended the 2006 championship season ... Gonzalo Quiroga has double-digit kills in 10 of the 11 matches this season ... Robart Page has double-digit kills in the last 10 matches and has gone over the 20 mark in both 5-set matches this season ... The last time UCLA was ranked #1 by AVCA was March 5, 2012 - week 9 poll.
Last Three Matches — Block leaders in the last three matches: Spencer Rowe (11), Quiroga (8), Trent Kersten (7) ... Kills Leaders in last three: Page (46), Quiroga (32) ... Ace Leaders in last three: Quiroga (5), Page (4) ... Dig Leaders in last three: Michael Beals (21), Quiroga (20), Ian Sequeira (18).
Coming Up — The Bruins return home on Feb. 12 to meet No. 6 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.
This Week in MPSF: Feb. 7--Haw. at CSUN, UCI at UOP, UCSD at Stan.; F8--UCI at Stan.,Haw. at CSUN, UCSD at UOP, UCSB at Pepp.;F9--UCLA at USC--- For Current MPSF Standings go to mpsports.org