April 10, 2013
Third-ranked UCLA captured its eighth win in its last nine matches with a straight set win over sixth-ranked Pepperdine on Wednesday night in Pauley Pavilion. Scores of the match were 25-22, 25-20, 25-23. The win improved UCLA's records to 19-10, 15-8 and clinched the fourth-place seed for the MPSF Tournament. The Bruins will now host a first-round quarterfinal match on Apr. 20 against the fifth-seeded team. Pepperdine fell to 13-11 and 12-11 in MPSF action.
UCLA and Pepperdine battled through 18 ties and five lead changes in set one before the Bruins emerged with a 25-22 win. The home team broke a 21-all tie on an ace serve from Dane Worley. Robart Page followed up with a block for a 23-21 advantage. A service error brought the Waves within one point, but Gonzalo Quiroga's kill and Trent Kersten's block put UCLA up one set to none.
The Bruins led from start to finish in set two, rolling out to a 9-4 lead and then pulling away to a 18-11 edge. Pepperdine closed to 19-15, but after a UCLA timeout the Bruins scored the next three points. A big block at the net gave set two to the Bruins by a score of 25-20. UCLA outhit the Waves .310 to .042 in the set.
Pepperdine moved out to a 7-3 lead in set three. The Bruins fought back to tie the match at eight-all on back-to-back kills by Quiroga. UCLA took its first lead of the set, at 12-11, on a Wave hitting error. The set remained close from there before Page combined with Kersten for a block to make it 23-20 Bruins. Michael Beals came off the bench for some strong serving and UCLA came away with a 25-23 win on a Quiroga kill.
Quiroga led UCLA with 16 kills on the night. Kersten added seven kills and six blocks. Connor Bannan racked up 38 set assists and seven digs. Spencer Rowe hit .714 with five kills, two aces and two block assists. Worley, who had three aces, finished with seven digs and Evan Mottram added five digs.
The Bruins, who have now won eight of the last nine matches, will close out the regular season on Friday night in Pauley Pavilion against USC. First serve will be at 7:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door. The match will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks (regional) here in the Los Angeles area.