Bruins Tame Top-Ranked Cougars

April 6, 2013

Spencer Rowe, Gonzalo Quiroga and Coach Speraw talk about big win over top-ranked BYU


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Third-ranked UCLA snapped top-ranked BYU's 12-match win streak with a straight-set MPSF victory over the Cougars on Saturday night in Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins improved to 18-10 overall and held on to fourth place in the MPSF standings with a 14-8 mark. The Cougars, now 20-4/19-3 on the year, had not lost since mid-February and had not been swept in a match all season.

The Bruins never trailed in the first set, but led by no more than two points in a hotly contested start to the match. The set was tied 12 times, the last coming at 17-all. UCLA grabbed a 18-17 lead on a kill by Robart Page. BYU closed to one point, at 21-20, but Spencer Rowe's kill lifted the Bruins back in front by two. The Cougars cut the margin to 23-22, only to see kills by Bruins Gonzalo Quiroga and Trent Kersten, sandwiched around a service error, earn the home team the win at 25-23.

UCLA fell behind for the first time all night in set two, going down 1-2, 2-3, and 5-6. A Quiroga kill evened the match at six and it would be the last time during the match that UCLA would find itself on the short end of the score. The Bruins built the lead to 14-9 on a Page kill. BYU climbed back into the set at 19-17, but a Cougar service error was followed by four straight Bruin points. Set point came on a another BYU service error for a 25-19 Bruin win.

The Bruins jumped out to a quick 5-2 lead in set three. BYU closed to 13-12 on a Bruin attack error, but kills from Page and Kersten were followed by an ace from Page for a 16-12 cushion. BYU came back to narrow the gap to 17-15, only to see back-to-back Quiroga kills push the difference back up to four. The Cougars never pulled closer than three points down the stretch. A Quiroga kill sent the crowd of almost 1,400 to its feet and earned the Bruins a 25-20 win.

Quiroga led the Bruin attack with 15 kills. Dane Worley, who hit .643, added 10 kills. Page, who served three aces, finished with nine spikes and Kersten had eight, while hitting .636. Rowe also totaled eight kills and topped the Bruins with four blocks. Connor Bannan recorded 43 set assists and 10 digs on the night.

Next up for the Bruins is a Wednesday MPSF night match against fifth-place Pepperdine (13-10, 12-10). First serve will be at 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion. UCLA will finish up the regular season on Friday night against USC (7:30 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion-Pac-12 Networks Regional coverage). Tickets to both matches will be available at the North entrance Pauley Pavilion ticket office.

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