Next Up — The third-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team (13-3, 10-2) is on the road for a pair of MPSF matches at No. 11 Hawai'i (9-6, 7-5) on Friday and Saturday nights at 9 p.m. PT. The Bruins will remain on the road and play at UCSB on Mar. 5, before returning home to host UCSD (Mar. 8), Pepperdine (Mar. 11) and USC (Mar. 15).
Live Coverage — Live Video: ocsports.tv --- Audio webcast: www.nbcsportsradiohawaii.com --- Live stats: www.HawaiiAthletics.com --- Fans may also follow the matches on UCLA's live Twitter feed @UCLAMensVB.
In The Rankings — The Bruins are ranked in third place in this week's AVCA listing. Hawai'i checks in at No. 11.
Scouting the Opponent — Hawai'i lost its last two matches, at USC in three sets on Feb. 22 and in four sets on Feb. 20 which snapped a four-match win streak. Stat Comps: Hitting % UCLA .316 / UH .277; Set Ast per set UCLA 12.81/UH 11.96; Serve ace per set UCLA 1.51 / UH 1.15; Digs per set UCLA 9.87/ UH 8.25; Blks. per set UCLA 2.39/ UH 2.66.
A Look Back — UCLA defeated UH earlier this season (match 4) in the Outrigger Invitational, on Jan. 11 -- 25-19, 14-25, 25-19, 25-16. The Bruins outhit UH .301 to .209 and outserved the hosts six aces to one in that match. Robart Page led the attack with 16 kills while Trent Kersten and Gonzalo Quiroga each had 10. Spencer Rowe recorded six blocks in the match.
Recapping Previous Action — Gonzalo Quiroga paced the Bruin attack with a season-high 21 kills and totaled four aces and 12 digs in the five-set win at Stanford (Feb. 24--25-23, 28-26, 20-25, 19-25, 17-15). Freshman setter Hagen Smith registered 51 set assists and four blocks in the contest. Robart Page added 18 kills. Quiroga led UCLA with 15 kills, three aces and four blocks and hit .522 in a straight set win (25-15, 28-26, 25-20) at Pacific (Feb. 23). The Bruins hit .302 with Smith doling out 32 set assists and freshman hitter Jackson Bantle recording 10 kills and a .529 hitting percentage. UCLA hit .284 in its win over CSUN (25-15, 25-18, 34-32) behind Smith who was making his first start. Page had a monster match with 21 kills and hit .400. The Bruins went down to defeat against Long Beach State in four sets (16-25, 20-25, 25-22, 23-25). Quiroga spiked a season-best 20 balls and managed three aces and three blocks. The Bruins rebounded from a season low hitting percentage of .110 (previous low was .252 in loss to Stanford) at Pepperdine to produce at a .372 clip at USC. Quiroga hit .625 with zero errors in 24 swings and 15 kills vs. the Trojans.
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 second to Stanford in the MPSF listings in hitting % .316 and in service aces/set 1.51 ... Gonzalo Quiroga topped the MPSF with his 0.57 service aces/set average ... The nine-match winning streak earlier this season, snapped at Pepperdine, was the team's longest under coach Speraw ... The Bruins had an eight-match home win streak stopped by Long Beach on Feb. 12 ... 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 14 of the 16 matches this season ... Quiroga has at least three service aces in six matches this season ... Robart Page has double-digit kills in14 matches and has gone over the 20-kill mark three times this season ... Before this season, the last time UCLA was ranked #1 by AVCA was Mar. 5, 2012 - wk 9.
Last Three Matches — Block leaders in the last three matches: Trent Kersten (9),Gonzalo Quiroga, Robart Page, Clayton Paullin, Spencer Rowe (6) ... Kills Leaders in last three: Quiroga (43), Page (40) ... Ace Leaders in last three: Quiroga (9), Kersten (3) ... Dig Leaders in last three: Quiroga (30), Grant Chalmers (28), Hagen Smith (24), Page (16).
Coming Up — The Bruins return home on Mar. 8 at 7 p.m. in Pauley to host UCSD. Tickets will be available at the door or for information, please call 310-UCLA-WIN or check the website at uclabruins.com. Next week UCLA is back on the road at UCSB (M5). The Bruins will then be home for matches against the Tritons, Pepperdine and USC.
Coming Up in MPSF: F27--Pepperdine at Cal Baptist; F28--UCLA at Hawaii, USC at BYU, Pacific at CSUN, Stanford at Long Beach State, UCSB at UC Irvine, Grand Canyon at UC San Diego. For Current MPSF Standings go to mpsports.org