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Bruin Block

Courtesy: UCLA Athletics
No. 3 Volleyball Takes to the Road to Meet Pacific and No. 9 Stanford
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  02/20/2014

Next Up — The third-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team (11-3, 8-2) heads back on the road this week. The Bruins will face unranked Pacific (1-9, 2-11) on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. and then meet No. 9 Stanford (8-5, 5-5) on Monday evening at 5 p.m. The match against the Cardinal will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks. The Bruins will remain on the road next week and play two matches at Hawai'i on Feb. 28 and Mar. 1.
Live Coverage — Live stats for the match at Pacific can be obtained at www.pacifictigers.com.  The match at Stanford will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks. Live stats for that match can be found at http://gostanford.com/liveStats/liveStats.dbml. Fans may also follow the matches on UCLA's live Twitter feed @UCLAMensVB.
In The Rankings — The Bruins are ranked in third place in Monday's listing. Stanford came in at No. 9; Pacific is unranked.
Scouting the Opponent — Last week, Pacific lost in four sets at BYU and in three at Stanford. Stanford lost in five sets at BYU and bested Pacific at home. The Cardinal host UCSB on Friday. UCSB is at Pacific on Saturday.
A Look Back —  Earlier this season, UCLA swept the Tigers in Pauley (Jan. 18).  Robart Page totaled14 kills in that win (25-19, 25-16, 25-18). Gonzalo Quiroga hit .591 with 13 kills. He added a career-high two block solos against the Tigers.  
UCLA dropped its season-opener (Jan. 4) in four sets to Stanford (22-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-22) in the UC Santa Barbara Asics Invitational. Quiroga, topped the Bruin attack with 14 kills, hit .333 and added two aces. Spencer Rowe, chipped in with eight kills and three block assists. Freshman Mitch Stahl registered 12 kills and four block assists in his first career match. Freshman libero/setter Hagen Smith had 6 digs. UCLA used a career-high 26 kills by Page to help defeat then top-ranked Stanford (23-25, 25-22, 25-23, 29-31, 15-11) in Pauley on Jan. 17.  He registered a career-best 29.5 points  with two aces and three block assists. For his efforts, the senior from New York was named MPSF/Molten Player of the Week. Freshman Jackson Bantle posted solid numbers across the board -- kills (9), aces (2) and digs (8) --  vs. Stanford.  
Recapping Previous Action — UCLA hit .284 in its win over CSUN (25-15, 25-18, 34-32) last Friday behind setter Hagen Smith, who was making his first start. Robart Page had a monster match with 21 kills and hit .400. The Bruins went down to defeat last Wednesday, falling to Long Beach State in four sets (16-25, 20-25, 25-22, 23-25).  Gonzalo 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 a then season-high tying 15 kills vs. the Trojans. Trent Kersten totaled eight blocks on the night.
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.
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. For information, please call 310-UCLA-WIN or check the website at uclabruins.com. Next week UCLA is back on the road at Hawai'i (F28/M1) and then is at UCSB (M5). The Bruins return home for matches against the Tritons, Pepperdine and USC.
Coming Up in MPSF: F20-- Haw. at USC; F21-- UCI at  CSUN, UCSD at LB, UCSB at Stan.; F22 -- UCSB at Pacific, Haw. at USC, Cal B at Pepp; F23 -- UCLA at Pacific; F24 -- UCLA at Stan. For Current MPSF Standings go to mpsports.org
Trending Numbers —UCLA began the week second to Stanford in the MPSF listings in hitting % .317 and in service aces/set 1.48 ... Gonzalo Quiroga tops the MPSF with his 0.54 service aces/set average ... The nine-match winning streak, snapped at Pepperdine, was the team's longest under coach Speraw ... The Bruins had an eight-match home win streak stopped by Long Beach last week ... 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 12 of the 14 matches this season ... Robart Page has double-digit kills in the last 13 matches and has gone over the 20 mark three times 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:  Trent Kersten (12), Spencer Rowe (12), Robart Page (10) ... Kills Leaders in last three: Page (49), Quiroga (42) ... Ace Leaders in last three: Quiroga (7), Page (2) ... Dig Leaders in last three: Quiroga (28),  Hagen Smith (21), Page (16).


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