Next Up — The seventh-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team (14-7, 11-6) hosts No. 9-ranked USC (11-8, 10-8) in Pauley Pavilion on Saturday night at 8 p.m. There will be the following promotions for Saturday's match:
*UCLA Staff/Faculty Appreciation Night – UCLA Staff and Faculty will receive four free admissions by showing their UCLA Staff ID or paycheck stub at the door. Details: http://www.uclabruins.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=208268133&DB_OEM_ID=30500&DB_OEM_ID=30500.
*UCLA Alumni Association Appreciation Night -- UCLA Alumni Association members will receive four free admissions by showing their UCLA Alumni Association card at the door. Details: http://www.uclabruins.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=208268138&DB_OEM_ID=30500&DB_OEM_ID=30500
Live Coverage — TV: Pac-12 Networks; Audio webcasts: uclabruins.com --- Live stats: www.uclabruins.com --- Fans may also follow the matches on UCLA's live Twitter feed @UCLAMensVB.
Scouting the Opponent — USC lost in five sets at UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday night and has dropped three of its last four matches -- 0-3 at BYU on Feb. 28, 3-0 vs. Pacific on Mar. 7, 0-3 vs. Stanford on Mar. 9.
A Look Back — UCLA hit .372 at USC in a 3-0 win (25-20, 25-23, 25-19) at USC on Feb. 9. Gonzalo Quiroga hit .625 on 24 swings with 15 kills. The Bruins totaled seven aces on the match, two-each for Quiroga and Page. Page also had five blocks for the Bruins, who outblocked USC 12.0 to 3.0. Michael Beals recorded 28 set assists in that first meeting. Trent Kersten added eight blocks. Seven of the last nine meetings, including the last five, between the two schools have been decided in three sets. UCLA owns a 4-3 edge in the seven three-setters and wins in the last three matches by a 3-0 count.
Recapping Previous Action — UCLA was dealt a 1-3 setback on Tuesday in Pauley by No. 5 Pepperdine (18-25, 30-28, 23-25, 22-25). The team hit .156 for the match. Gonzalo Quiroga had 16 kills, hitting .205. Setter Hagen Smith had 42 set assists and five blocks in the contest. Spencer Rowe totaled a season-best 10 kills and matched his highs for aces (1) and digs (5) while hitting .538. ***Robart Page blasted 12 kills in the win against UCSD last Saturday. UCLA outhit the Tritons .414 to .079 and outblocked the visitors 12.0 to 3.5. Quiroga added nine kills and four aces. ***Quiroga was the lone Bruin in double figure kills (12) in the loss at UC Santa Barbara (20-25, 19-25, 20-25) on Mar. 5. The Bruins hit .269 for the match. ***Quiroga had 15 kills in the five set loss at Hawai'i on Mar. 1 (25-22, 18-25, 26-24, 16-25, 11-15). Page added 16 kills and Michael Fisher checked in with 13 in a start. The Bruins hit .246. ***Quiroga totaled 19 kills in the four set loss at Hawai'i on Feb. 28 (23-25, 24-26, 27-25, 22-25). Page added 17 kills in that contest. Smith recorded 47 set assists on Mar. 1 and 44 on Feb. 28 to go along with four kills, two aces, two blocks.
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 3rd in the MPSF listings in hitting % .307 and 3rd in service aces/set 1.37 ... Gonzalo Quiroga tops the MPSF with his 0.53 service aces/set average ... Quiroga has double-digit kills in 19 of the 21 matches this season ... Quiroga has at least three service aces in seven matches this season (four in match v. UCSD on Mar. 8) ... Robart Page has double-digit kills in18 matches and has gone over the 20-kill mark a team-high three times this season ... Page began the week ranked fourth in the MPSF in kills per set (4.10) ...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 ... Before this season, the last time UCLA was ranked #1 by the AVCA was Mar. 5, 2012 - week 9.
Last Three Matches — Block leaders in the last three matches: Mitch Stahl (13), Robart Page (10), Spencer Rowe (7), Hagen Smith and Jackson Bantle (6) ... Kills Leaders in last three: Quiroga (37) and Page (33) ... Ace Leaders in last three: Quiroga (5), Stahl and Bantle (2) ... Dig Leaders in last three: Smith (18), Ian Sequeira (14), Quiroga (13), Page and Bantle (10).
Coming Up — Following the exam break, the Bruins go back on the road to play Cal Baptist (Mar. 27) and BYU on (Mar. 29).
Coming Up in MPSF:M14 -- CSUN v. Penn St.(at LBSU), Ohio St. at Long Beach, Pepp at UCSB, Haw. at Stan., UCI at BYU; M15--Erskine at Cal Bapt., CSUN v. Ohio St.(at LBSU), Penn St. at Long Beach, USC at UCLA, Haw. at Stan., UCSD at BYU. For Current MPSF Standings go to mpsports.org