Jan. 14, 2002
The UCLA men's volleyball team travels to the 8th Annual Outrigger Hotels Invitational this week after winning two of three matches in the Wyndham Gardens Hotels Invitational at UC Irvine over the weekend.
The Bruins have won the Outrigger event four straight years.
In Honolulu, the second-ranked Bruins will face Lewis University on Jan. 17, top-ranked Penn State on Jan. 18, and No. 3 Hawaii on Jan. 19. The Lewis and Penn State matches will begin at 4:30 p.m. HT, and the Hawaii match starts at 7 p.m. All matches will be played at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Last weekend, the Bruins won two of three matches at Irvine. They defeated host UC Irvine, 3-0, on Jan. 11 and USC, 3-1, on Jan. 12. Pepperdine defeated UCLA, 3-0, in the tournament finale on Jan. 12.
Senior outside hitter Matt Komer enjoyed a stellar weekend, hitting .481 with 31 kills, 14 digs, five aces and four blocks in three matches.
In three matches, the Bruins hit .389 and averaged 16.5 kills per game and 8.5 digs per game.
Junior setter Rich Nelson averaged 13.5 assists per game and 1.6 digs per game.
"We played great against UC Irvine and USC," said Head Coach Al Scates. "Pepperdine's eight aces was the difference in the match. Everything else was equal, but they had a very strong service game that we could not handle."
The Bruins lost to the Waves by a total of 10 points, eight of which were aces.
Lewis University returns four starters from last year's team that was 24-6. The Flyers welcome back third-year sophomore Fabiano Barreto, a 6-5 opposite, who earned 2001 AVCA First-Team All-America honors as well as the AVCA Newcomer of the Year award. The Bruins lead the series, 8-1 with their only loss to Lewis coming in the 1999 Outrigger Invitational.
Penn State earned the No.1 ranking this week after defeating Ohio State, 3-1, in Columbus, OH. The Nittany Lions return all seven starters (including their Libero) among 14 lettermen from a team that advanced to the NCAA semifinals and posted a 24-8 record. Top returnees include All-American setter Jose Quinones and junior opposite Zeljko Kojesar, a first-team All-EIVA selection. The Bruins lead the series, 17-5, and have won five in a row.
Hawaii returns four starters from last year's team that lost the Bruins in the MPSF championship match and posted a final record of 19-7. The Warriors return a pair of All-Americans in 2001 AVCA Player of the Year Costas Theocharidis and senior middle blocker Dejan Miladinovic.