Feb. 25, 2002
The top-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team, which split a two-match series with No.4 BYU last week, goes on the road this week for a pair of MPSF matches.
The Bruins will play at CS Northridge (9-6, 5-5) Wed., Feb. 27 and at UC Santa Barbara (10-4, 6-4), Fri., Mar. 1. First serve for both matches is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The UCLA-CS Northridge match will be broadcast live on the internet at www.gomatadors.com.
The Bruins have defeated CS Northridge in 20 of the last 21 matches and lead the series, 42-3. Senior Ekhard Walter leads the Matadors with 4.0 kpg average and .361 attack percentage.
UC Santa Barbara lost 3-1 to the Bruins on Feb. 19 and trails in the series, 98-25. The Gauchos last beat the Bruins on Jan. 6, 2001 in the finals of their pre-season tournament.
Last week the Bruins split a pair of league matches with BYU and also defeated UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 19.
The Bruins regained the No.1 ranking in both the AVCA Coaches poll and the Volleyball Magazine ratings.
In the Feb. 21 match against BYU, junior Scott Morrow led the Bruins with 17 kills (.556) and four block assists. Senior Matt Komer added 16 kills (.333), six digs, two blocks and an ace, and junior Cameron Mount added 14 kills, six digs, two blocks and an ace.
The Bruins, who lost the first game, 25-30, rallied down the stretch of Game 2 to win, 31-29, and swing the momentum of the match in their favor. Trailing, 28-29, the Bruins scored the final three points on kills by Morrow and Mount, and a hitting error by BYU's Luka Slabe.
"[Winning] that second game was pivotal," said Komer. "Progressing on to the third and fourth games with the momentum helped a lot."
UCLA built huge leads in Games 3 & 4 and won easily.
Two nights later, it was BYU that rallied from a deficit in Game 2, used the momentum to gain confidence and won a close match. After a timeout at, 28-27, the Cougars scored the final three points to win the second game, 30-28.
The two teams split the next two games by a total of four points, but the Cougars broke open a tight fifth game to take an early 9-6 lead and never looked back.
"I thought we were in the match the whole time," Scates said. "But when you are down a couple of points in the fifth game it's hard to come back.
The Bruins remained in second place of the MPSF race, one-half match behind Hawaii.