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Bruins Travel to Hawaii for Key Conference Series
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  04/01/2002

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April 1, 2002

The No.2 ranked UCLA men's volleyball team travels to Honolulu, HI for a two-match conference series against No.3 Hawaii, Apr. 5 & 6.

First-serve for both matches is 7 p.m. HST. Hawaii's flagship station, KFVE, will televise both matches live to its island audience. KFVE also will originate a webcast which will be linked to UCLA's website,

At the beginning of the week the Bruins were in second place of the MPSF with a 15-3 record and the Warriors were third at 14-4. Both teams were chasing first-place Pepperdine at 16-2. BYU was fourth at 13-5.

Last week the Bruins split a pair of league road matches, defeating USC, 3-0, on Mar. 27, and dropping a three-game decision at Pepperdine on Mar. 30.

The Bruins' victory over the Trojans was their sixth straight and 18th in the last 19 meetings with their cross-town rival.

Senior Matt Komer and freshman Paul Johnson each spiked 12 kills for the Bruins. Sophomore Chris Pena added 11 kills as the Bruins hit .411 and limited USC to an attack percentage of .214.

Against Pepperdine, the Bruins lost without starters Jonathan Acosta and Scott Morrow. The Waves controlled the net, out-blocking the Bruins, 17.0-2.5, and out-hitting them .410-.273. Pena was the Bruins' top hitter with 15 kills (.667) and Komer added 12.

"We have to be prepared to play without the starters," said Coach Al Scates. "The players in their place do not have a lot of experience, but the rookies will get experienced."

The Bruins defeated Hawaii, 3-0, on Jan. 19 to win their fourth straight Outrigger Hotels Invitational title. In that match, Acosta and Morrow played key roles: Acosta tallied 14 kills and six digs, Morrow recorded seven kills (.500) and five block assists. Acosta was named the tournament's MVP.

This season, Hawaii boasts one of its strongest teams with junior Costas Theochardis, the 2001 AVCA Player of the Year, as its leading hitter. Theorchardis ranks second nationally at 5.6 kills per game and teammate Dejan Miladinovic ranks first in blocking at 1.8 blocks per game.

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