Bruins Take Down Pepperdine in Five-Set Thriller
Feb. 1, 2012
Malibu, Calif. - Seniors Jeremy Casebeer and Nick Vogel and sophomore Gonzalo Quiroga all recorded double-digit kills as the third-ranked UCLA men's volleyball survived a wild five-set match against Pepperdine, defeating the Waves 3-2.
The Bruins improved to 10-1 with the win and are now 5-0 in MPSF play. The Waves dropped to 6-3 overall and fell to 5-2 in conference play. Set scores were 25-21, 21-25, 25-14, 21-25 and 15-11.
In keeping with what they have done all season, UCLA jumped out to an early lead in the first set and maintained that lead to start the match. However, when the Bruins were leading 15-12, the Waves came back and tied the set at 15-15 behind two kills and a block, forcing the Bruins into a timeout. Coming out of the timeout, the Bruins reasserted themselves and took back the lead behind back-to-back kills from Weston Dunlap and Gonzalo Quiroga, eventually expanding the lead thanks to the play of Jeremy Casebeer and Nick Vogel and taking the first set 25-21. UCLA still has not dropped the first set in any match this year.
Pepperdine would rebound in the second set and after trading points with the Bruins for much of the set, jumped out ahead 18-15, causing UCLA to call another timeout. The Waves would not allow the Bruins to get any closer than that and took the second set 25-21 to even the match at one set apiece. The Bruins though would come out in the third set and behind three aces from Gonzalo Quiroga and seven combined kills from Vogel and Casebeer took the third set 25-14. Senior Kyle Caldwell also played well at the net, contributing four block assists in the set.
The fourth set played out similarly to the second set as the Waves were able to trade points with UCLA before slowly building up a lead on the Bruins. UCLA was able to cut into Pepperdine's lead though and forced the Waves to call a timeout as the Waves held a slim 17-16 lead in the set. However the Bruins would get no closer in the set, as a couple of service errors and the play of Pepperdine freshman Josh Taylor down the stretch allowed the Waves to take set four 25-21.
The fifth set though was all UCLA, as they jumped out to an early 4-1 lead over Pepperdine and took advantage of numerous service errors by the Waves to take the deciding set 15-11. Gonzalo Quiroga was big in the final set, recording three kills including two back-to-back to seal the match for UCLA.
Casebeer led the Bruins with 15 kills in the match while Quiroga chipped in with 13 of his own and a team-high 17.5 points. Quiroga also added three aces and two total blocks in the win. Vogel had a stellar performance, hammering 13 kills on a .526 hitting percentage and adding three block assists at the net. Kyle Caldwell and Thomas Amberg were also big at the net, with Caldwell recording seven block assists and Amberg leading the team with one solo block and seven block assists. Caldwell also had 50 set assists and helped set the Bruins to a .383 hitting percentage.
Overall, UCLA held Pepperdine to a .270 hitting percentage and outblocked the Waves 14.5-9.5. Matt Pollock led the Waves with 14 kills on the night.
The Bruins will now travel downtown to the Galen Center to take on crosstown rivals USC on Friday, Feb. 3 at 7 pm.
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