Top-Ranked Bruins Dispatch Tritons in Three Sets
March 8, 2012
Los Angeles, Calif. - The No. 1 ranked UCLA men's volleyball team made it six consecutive sweeps as they took care of the UC San Diego Tritons in three sets on Thursday night.
UCLA improved to 18-2 overall and a conference-leading 12-1 in MPSF play. This was also the sixth straight game that the Bruins have swept the opponent, giving them a streak of 18 consecutive set victories dating back to Feb. 17. The Tritons dropped to 3-16 overall and 1-13 in conference play. Set scores were 25-21, 25-20, and 28-26.
The Bruins were able to jump out to a comfortable five point lead in the early going capped off by a Thomas Amberg and Nick Vogel block to make the score 8-3 UCLA. They were able to maintain a four or five point cushion for most of the set before UCSD came back and got within one point at 19-18. The Bruins called timeout and out of the timeout were able to reassert themselves as Weston Dunlap hammered home a kill and Gonzalo Quiroga served an ace to make it 21-18 Bruins. The Tritons got no closer than that and UCLA went on to a 25-21 first set victory.
The second set started out differently as UCSD quickly took a 4-1 lead behind three UCLA attacking errors. The Bruins slowly climbed back though and tied the set at 11-11 before a Jeremy Casebeer kill and a Triton attacking error gave UCLA the lead at 13-11. UCSD came back though and tied the set at 15-15 before once again UCLA stopped their momentum and retook the lead behind a block by Dunlap and Kyle Caldwell and another Casebeer kill to make it 18-15 Bruins. Again UCLA would not allow UCSD to get any closer than that and took set two by the score of 25-20.
Set three ended up being a wild one as neither side could pull away in the early going. In fact, the majority of the set saw both sides continue to trade points with one another until UCSD was able to take a two point lead after a Carl Eberts kill and an attacking error by Thomas Amberg to make it 19-17 Tritons. UCSD continued to push their lead and got the score to 24-20, giving them four set points in the process. But UCLA would not relinquish the set without a fight, and after back-to-back kills by Caldwell and Casebeer the Tritons called timeout. Led by great serving from Quiroga, the Bruins fought off the four set points after the Tritons committed an attacking error and Jeremy Casebeer recorded a kill to make it 24-24. The two teams traded the next two points and after a UCSD ace the Tritons had another chance to close out the set at 26-25. But again UCLA would push back and won the next three points thanks to kills by Weston Dunlap and Kyle Caldwell and an attacking error by the Tritons, giving UCLA the third set 28-26 and sealing the match in three.
Overall, Quiroga led the Bruins with 10 kills and 12.5 points while Thomas Amberg continued his stellar play at the net with six block assists and seven kills, giving him 10 points on the evening. Kyle Caldwell also recorded 10 points on seven kills and three total blocks to go along with his 33 set assists in the match. Amberg and Caldwell also hit high percentages, hitting .636 on 11 attempts and .600 on 10 attempts respectively. Finally, Weston Dunlap had seven kills on the night and hit .538 on 13 attempts.
UCLA outhit the Tritons .354 to .299 and also outblocked UCSD 8.0-3.0. Carl Eberts led UCSD with 14 kills in the match.
The Bruins will now face off against the UC Irvine Anteaters on Sat., Mar. 10 in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown at the John Wooden Center. The match is slated to begin at 7 pm.
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