UCLA Falls to Rivals USC in Three Sets
March 14, 2012
Los Angeles, Calif. - Senior Weston Dunlap had six kills and a team-high nine points, but it wasn't enough as the second-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team fell in three sets to rivals USC on Wednesday night.
The Bruins fell to 18-4 on the year and 12-3 in MPSF play while the Trojans improved to 14-4 overall and 11-4 in conference play. Game scores were 25-18, 25-22 and 25-23.
UCLA was unable to gain any momentum in the first set and the Trojans went on to take the set by the score of 25-18. The second set was much more competitive as the two sides fought back and forth, but with the score at 8-8, USC took the next four points behind two kills from Tony Ciarelli and Micah Christenson and two service aces by Ciarelli. Despite UCLA calling timeout, the Trojans continued to gain momentum and eventually pushed their lead to six points at 19-13. But the Bruins would not go quietly and took the next five points to make it 19-18 Trojans. Unfortunately for UCLA that would be as close as they would get as USC fought off the Bruin comeback and took set two 25-22.
The Bruins were very motivated to cut into the lead in set three and jumped out to a an early lead after Gonzalo Quiroga served an ace and the Bruins forced a Trojan attacking error to make it 13-9 UCLA. The Bruins got the lead up to five points at 15-10 but USC climbed back and was eventually able to tie the set at 19-19. Eventually the Bruins were unable to hold their lead and dropped the third set 25-23, thus giving USC the 3-0 win.
Overall, Weston Dunlap led UCLA with nine points on six kills, four block assists and an ace. Gonzalo Quiroga and Jeremy Casebeer were right behind him with 8.5 points each with Casebeer recording a team-high seven kills in the match. Quiroga also had a team-leading two aces. Finally, sophomore libero Evan Mottram led the Bruins with six digs against the Trojans.
UCLA outblocked the Trojans 5.0-3.0, but were outhit by USC .373 to .282. Tony Ciarelli led USC with 14 kills and 20.5 points.
The Bruins will now square off against the Pepperdine Waves on Fri., Mar. 16 at 7 pm in a battle for the Kilgour Cup. The match will take place at the John Wooden Center.
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