Bruins Rally Past Matadors for Fourth Straight Win
March 15, 2013
Fifth-ranked UCLA won another five-set comebacker Friday, defeating Cal State Northridge at the Matadome.
The Bruins won their fourth straight match entering Finals Week and beat the Matadors for the second time this season in five sets. Scores were 20-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-12, 15-10 in two hours and four minutes in front of 872 fans. The Bruins improved to 15-9 overall, 11-7 in MPSF competition. The Matadors fell to 10-8, 8-8.
Most importantly, UCLA kept pace with Pepperdine, a 3-0 winner against UC San Diego, for the fourth and final home playoff spot. With two weeks off, the Bruins are one-half match behind the Waves in the league race.
Much like Wednesday's match at Long Beach State, the Bruins had to overcome flat play in the first set before getting untracked to win. They hit -.059 in the opening set, but finished the match with a .448 attack percentage.
After falling behind two sets to one, UCLA took command of Set 4 by scoring the first four points and finally building a six-point lead as CS Northridge burned its final timeout trailing 9-3. The hosts never threatened in the set, hitting -.100 to the Bruins' .600.
In Set 5, the teams traded points until the Bruins broke it open at 4-4. The Matadors served out and UCLA's Spencer Rowe recorded a kill for a 6-4 lead. Following a CSUN point, the Bruins scored three points on kills by juniors Dane Worley, Rowe and Gonzalo Quiroga. The hosts called their first timeout trailing 9-5. After the break, the Bruins outscored their opponents 6-4, winning on Rowe's kill down the middle.
Quiorga led all players with 22 kills (.576) and 24.5 points. Worley ended a stellar week, recording 12 kills (.409), four aces, three block assists for 17.5 points. Junior Robart Page added 10 kills and sophomore Kene Izuchukwu and Trent Kersten came off the bench to combine for nine kills without an error. Junior Connor Bannan recorded 55 set assists and libero Evan Mottram added a match-high 14 digs.
John Baker led CS Northridge with 15 kills.
Following final exams next week, the Bruins will return to action on Mar. 29 at UC San Diego and Mar. 30 at UC Irvine. UCLA plays its final four matches at home.
To view UCLA's remaining schedule, click here.
CLick for Bruin Video