Bruins Avenge Anteaters in Five-Game Slugfest
March 27, 2010
Seventh-ranked UCLA avenged a March 5 home loss against No. 11 UC Irvine Saturday with a five-game road victory at the Bren Center.
The Bruins won 26-30, 30-18, 35-33, 20-30, 17-15 in two hours and 20 minutes in front of 1,029 fans. The Bruins won their fourth straight match and raised their overall record to 14-9, 9-7 in league play. UCI fell to 11-12, 6-10.
UCLA Head Coach Al Scates won his 1,199th career match and will attempt to win No. 1,200 at Pepperdine on Mar. 31.
Although they were out-blocked 16.5-7.5 and UCI had the better attack percentage, UCLA won this one by pounding away. The Bruins enjoyed an edge of 18 kills (78-60) and converted 42 percent of their attempted sets. (UCI only converted 35 percent.) The Bruins also out-dug the `Eaters, 50-58 and out-served them nine aces to four.
In the deciding fifth set, both teams lost leads, gained them back and lost chances again. Down 7-9 in Game 5, UCI scored four straight points and took an 11-9 lead. The Bruins hung around and tied it at 13-13 on a kill by sophomore Jack Polales and a block by Thomas Amberg and Polales. Following UCI's first timeout, the `Eaters took a 14-13 lead on a kill by Jordan DuFault. A UCI service error tied the set and a kill by UCLA's Garrett Muagututia gave the Bruins match point at 15-14. But DuFault and Kevin Wynn blocked Polales' attempt and the score was tied at 15-15. Polales answered with a kill and Muagututia sealed the victory with another kill.
Amberg led the Bruins with 23 kills (.500) and five block assists for 25.5 points. Muagututia added 18 kills, four aces, 13 digs and 22.5 points. Polales contributed 12 kills, a career-high of 16 digs, four block assists and 14 points and sophomore Nick Vogel added 10 kills and 12 points. Senior Setter Kevin Ker recorded 67 assists (.472), served four aces, added two total blocks and spiked a pair of kills.
Carson Clark led UC Irvine with 17 kills and 11 digs.
Wednesday's match at Pepperdine begins at 7 p.m.
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