No. 3 UCLA Drops Three-Set Decision to Stanford
April 14, 2012
Palo Alto, Calif. - The third-ranked UCLA Bruins fell to the Stanford Cardinal in three sets on Saturday night in the regular season finale for both teams. The Bruins will be the No. 5 seed in the MPSF Tournament and play the fourth-seeded UC Irvine Anteaters on Saturday, Apr. 21 at 7 pm at the Bren Center in Irvine, Calif.
UCLA finishes the regular season with a 22-7 record, 16-6 in MPSF play. On the flip side, Stanford improved to 20-6 overall and 17-5 in conference play. Set scores were 25-18, 25-21 and 25-18.
Stanford was able to take an early lead in the first set, going up 9-6 behind a kill from Brian Cook, a block from Gus Ellis and Cook, and a service ace from Steven Irvin. The Bruins were unable to cut into the lead as the Cardinal kept their three-point advantage for much of the set. Then with Stanford ahead 21-18, the Cardinal took four straight points to earn a 25-18 first set victory and put the Bruins in an early hole.
The second set was tightly contested in the early going, but at 13-13, the Cardinal gained a little breathing room when they took three straight points to take a 16-13 advantage. However, the Bruins fought back and took the next three after that after Kyle Caldwell and Weston Dunlap recorded two kills and the Cardinal committed an attack error, leveling the set at 16-16. Stanford called timeout, and took back the lead as they took two straight points out of the timeout to make it 18-16 Cardinal. Stanford didn't allow the Bruins to draw even from that point on and took set two 25-21 to go up 2-0 in the match.
In the third set, Stanford again jumped out to an early 10-7 lead, highlighted by a couple of blocks by the combination of Ellis, Cook and Brad Lawson. A UCLA timeout was unable to stop the momentum, as the Cardinal took three of the next four points to give Stanford a 13-8 advantage. The Cardinal continued to expand their lead, getting it up to seven points, and from there kept the Bruins at bay and cruised to a 25-18 third set victory to earn the sweep.
Thomas Amberg, Dunlap and Gonzalo Quiroga each had 9.5 points to lead the Bruins in the match. Quiroga also led UCLA with five digs on the night. Kyle Caldwell chipped in with seven kills of his own on a .600 hitting percentage to go with his 27 set assists.
Overall, UCLA hit .184 in the match while Stanford hit .397. Brian Cook led the Cardinal with 12 kills in the match.
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