Fifth-Ranked Bruins Host CS Northridge Tuesday
Jan. 7, 2013
This Week -- The fifth-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team will host CS Northridge on Tues., Jan. 8 in Pauley Pavilion at 7 p.m. It is the MPSF opener for both teams. Later in the week, the Bruins travel to Hawai'i for the Outrigger Hotels Ivitational, where they will meet Penn State (Jan. 10, 6 p.m.), Ohio State (Jan. 11, 6 p.m.) and Hawai'i (Jan. 12, 9 p.m.). All times are Pacific.
Live Coverage -- Fans can follow the CS Northridge match on the internet via a live audio and video broadcast at uclabruins.com. Mike Sondheimer and Connor Reeves will have the call. Fans can also follow the matches via Gametracker. Links are available at uclabruins.com on the events calendar on the front page.
In The Rankings -- The Bruins (2-1) moved up to fifth in the AVCA rankings this week after advancing to the championship match of the Asics Invitational in Santa Barbara. CS Northridge (0-0) is ranked 11th this week, Penn State (0-0) is seventh, Ohio State (1-0) is 10th and Hawai'i (0-2) is unranked.
Scouting the Opponents -- CS Northridge defeated a pair of Canadian teams over the weekend at an exhibition tournament hosted by USC. The Matadors swept Alberta 3-0 on Jan. 3 and beat BC Okanagan 3-0 on Jan. 4. In the Alberta match, CSUN's Brandon Lebrock led all players with 12 kills (.318) and 16.0 points. Ohio State beat MIVA foe St. Francis 3-0 on Jan. 5 in Columbus. A pair of sohpmores led the Buckeyes: Michael Henchy led with 12 kills and Andrew Lutz added 10 kills and two aces. Hawai'i lost a pair of MPSF road matches at BYU last week. Penn State has not played.
The Series -- The Bruins lead the all-time series with each of their opponents this week: 61-12 vs. CS Northridge, 24-6 vs. Penn State, 13-1 vs. Ohio State and 59-20 vs. Hawai'i. In Outrigger Hotels Invitational competition, the Bruins have won seven titles, including the last two.
Recapping the Week -- Following a 3-0 exhbition loss to Alberta on Jan. 2, the Bruins defeated UC Santa Barbara 3-2 in their 2013 opener on Jan. 5 at the Asics Invitational . Later that day, the Bruins outlasted UC San Diego in the semifinals 3-2. In the championship match on Jan. 6, the Bruins rallied from an 0-2 sets deficit to force a fifth set against top-ranked UC Irvine. UCI won Set 5 15-13 after scoring the final three points of the match.
Individually for the Bruins, junior Robart Page enjoyed an outstanding opener against UC Santa Barbara, esstablishing career highs for kills (22, .514), digs (11), total blocks (5) and points (27.5) in the Bruins' come-from-behind five-set victory. Two-year starter Gonzalo Quiroga added 11 kills, two aces, seven digs, four total blocks and 15.5 points.
Against UC San Diego, Quiroga led the Bruins with 17 kills (.333) and 20.0 points, followed by junior Dane Worley, who added a career-high of 15 kills (.382) and 16.5 points. Juniors Jonathan Bridgeman and Spencer Rowe completed the offensive attack with 11 and 10 kills, respectively.
In the championship against UC Irvine, Page again led his team with 17 kills and 18.0 points, followed by senior Scott Vegas' 15 kills, a career-high. Sophomore Kene Izuchukwu came off the bench and spiked a career-high of nine kills and Rowe added six kills (.556) in nine swings.
John Speraw's First Season at UCLA -- New Head Coach John Speraw (UCLA '95) begins his first season as the head coach at his alma mater. In 10 seasons at UC Irvine, Speraw led the Anteaters to three NCAA championships, including the 2012 title. Last summer, he also served as an assistant coach for the USA Men's National Team. In his decade of service at UCI, Speraw compiled an overall record of 199-106 (.652). Speraw earned AVCA National Coach of the Year in 2006 and was given the USA Olympic Committee's National Coach of the Year award in 2007. He entered this week with a career record of 201-107 (.652).
Coming Up -- After the Outrigger Invitational, the Bruins will return to Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 15 for their second conference match against Long Beach State at 7 p.m. Later that week, UCLA embarks on a three-match conference road trip beginning at UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 18.
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