Fourth-Ranked Bruins and Cardinal Meet Tuesday
Jan. 21, 2013
This Week -- The fourth-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team continues its road swing this week with conference matches at Stanford (Jan. 22) at 7 p.m. and at Pacific (Jan. 27), 2p.m.
Live Coverage -- Fans can watch the Stanford match live on the Pac-12 Networks. Kevin Barnett and UCLA alumnus Kevin Wong will have the call. Fans can also follow the matches via Gametracker. Links are available at gostanford.com and at pacifictigers.com. All UCLA matches are reported on Twitter @uclamensvb.
In The Rankings -- The Bruins (6-3, 2-1) moved into a tie for fourth in the AVCA rankings this week after splitting a pair of conferenece matches last week: losing in four at home to Long Beach State (Jan. 15) and winning 3-1 at UC Santa Barbara (Jan. 18). Entering the week, Stanford (4-2, 1-2) was tied with UCLA at No. 4 and Pacific (2-2, 1-2) was ranked 14th.
Scouting the Opponents -- Stanford dropped a pair of conference matches on its visit to the Southland over the weekend, falling in three sets to USC (Jan. 18) and losing in four at Pepperdine (Jan. 20). Pacific split with the same teams: losing in three to Pepperdine (Jan. 18) and upsetting No. 7 USC in four on Jan. 20. The Series -- The Bruins lead the all-time series with each of their opponents: 62-18 vs. Stanford, and 34-2 vs. Pacific. The Bruins lost 0-3 to the Cardinal in their last meeting at Stanford (4/14/12). In the first meeting between the two schools last year at UCLA (1/20/12), the Bruins won 3-0. UCLA swept Pacific twice last season.
Recapping the Week -- The Bruins established a school record by opening the season with seven consectutive five-set matches, winning five. In fact, no school in league history had played seven straight five-set matches. The streak came to an end on Jan. 15 in a four-set loss to Long Beach State in Pauley Pavilion. In the match against The Beach, junior Robart Page led the Bruins with 21 kills (.559) and 22.5 points and teammate Gonzalo Quiroga added 14 kills, three aces and two block assists for 18 points.
Page led the Bruins with 15 kills (.419) and sophomore Kene Izuchukwu added 18.5 points on 14 kills (.600), four aces and a block assist in the four-set victory against UC Santa Barbara. The victory was the Bruins' second against the Gauchos this season.
John Speraw's First Season at UCLA -- 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, which advanced to the quarterfinals of the London Olympics. 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 205-109 (.652).
Coming Up -- After their two-week, three-match road swing the Bruins will return home to host defending NCAA champion UC Irvine on Tues., Jan. 29 at 7 p.m.. The match will be televised live regionally by the Pac-12 Networks. On Sat., Feb. 2, the Bruins will host UC San Diego in a conference match at 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion.
Worley Earns MPSF Player of the Week -- Junior outside hitter Dane Worley was voted MPSF Player of the Week on Jan. 14, becoming the first UCLA player to earn the honor since Thomas Amberg on Jan. 30, 2012. Worley beat out eight other conference nominees to win his first POW honor. That week, he played in all 20 sets and established career-highs in kills (19), aces (5), total blocks (5), digs (18) and points (24.5). For the week, he recorded 57 kills, 11 aces, 13 total blocks, 38 digs and 76 points. Currently, he is the Bruins' third-leading scorer and second-leading server, averaging 3.62 kps and 0.43 aps.
Bruins in the MPSF Rankings -- UCLA's leading scorer Robart Page is seventh among MPSF hitters at 3.82 kps. His 126 total kills ranks second in the league. Page also ranks ninth in points at 4.36 pps and his 144.0 total points ranks second. In serving junior Gonzalo Quiroga is first at 0.59 aps, followed by teammate Dane Worley at No. 5 at 0.46 aps. Quiroga's 17 aces leads the conference and Worley's 13 ranks third. In digs, junior Evan Mottram is third at 2.60 dps and his 112 total digs is a conference leader.
The following are UCLA's team rankings: aces, 2nd (1.55 aps); hitting percentage, 7th, .275; opponent hitting percentage, ninth, .256; blocking, 9th, 1.99; kills per set, 10th, 11.52; assists, 13th, 9.59.
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