Fifth-Ranked UCLA Hosts No. 2 UC Irvine Tuesday
Jan. 28, 2013
This Week -- The fifth-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team returns home this week with conference matches against UC Irvine on Jan. 29 and UC San Diego on Feb. 2.
Live Coverage -- Fans can watch the UCLA-UC Irvine match live on the Pac-12 Networks. Kevin Barnett and Hall of Fame coach Al Scates will have the call. Fans can also follow the matches via Gametracker and the audio link on uclabruins.com. On the radio will be Darren Preston, Mike Sondheimer and Connor Reeves.
In The Rankings -- The Bruins (7-4, 3-2) are ranked fifth nationally by the AVCA this week after splitting a pair of conferenece matches last week: losing in four on the road to Stanford (Jan. 22) and winning 3-0 at Pacific (Jan. 27). Entering the week, UC Irvine (6-3, 3-3) is ranked second and UC San Diego (3-6, 2-4) is ranked 13th.
Scouting the Opponents -- UC Irvine, the defending national champion, won twice last week. The Anteaters defeated CS Northridge 3-1 on the road on Jan. 23 and outlasted Long Beach State 3-2 at home on Jan. 25. UC San Diego lost twice: falling 3-0 to CS Northridge on Jan. 25 at home and losing 3-1 to Long Beach State at home on Jan. 26.
The Series -- The Bruins lead the all-time series with each of their opponents: 55-16 vs. UC Irvine and 50-6 vs UC San Diego. In the series with UC Irvine, the Bruins trail 12-14 in matches played over the last 11 years. Last season, the Anteaters won three of four matches against the Bruins, including a 3-1 decision on Apr. 21 that ended UCLA's season. In the series against UC San Diego, the Bruins had never lost to the Tritons until they dropped a 3-2 contest on Mar. 28, 2008 at UCSD. Since then, the series is 6-6 with UCSD winning four of those matches in La Jolla. UCSD's last victory at UCLA was a 3-1 decision on Apr. 1, 2011 in the Wooden Center. The Tritons' only victory in Pauley Pavilion was a sweep of the Bruins on Feb. 24, 2010.
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 Stanford match, the Bruins got 18 kills and 20.5 points from junior Robart Page and 12 kills and 14.0 points from Gonzalo Quiroga. Stanford won its fifth straight match against the Bruins at Maples Pavilion and its 10th straight overall at home. In the Pacific match, the Bruins received solid performances from several players en route to their first sweep of the season. Quiroga led the Bruins with 14 kills, an ace and three block assists for 16.5 points, followed by Page's 11 kills and 13.5 points. Freshman Clayton Paullin recorded career highs with nine kills and 12.0 points and junior Dane Worley also added nine kills.
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 206-110 (.652).
Coming Up -- After their one-week, two-match home stand, the Bruins will travel to Cal Baptist (Feb. 7) and BYU (Feb. 9) before returnting home for two matches against Hawai'i on Feb. 15 and 16.
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