Sixth-Ranked UCLA Travels toCal Baptist, BYU This Week
Feb. 5, 2013
This Week -- The sixth-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team begins a two-match road swing, traveling to No. 12 Cal Baptist on Feb. 7 and No. 1 BYU on Feb. 9.
Live Coverage -- Fans can follow both matches on GameTracker (from Cal Baptist and BYU) and Twitter @UCLAMENSVB. Both matches begin at 7 p.m. in their respective venues.
In The Rankings -- The Bruins (8-5, 4-3) were ranked sixth nationally by the AVCA this week after splitting a pair of conference matches last week: losing in five at home to No. 2 UC Irvine (Jan. 29) and winning 3-0 against No. 13 UC San Diego (Feb. 2). Entering the week, Cal Baptist (5-4, 2-2) was ranked 12th. BYU, tied for first with UC Irvine in the national rankings this week, is 6-2 overall and 5-1 in league play (1st place).
Scouting the Opponents -- In its only match last week, CBU beat CS Northridge 3-1 on Jan. 30. BYU split two MPSF matches at home last week: falling in five to Long Beach State on Feb. 1 and beating CS Northridge in four on Feb. 2.
The Series -- The Bruins lead the all-time series with both opponents: 6-1 vs. CBU and 36-23 vs. BYU. UCLA has never played Cal Baptist on the road. The Bruins' only loss in the series came in 2009 (0-3) in Pauley Pavilion. UCLA beat CBU 3-0 last season. UCLA and BYU split a pair of matches last season at UCLA, with the Cougars prevailing in a five-set match on Apr. 6 and the Bruins winning in three on Apr. 7. UCLA's last victory in Provo, UT, was a 3-1 decision on Mar. 27, 2009. Since 2002, the Bruins have won twice in 10 matches at BYU.
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 UC Irvine, the Bruins led 2-1 in sets before the Anteaters rallied to win Sets 4 and 5. UCLA struggled with serving errors, committing 19 with just one ace. The Anteaters also aced the Bruins five times. Over the final two sets, UCI hit .416 (22-2-48) while UCLA recorded an attack percentage of .320 (25-8-53). Individually, junior Gonzalo Quiroga recorded a career-high of 25 kills (.340) and 27.0 points, followed by Dane Worley's career-high of 20 kills (.633). Freshman Clayton Paullin added a career-highs of 10 kills (.600) and 11.5 points.
Quiroga again led the Bruins in a sweep against UC San Diego, recording match-highs of 17 kills (424), four aces and 22.5 points. Senior Scott Vegas added 11 kills, two aces and two total blocks for 14.0 points. Freshman setter Steve O'Dell, in his fifth start, recorded a career-best 36 assists. The victory against the Tritons was the Bruins' 52nd in the series and second this season.
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 207-111(.649).
Coming Up -- After this week's road trip, the Bruins will host Hawai'i on Feb. 15 and 16. The match on the 15th will be played in the John Wooden Center (due to a conflict with UCLA Women's Basketball) and the match on the 16th will be played in Pauley Pavilion. Both matches start at 7 p.m.
CLick for Bruin Video