#1 Bruins Finish Up Road Trip Against Long Beach St., Hawai'i
Feb. 13, 2012
This Week -- The top-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team will conclude its three-week road trip this week as they travel south to face the Long Beach State 49ers on Tues., Feb. 14 at 7 pm before flying west to play a two-game series against Hawai'i on Fri., Feb. 17 and Sat., Feb. 18 at 9 pm PT.
Live Coverage -- Fans at home can listen on the internet to a live audio broadcast of the Long Beach State match at uclabruins.com. Darren Preston and Connor Reeves will have the call. Fans can also follow both the Long Beach State and Hawai'i matches via Gametracker. Links are available at uclabruins.com on the events calendar on the front page.
In The Rankings -- The Bruins remained at No. 1 in the AVCA poll this week after winning their 10th straight match last week. Long Beach State is ranked No. 10 in the AVCA poll this week while Hawai'i is ranked No. 13.
Important Ticket Information for UC Irvine Match on 3/31 -- For those who are interested in attending UCLA's match against the UC Irvine Anteaters on Sat., Mar. 31, please note that the match is going to be played at Crawford Hall on the Irvine campus and seating capacity is extremely limited. The match is expected to sell out very soon so it is recommended that you purchase your tickets now. Tickets can be purchased online at ucirvinesports.com/tickets/mvolleyball or via phone at (949) 824-5000. UC Irvine's ticket office is open Mon.-Fri. from 10 am to 5 pm during the regular season.
Scouting The 49ers -- Long Beach State enters their matchup with UCLA with a 5-6 overall record (1-5 MPSF) and are coming off of back-to-back losses to Stanford and Pacific over the weekend. The 49ers are led by senior opposite Jim Baughman and sophomore outside hitter Taylor Crabb, who are No. 1 and No. 2 respectively on the team in points and kills. Crabb was a preseason Off the Block All-American while Baughman led the team in kills and points in 2011. Long Beach State as a team is third in the conference in opponent hitting percentage, allowing opponents to hit just .238 on the season, and is second in service ace average, averaging 1.44 service aces per game. Finally, the 49ers are led by head coach Andy Read, who is in this third season as interim head coach for Long Beach State.
The Series With Long Beach State -- The Bruins own an all-time record of 76-34 against the 49ers. Last season, the two teams met three times with all three matches going to five sets. UCLA won two of those three matches. In the first match at the Santa Barbara Invitational, the Bruins overcame a 2-0 deficit in the match to beat the 49ers. Jeremy Casebeer had a team-leading 14 kills in the match while Matt Hanley chimed in with 11 of his own and a team-high eight digs. In the second match at Long Beach, the 49ers returned the favor and came back from two sets down to defeat the Bruins 3-2 despite Gonzalo Quiroga recording a career-high 20 kills in the match. The two teams played the rubber match at Pauley Pavilion in March with the Bruins prevailing behind 17 Kyle Caldwell kills and 17 Gonzalo Quiroga digs. Caldwell also added seven total blocks to give 22.0 points in the victory.
Scouting The Warriors -- Hawai'i comes into this week with a 6-7 record overall and a 3-5 record in MPSF play. However, the Warriors are coming off of back-to-back losses last week against UC Irvine, falling 3-1 and 3-0. Hawai'i is led by senior Steven Hunt, who leads the team in kills (209) and points (236). Hunt is also second in the conference in kills per game, averaging 4.33 per set. Middle blockers Jarrod Lofy and Nick West are also key players for the Warriors as they have a combined 96 total blocks and have a combined .414 hitting percentage. Head Coach Charlie Wade is in his third season for Hawai'i and has an overall record of 40-30.
The Series With Hawai'i -- UCLA leads the all-time series with the Warriors 57-20 with the Bruins taking three of the last four matches over Hawai'i. The two teams met earlier this season at the Outrigger Hotels Invitational in Honolulu and the Bruins came out on top by the score of 3-0. Gonzalo Quiroga had 11 kills, two aces and four total blocks to give him a team-high 15.5 points in the match. Jeremy Casebeer was right behind Quiroga with 14 points and had a game-high 13 kills. Thomas Amberg, Casebeer and Kyle Caldwell also earned All-Tournament honors after the match with Caldwell earning Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament. J.P. Marks led the Warriors with 11 kills and 13.5 points in the loss.
Recapping the Week -- The Bruins continued their winning ways last week as they won their 10th consecutive match of the season by defeating the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos 3-1 on the road. It was the first time that UCLA has swept the season series with the Gauchos since 2009 and the 10-game winning streak is the longest since the 2002 team won 10 straight matches. Jeremy Casebeer led the Bruins with 15 kills and 15.5 points while Weston Dunlap was right behind him with 13 kills on an outstanding .706 hitting percentage. Dunlap also added two solo blocks to give him 15 points on the night. Sophomore Gonzalo Quiroga and Thomas Amberg each had eight kills and 12 points apiece, with Amberg adding five total blocks and Quiroga serving three aces. In addition, sophomore libero Evan Mottram had a career-high 15 digs in the victory. UCLA also hit .402 in the match while holding the Gauchos to just a .152 hitting percentage. Miles Evans led UCSB with 19 kills on the night. Finally, UCLA also once again took the first set of the match, making them a perfect 13-0 in the first set this season.
Top of the Charts -- Several UCLA players find themselves at the top or near the top of the leaderboard in numerous MPSF statistical categories. Seniors Thomas Amberg and Weston Dunlap are tied for second in hitting percentage with both players hitting .556 for the year. The Bruins also have four of the top 15 players in blocks per set, with Amberg having the third most blocks per set at 1.56 while Kyle Caldwell (1.02), Dunlap (1.02), and Nick Vogel (0.97) are tied for seventh and tied for 12th respectively. Sophomore libero Evan Mottram is fourth in the MPSF in digs per game with 2.33 while Gonzalo Quiroga is tied for third in service aces per game with 0.45. Finally, UCLA as a team is leading the MPSF conference in opponent hitting percentage, holding opponents to just a .187 hitting percentage, total blocks (139.5), kills per game (13.93) and hitting percentage (.369).
Coming Up -- The Bruins will return home next week to face the Cal Baptist Lancers in a non-conference matchup on Fri., Feb. 24 at 7 pm in the John Wooden Center.
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