Seventh-Ranked UCLA Visits USC, Pepperdine This Week
Feb. 18, 2013
This Week -- The seventh-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team begins a two-match road swing against No. 9 USC tonight at 8 p.m. in the Galen Center before traveling to No. 4 Pepperdine on Fri., Feb. 23 for a 5 p.m. match at Fireston Fieldhouse.
Live Coverage -- Fans can follow all the matches on audio, GameTracker and Twitter @UCLAMENSVB. Monday's match at USC will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks with Kevin Barnett and Hall of Fame Coach Al Scates at the mic.
In The Rankings -- The Bruins (9-8, 5-6) are ranked seventh in the AVCA national rankings this week after splitting a pair of conference matches last week with No. 13 Hawai'i: winning in three sets on Feb. 15 in the Wooden Center and falling in five on Feb. 16 in Pauley Pavilion. Entering the week, USC was 3-6 overall and in conference play, tied for 10th place in the MPSF race with Pacific. No. 4 Pepperdine was 7-4 overall and in league play, in fourth place in the conference race.
Scouting the Opponents -- USC split a pair of MPSF matches at home last week: beating Cal Baptist on Feb. 14 in four sets and falling in four to No. 1 BYU on Feb. 16. Pepperdine beat Cal Baptist in four on Feb. 13 and outlasted BYU in five on Feb. 15.
The Series -- The Bruins lead the all-time series with both opponents: 87-40 vs. USC and 76-35 vs. Pepperdine. Against USC last season, UCLA split a pair of matches, winning in three at the Galen Center and falling in three in the Wooden Center. Against Pepperdine in 2012, the Bruins won twice: in five at Pepperdine on Feb. 1 and in three at UCLA on Mar. 16.
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.
Against Hawai'i on Feb. 15, junior Gonzalo Quiroga led the Bruins with 15 kills (.520) and 17.5 points, followed by 11 kills, four total blocks and 13.5 points from junior Robart Page.The Bruins out-blocked the Warriors 10.5-2.0, limiting them to a .186 attack percentage, while hitting .387. UCLA served three aces to UH's two. The next night, UH outblocked UCLA 12.0-8.0 and outhit the hosts, .342-.297 in a five-set victory. UH also outserved UCLA 6-2 with JP Marks, Brook Sedore and Sinisa Zarkovic serving two aces apiece. Quiroga led UCLA with 21 kills (,381), followed by 17 (.382) from Page.
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 (.646). 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 208-114 (.649).
Coming Up -- Following their match against USC, the Bruins will travel to Pepperdine on Feb. 23 for a 5 p.m. MPSF match. UCLA returns home for a Feb. 27 league match against UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. in the John Wooden Center.
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