No. 6 UCLA Hosts UC Santa Barbara Wednesday
Feb. 25, 2013
This Week -- The sixth-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team returns home for three matches after winning twice last week on the road. The homestand begins Wed., Feb. 27 with UC Santa Barbara visiting for a 7 p.m. league match in the John Wooden Center.
Live Coverage -- Fans can follow all the matches on audio and GameTracker at uclabruins.com, and on Twitter @UCLAMENSVB. Wednesday's match will be streamed live on uclabruins.com for free.
In The Rankings -- The Bruins (11-8, 7-6) are ranked sixth in the AVCA national rankings this week after sweeping a pair of conference matches last week: winning in three sets on Feb. 18 against No. 9 USC in the Galen Center and upsetting No. 4 Pepperdine in Mailbu on Feb. 23. Entering Wednesday's match, UC Santa Barbara was 6-11 overall and 4-9 in MPSF play, in 10th place in the conference race.
Scouting the Opponents -- UC Santa Barbara split two league matches last week: falling in three at Pepperdine on Feb. 19 and winning in four at USC on Feb. 21.
The Series -- The Bruins lead the all-time series with the Gauchos 120-32. They've beaten UCSB twice on the road this season: in five on Jan. 4 in the opener of the Asics Invitational and in four on Jan. 18 in a league match.
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.
The Bruins played two of their best matches of the season against USC and Pepperdine. Against the Trojans, UCLA hit .522, a season-high in the MPSF this year and the second-highest single match attack percentage in league history. All five starters hit better than .300 with four of them exceeding the .500 mark. Junior Dane Worley led the team with 12 kills (.556), followed by Robart Page with 10 kills (.300). Juniors Spencer Rowe and Gonzalo Quiroga and freshmen Clayton Paullin and Steve O'Dell did not commit a hitting error. The Bruins served seven aces and out-blocked USC, the league's top blocking team, 6.5-4.0. Conversely, the Trojans committed 12 service errors without an ace.
In the Pepperdine match, the Bruins again served well, acing the Waves 10 times and hitting .493. Worley led the team with 11 kills (.500), followed by nine from Page, who hit .375 and eight from Rowe, who hit .538. The Bruins held the Waves to an attack percentage of .217 and had 15 more kills (40-25). The loss was Pepperdine's first this season at home.
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. His current career record is 210-114 (.649).
Coming Up -- Following their match against UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday, the Bruins will host league matches the following week against Pacific on Fri., Mar. 8 at 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion and vs. Stanford on Sun., Mar. 10 at Noon in the Wooden Center. The Stanford match will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks. Kevin Barnett and UCLA Hall of Fame coach Al Scates will call the action.
UCLA will host the 2013 NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship, May 2 & 4 in Pauley Pavilion. This is the 14th time UCLA will serve as host. For ticket information call 310-UCLA-WIN.
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