No. 5 UCLA Visits Long Beach and Northridge This Week
March 11, 2013
This Week -- The fifth-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team begins a four-match, three week road trip this week, visiting league rivals Long Beach State on Mar. 13 and CS Northridge on Mar. 15. First serve for both matches is 7 p.m.
Live Coverage -- Fans can follow both matches on audio at uclabruins.com, on GameTracker and on Twitter @UCLAMENSVB.
In The Rankings -- The Bruins (13-9, 9-7) are ranked fifth in the AVCA national rankings this week after sweeping Pacific on Mar. 8 in Pauley Pavilion and blanking Stanford on Mar. 10 in the Wooden Center. The Bruins moved up to sixth place of the league race, one-half match behind CS Northridge. Entering the week, Long Beach State (14-5, 12-4) was third in the league race and ranked third nationally; CS Northrdige (10-6, 8-6) was fifth in the league standings and ranked eighth nationally.
Scouting the Opponents -- CS Northridge defeated UC San Diego 3-0 on Mar. 8. Long Beach State split a pair of home league matches, winning 3-0 against UC San Diego on Mar. 6 and falling 3-1 to second-ranked UC Irvine on Mar. 9.
The Series -- The Bruins lead the all-time series with both opponents: 77-36 vs. Long Beach State and 62-12 vs. CSUN. UCLA beat CSUN 3-2 on Jan. 8 in Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins lost in four at home to The Beach on Jan. 15. Last season, the Bruins beat the Matadors three times and split with the 49ers. UCLA has not won at Long Beach State since Mar. 29, 2008, a string of four losses. Overall, since The Pyramid opened in 1996, the Bruins have won just three times there in 14 matches.
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 beat Pacific for the sixth consecutive time behind 13 kills and four aces from junior Gonzalo Quiroga and 11 kills and three aces from Dane Worley. Although they hit just .271, the Bruins held the Tigers to an attack percentage of .101 and served nine aces.
UCLA avenged its Jan. 22 four-set loss to Stanford on Mar. 10 with a solid 3-0 sweep of the Cardinal in the John Wooden Center. UCLA hit .470 behind 15 kills (.583) from junior Robart Page and nine each from Quiroga and Clayton Paullin. Worley added eight kills (.389) and junior Spencer Rowe added six (.625), an ace and five block assists. The Bruins out-blocked the Cardinal 6.0-1.0 and overcame 24 service errors.
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 212-115 (.649).
Coming Up -- Following their matches against Long Beach and CS Northridge, the Bruins will continue their road swing with league matches at UC San Diego (Mar. 29) and at UC Irvine (Mar. 30). UCLA returns home in April for matches against Cal Baptist (Apr. 4), BYU (Apr. 6), Pepperdine (Apr. 10) and USC (Apr. 12). All of those contests will be played in Pauley Pavilion.
For the 14th time in school history, UCLA will host the NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship. The 2013 championship is scheduled for May 2 & 4 in Pauley Pavilion. For ticket information, please call 310-UCLA-WIN.
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