Bruins Crash Against Waves in Three
The ninth-ranked men's volleyball team dropped its first home match of the MPSF schedule on Tuesday night in straight sets to fifth-ranked Pepperdine. Scores on the contest were 10-25, 20-25, 23-25.
Pepperdine came out firing on all cylinders in set one to take a 0-7 lead over the Bruins. Mitch Stahl got the Bruins on the board with a kill to make it 1-7, but the Waves quickly moved the advantage out ot 3-12. The visitors ended the set hitting .500 to the Bruins total of -0.69 and outblocked their hosts 4.5 to 0.
Set two started out with more of the same from the Waves who tallied the first six points. J.T. Hatch's hit off the block put the Bruins on the board. Pepperdine moved out to a 3-13 edge, before UCLA found a spark behind the serve of setter Steve O'Dell. After six straight Bruin points, the Waves' advantage was cut to 10-14. Pepperdine stormed back out to an 11-17 lead only to see the Bruins rally to slice the deficit to 18-21 on a kill by Stahl. Another kill by Stahl made it 20-23, but the Waves hung on for a 20-25 decision.
Set three was a different story. The score was even at 3s, 4s, and 5s before UCLA took its first lead of the night on a kill by Jake Arnitz, at 6-5. A Christian Hessenauer kill made it 8-6 and the Bruins held a 9-6 advantage after a Wave hitting error. The serve of O'Dell was once again a big factor in the run along with freshman Eric Sprague. The Waves quickly tied it at 9-9 and took the lead for good at 10-11. The deficit was still one, at 17-18, after a Bruin block and at 22-23, after a kill by Hatch and the serve of Michael Fisher. An ace by Fisher leveled the set at 23-all. However, Pepperdine scored the next two points to take the match.
Arnitz had eight kills to top the Bruins, hitting .316 with a couple of blocks. O'Dell recorded a pair of aces and 29 set assists. Stahl ended with two blocks and six kills. Hatch had eight digs and six kills. Hessenauer registered seven kills and a pair of blocks.
UCLA is now 4-3, 0-3 on the season and will play host to #13 Stanford on Thursday night at 5:30 p.m. in the John Wooden Center. The match is scheduled to be broadcast by the Pac-12 Networks.