MVB Falls in Five
The No. 7 UCLA men's volleyball team fell in five sets at Concordia University Irvine in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) contest played on Saturday night in the CUI Arena. Scores of the match were 25-21, 25-20, 20-25, 22-25, 12-15.
CUI, now 1-4, capitalized on a strong service game which produced 10 aces and the Eagles hit .312 to snap a Bruin streak of four matches it had held the opponent to less than a .250 attack percentage. Cole Ketrzynski paced the UCLA offense, which hit .276, with 19 kills. The Bruins, now 5-3 on the season, will host Concordia on Tuesday night in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom.
In set one, the Bruins snapped a 3-all tie with a scoring run led by Ketrzynski and Ethan Champlin to move ahead 8-4. UCLA extended the lead to 12-6 after a kill from Sam Kobrine. A swing from Merrick McHenry improved the margin to 14-6. CUI rallied to narrow the gap to 16-12. A spike by Champlin stopped the Eagles' run. Another Concordia spurt pulled the home team to within two at 19-17. McHenry and Sam Kobrine kills helped UCLA establish a 23-18 lead. The Bruins captured the set 25-21 after a CUI service error.
UCLA stormed out to a 5-1 advantage to begin the second set. The lead grew to 8-3 after a block and a kill by Ketrzynski. After CUI sliced the deficit to 9-8, UCLA moved back in front by 13-9 after a kill from McHenry. The Eagles fought back to close the gap to 14-13. UCLA answered with four straight --- McHenry kill and block, Ketrzynski kill and Champlin kill. CUI reduced the gap to two, at 20-18 and 22-20, before UCLA finished out the set on kills by McHenry and Ketrzynski for a 25-20 win.
Concordia used a strong service game to begin set three and jumped out to a 1-5 lead. UCLA pulled to within one, at 4-5, after an ace from Austin Matautia. The Eagles then rallied to open up a 6-9 edge. UCLA closed to 11-12 after a McHenry kill and a Matautia ace. CUI scored four of the next five points to win back control at 12-16. The Bruins rallied to shrink the margin to 17-18 following an ace from Champlin, but CUI countered with the next three points to go up 17-21. A kill by Alex Knight brought the Bruins to within 20-23, but CUI terminated the set with a kill and another ace for a 20-25 victory. UCLA hit .042 for the frame.
In set four, UCLA jumped out to a 4-1 lead. CUI closed to 7-6 before McHenry led a Bruin run with a pair of kills for a 10-7 advantage. UCLA built the lead up to 15-9 behind the strong serve of Ketrzynski. The Eagles chipped away to narrow the deficit to 16-15. UCLA went back up 18-15 on a Ketrzynski swing, but Concordia rallied to even the score at 20-20 behind a strong service game. An Eagle block and a Bruin error put CUI in front 20-22 and on the way to a 22-25 win.
UCLA opened up a 3-1 lead to begin the fifth set after a kill by Knight, who finished with eight on the night. CUI came back with a run of four straight points to go in front 4-7. The Bruins moved to within one, at 7-8, after a Matautia swing, but the Eagles responded to move out to a 9-12 lead. The teams exchanged service errors and CUI advanced to match point after a block. The Bruins saved a couple of match points, but Concordia closed out the contest on a kill for a 12-15 victory. UCLA hit .176 for the set.