MVB Sweeps Past Eagles
The No. 9 UCLA men's volleyball team used a season-high .554 hitting percentage to sweep past Concordia University Irvine in straight sets on Tuesday night in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) contest played in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom. Scores of the match were 25-22, 25-20, 25-15. UCLA's hitting percentage is the best mark in the nation so far this season and betters the .547 effort of Lincoln Memorial earlier this year.
Cole Ketrzynski hit .476 and led the Bruins, now 6-3 on the year, with 12 kills. Austin Matautia hit .400 and added 10 kills and three aces. Merrick McHenry produced an incredible .833 swing rate with 10 kills on 12 swings and no attack errors.
In set one, UCLA broke open a back-and-forth battle behind the serve of Ethan Champlin. The freshman fired off a couple of aces during a three-point run which put the Bruins up 12-9. The Bruins widened the gap to 19-13 on Champlin's kill with Matautia on the service line to cap off another three-point streak. Concordia closed to 22-21 after an ace and a kill. A couple of Matautia spikes pushed the Bruins up 23-21 and again to 24-22. A block by Ketrzynski and Ian Parish ended the set at 25-22.
Set two was almost a carbon copy of set one as the Bruins broke a 9-all tie with a three-point run. This time the Bruins took advantage of Eagle errors and a Ketrzynski kill during the streak to gain a 12-9 lead. After CUI closed to 15-14, UCLA tallied on a Ketrzynski kill and another Ketrzynski/Parish block for a 17-14 advantage. A kill by Champlin, who hit .750 on the night, made it 21-17. After the Eagles reduced the margin to 23-20, UCLA capitalized on a couple of errors to terminate the set at 25-20. UCLA hit .652 for the frame.
UCLA advanced to a 7-4 edge to begin set three. A Parish/Ketrzynski block followed by a Matautia ace extended the gap to 13-6. After Concordia pulled to within 14-10, UCLA ran off four straight points to establish firm control of the set. WIth Sam Burgi on the service line, Matautia converted a swing for a 21-12 lead. A McHenry kill made it 23-14. Kevin Kobrine's spike finished off the set and the match at 25-15.
Sam Kobrine registered 41 set assists while directing the offense to go along with five digs. Cole Pender added three digs. The Bruins will return to Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom on Friday and Saturday nights to host Stanford in a pair of MPSF matches.