MVB Reverse Sweeps the Antelopes
The No. 6 UCLA men's volleyball team rallied from an 0-2 deficit to pull out a win on the road at No. 9 Grand Canyon University in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match on Friday evening in Phoenix. Scores of the contest were 26-28, 23-25, 25-14, 25-22, 15-11.
Kevin Kobrine came off the bench to lead the comeback with a career-high 16 kills. Merrick McHenry topped UCLA's attack with a career-best 18 kills. The Bruins hit a combined .484 over the final three sets of the contest and upped their record to 12-4 on the season. Grand Canyon managed to hit just .117 over the final three frames and fell to 4-9. Sam Kobrine set the Bruins to a third straight .400-plus attack percentage match. The same two teams will meet again on Saturday afternoon in the GCU Arena.
UCLA advanced to a 5-1 lead to begin set one. GCU closed to 9-8 after a Bruin service error. A McHenry kill put UCLA up 14-10. Sam Burgi's swing pushed the margin to 18-14. The Antelopes then scored nine of the next 12 points to go into the lead at 21-23. UCLA evened the score at 24 and then at 25 after kills from Cole Ketrzynski. A McHenry swing leveled the score at 26-all before GCU put two points together for a 26-28 win. Each team hit over .500 for the set.
The Bruins fell behind 1-4 in the early stages of set two. After UCLA had evened the score at 7-all, GCU tallied the next four points for a 7-11 advantage. Kevin Kobrine's kill narrowed the gap to 17-18 and McHenry's spike tied the score at 21-all. GCU tallied the next two points, but an Austin Matautia swing made it 23-24. A GCU kill ended the set at 23-25.
UCLA used kills from Daniel Matheney and Alex Knight to help move out to a 10-5 lead to start set three. An ace from Matheney grew the margin to 15-6. Three straight kills from Kevin Kobrine put UCLA in charge at 23-10. A GCU service error handed the Bruins the set at 25-14. UCLA outhit the home team .478 to .043 in the frame.
The Bruins led early in set four and owned a 7-4 edge after a GCU attack error. A McHenry kill left UCLA in front 11-7. Grand Canyon rallied to pull even at 17-all. Kills from Kevin Kobrine put UCLA up 19-17 and 20-18. After Grand Canyon closed to 23-21, the Bruins used a service error and a Matheney kill to end the set at 25-22.
A McHenry kill elevated UCLA to a 5-3 lead in the fifth set. The Bruins enjoyed an 8-4 lead after another Kevin Kobrine swing. Grand Canyon came back with three straight to reduce the gap to 8-7. Matheney's kill put UCLA up by 9-7. Kevin Kobrine and Matautia combined on a block for a 10-7 lead. GCU rallied to take the next two points. Kevin Kobrine delivered again with a kill for a 12-10 advantage. A couple of Antelope errors sent the Bruins to match point and Kevin Kobrine ended the match with his 16th kill of the night for a 15-11 victory.
Matheney and Kevin Kobrine were perfect attackers on the night with a combined 20 kills with no errors on 24 swings. Knight also came off the bench to contribute three kills. Cole Power added three digs. UCLA hit .435 for the match to .226 for GCU. The Bruins had an edge at the net with 10.0 total blocks to 4.0 for the Antelopes. GCU produced 7 service aces to 6 for the Bruins.