MVB Takes Down 'Lopes in Four
The No. 6 UCLA men's volleyball team used a balanced attack to take down No. 9 Grand Canyon University for the second straight day in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) match played in the GCU Arena on Saturday afternoon. Scores of the contest were 25-16, 29-27, 19-25, 25-15. Austin Matautia led UCLA with 12 kills while Ian Parish joined him in double-digit kills with a career-best 10. The Bruins improved their record to 13-4 on the season and will return home next week to host No. 2 BYU (16-2) on Friday and Saturday in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom.
UCLA utilized a 6-0 run to break a 2-2 tie at the start of set one to move into an 8-2 advantage. Merrick McHenry and Cole Ketrzynski combined on a block for a 14-6 lead. Matautia's kill pushed the cushion to 17-9. GCU tallied the next three points to close to 17-12, but UCLA stormed back to go up 22-13 after a McHenry swing out of the middle. Another Matautia kill finished off the set at 25-16. UCLA outhit the Antelopes .368 to .000 for the frame.
GCU grabbed an early 1-5 edge to begin set two. UCLA trailed 5-9 after a Parish / Ketrzynski block. A Sam Kobrine / McHenry block pulled UCLA to 9-11. Grand Canyon upped their advantage to 12-19 on an ace. Kevin Kobrine helped begin a comeback with a kill and a block to make it 17-20. The Bruins closed to 23-24 after a Alex Knight / Ketrzynski / McHenry block. McHenry's serve hung on the net and fell over to even the score at 24-all. After GCU saved a couple of set points, Matautia's kill and a block by McHenry and Sam Kobrine completed the Bruin rally at 29-27.
In set three, Grand Canyon snapped a 4-all tie with a run which put the hosts up 6-12. GCU still owned a 10-15 edge after an Ian Eschenberg kill. The Bruins closed to 14-18 on a Kevin Kobrine swing, but the 'Lopes scored four of the next five points and went on to post a 19-25 win. Grand Canyon outhit the Bruins .423 to .108 for the set.
UCLA ran out to a 6-1 lead to begin set four. The Bruins upped the difference to 12-4 after a McHenry kill. Back-to-back Parish kills made it 16-7. Kevin Kobrine's ace left UCLA in front 19-9. A Ketrzysnki swing terminated the set and the match at 25-15. The Bruins hit .414 to .061 for GCU.
Kevin Kobrine finished with eight kills and a career-high four aces for the match. McHenry led a strong Bruin block with a block solo and six block assists. Sam Kobrine added a team-high 9 digs while Cole Pender added five. UCLA held GCU to a .142 attack percentage for the match to mark the seventh time this season UCLA has held an opponent under the .200 level. The Bruins out blocked the 'Lopes 13.5 to 9.5 and enjoyed a 7-2 edge at the service line.