MVB Seniors Go Out With Win Over BYU
The No. 6 UCLA men's volleyball team sent its seniors out on a high note with a thrilling come-from-behind four-set win over No. 2 BYU in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) match played on Saturday evening in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom. Scores of the contest were 25-18, 21-25, 27-25, 25-15. The Bruins saved six set points in the third frame thanks to the serve of senior Austin Matautia while rallying from a 18-24 deficit to stay in the match. Kevin Kobrine (23 kills, 12 digs) and Cole Ketrzynski (20 kills, 10 digs) finished with double-doubles to lead the Bruins,
UCLA used a couple of early aces from Ketrzynski and Merrick McHenry to take a 5-2 lead. A Ketrzynski kill upped the difference to 10-6. After BYU closed to 10-8, the Bruins went on a 5-2 run to go up 15-10. The Cougars rallied to pull to within one at 18-17. Kevin Kobrine answered with a kill to begin a 3-0 Bruin run. Another Kevin Kobrine kill made it 23-18 and a triple block by Sam Kobrine, Ian Parish and Austin Matautia ended the set at 25-18. UCLA hit .562 for the set.
The Bruins grabbed an early 6-4 edge after a Sam Kobrine block. BYU rallied to go in front 7-8. A Ketrzynksi kill leveled the score at 11-all. Parish and Matautia's block put UCLA in front 16-14. The Cougars answered with a 0-4 run to seize the lead at 16-18. The Bruins capitalized on a couple of BYU errors to close to 19-20. Two UCLA errors and a kill put the Cougars up by 19-23. A kill by Kevin Kobrine made it 20-23, but BYU was able to finish off the set for a 21-25 win.
BYU moved out to a 4-9 cushion to begin set three. UCLA closed to 8-10 after a Matautia ace and a block by Ketrzynski and Parish. The Cougars responded with the next three points to up their advantage to 8-13. A strong service run by Kevin Kobrine narrowed the gap to 13-14. Sam Kobrine's swing kept the Bruins one back at 16-17. A Cougar response lifted the visitors to a 17-22 lead. Matauitia stepped to the service line with the Bruins down 18-24. A pair of Parish spikes cut the gap to 20-24. A couple of Matautia service aces sandwiched around a Kevin Kobrine kill helped the Bruins pull even at 24-all. After BYU went back up 24-25, Kevin Kobrine and Ketrzysnki finished off the set with a flurry of kills for a 27-25 win.
The Bruins used 4-0 run, again featuring the serve of Matautia, to break a 5-all tie to start set four. A McHenry and Ketrzynski block improved the lead to 11-7. Kills by Kevin Kobrine and Ketrzynski widened the gap to 16-10. Another Kevin Korbine kill made it 18-11 and another Ketrzysnki spike grew the lead to 20-12. Ketrynski's 20th kill of the night ended the match at 25-15.
UCLA out hit the Cougars .374 to .287 on the night. Setter Sam Kobrine finished with 46 set assists. Matautia totaled five aces, one shy of his career-best, as the Bruins won the service line battle 10 aces to 5. Next up is the MPSF Tournament which begins on Thursday, April 22 at Provo, Utah with quarterfinal matches. An automatic NCAA Tournament bid will go the winner of the MPSF Tournament. The full seven team NCAA men's volleyball bracket, including the two at-large teams, will be announced on April 25.