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MVB Plays Thursday in MPSF Championship Tournament

Apr 20, 2021
Merrick McHenry (l) and Cole Ketrzynski on the block.

THIS WEEK -- UCLA (14-5), ranked No. 6 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll, will play No. 7 seed Concordia (3-13) on Thursday afternoon (1 p.m. PT/ 2 p.m. MT) in a quarterfinal match at the MPSF Championship Tournament in Provo, Utah. Should the Bruins advance, they will play a semifinal contest against the highest seeded quarterfinal winner at 3 p.m. PT on Friday. Top-seed BYU will play the lowest seeded quarterfinal winner in the other semifinal match. The MPSF Championship match is set for Saturday at 6 p.m. PT. All matches are being hosted by BYU and will be live streamed by FloSports. Download the FloSports App on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV4 and Amazon Fire TV to watch.

The winner of the MPSF Championship Tournament receives an automatic bid to the National Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship which begins May 3 in Columbus, Ohio. The seven team NCAA bracket, including the two at-large bids, will be announced on ncaa.com on Sunday, April 25. UCLA's last appearance in the NCAA Championship event came in the 2018 season when it advanced to the title match.

     • First Serve Quarterfinal Match vs. Concordia (Apr. 22): (at BYU) 1 p.m. PT
Video: https://flosports.link/3tqNXOu
Live Stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/statmonitr/?id=349219
    •  if UCLA advances MPSF Semifinal Match (Apr. 23): (at BYU) 3 p.m. PT
Video: https://flosports.link/3tqNXOu
Live Stats: http://statbroadcast.com/events/statmonitr.php?gid=byu
     • if UCLA advances MPSF Championship Match (Apr. 24): (at BYU) 6 p.m. PT
Video: https://flosports.link/3tqNXOu
Live Stats: http://statbroadcast.com/events/statmonitr.php?gid=byu

NOTES -- UCLA has won the MPSF Championship Tournament seven times overall, with the last title coming in 2006 ... The Bruins enter the MPSF Tournament ranked 5th in the NCAA in aces (1.64), 5th in assists (12.18), 6th in kills/s (12.99) and 8th in hitting % (.321) ... UCLA's 13 aces against Pepperdine (3/11) are tied for the most in a MPSF match this season ... The Bruins own the hightest hitting% this season in a MPSF match of .554 vs. Concordia (3/2) ... The Bruins have held seven opponents under .200 for a match, including BYU in their Provo win ... Ian Parish's 9.0 total blocks vs. Pepperdine (3/11) are tied for most in a MPSF match in 2021 ... Cole Ketrzynski's 0.53 aces/set average to begin the week ranked 5th in the NCAA and 2nd in MPSF ... Ketrzynski had a career-best six aces at Stanford (3/23) after having a total of four for all of 2020 season ... Ketrzynski has double-digit kills in 12 matches this season ... Sam Kobrine has set the Bruins to 7 matches of at least .350 attack percentage in the last 11 contests ... Sam Kobrine has at least 40 set assists in 11 matches and rates 13th in NCAA in set assists (10.0/s) ... Sam Kobrine remains the only player in the nation to have registered a triple-double in 2021 -- vs. USC (2/13) 14 kills, 15 assists and 10 digs ... Merrick McHenry hit .766 in matches against Concordia this year (39k, 3e, 47ta) ... McHenry had a career-best of 18 kills (4/2) at GCU ... McHenry began the week ranked 3rd in MPSF and 11th in NCAA in hitting % at .423 ... Ethan Champlin had a career-best 18 kills at Stanford (3/23) ... Champlin totaled a season-high five aces v. Stanford (3/6) ...  Austin Matautia registered 9 aces in the matches with BYU (4/9-10) ... Matautia had a season-best 14 kills at Stanford (3/23) ... Matautia added a career-best 6 aces vs. Pepperdine (3/11) ... Libero Cole Pender registered a season-high 11 digs in matches against Stanford (3/6) and Grand Canyon (1/29) ... Kevin Kobrine finished off the regular season with 59 kills, 22 digs and 7 aces in the last 4 matches (10 sets) ... Kevin Kobrine recorded a career-high 23 kills while hitting .500 vs. BYU (4/10).

2021 VS.  MPSF TEAMS --
BYU (No. 1 seed, 17-3 record): The Bruins split four matches with BYU. UCLA out hit the Cougars in the two wins. The Bruins were held to the two lowest hitting percentages of the season (.152 and .160) in both losses while BYU hit over .400 in each Cougar win. For the four matches, BYU held a 24-17 edge in aces and a 32.0 to 21.5 advantage in total blocks. The February win by the Bruins was its first against the Cougars in Provo since the 2009 season. UCLA outhit BYU .237 to .168 in that contest while Ethan Champlin led the attack with 11 kills. BYU came back to split that series with a 3-0 sweep. The Cougars out hit UCLA .406 to .152 in that contest.

CONCORDIA (No.7, 3-13): UCLA went 2-1 in 3 matches against Concordia this season. The Bruins had a 20-14 edge in aces over the 3 contests and a 18.5 to 16.5 margin in total blocks. UCLA hit .338 and a season-best .554 in the wins. Concordia owned a .276 to .312 edge in attack % in their win and out aced the Bruins 5-10 in Irvine. Cole Ketrzynski registered 43 kills and hit . 379 in the matches. Merrick McHenry hit .766 in 3 matches with 39 kills.

GRAND CANYON (No. 4, 8-10): UCLA bested GCU in each of the three matches in 2021. The Bruins hit over .340 in two of the wins and held an edge in aces, at 18-10, and in total blocks of 28.5 to 21.5, for the three matches. Kevin Kobrine had 24 kills and hit .629 over the two most recent matches.

PEPPERDINE (No. 3, 11-5): UCLA split a pair of match ups against Pepperdine this season with each team winning on its home court. In its 3-2 win, UCLA outhit the Waves .333 to .158 and owned a 13 to 1 edge in aces. Pepperdine out hit UCLA in its win .291 to .231 and won the blocking battle 10.5 to 14.0. Over the two matches, UCLA held a 18-5 advantage in service aces. Cole Ketrzynski had 29 kills in the contests. Austin Matautia and Ethan Champlin combined for 10 aces.

STANFORD (No. 6, 3-13): UCLA captured all four battles this season. The Bruins hit over .400 in three of the matches and at least .385 over all four contests. UCLA enjoyed a 35-11 margin in service aces and a 27.0 to 18.0 gap in total blocks against the Cardinal for the matches.

USC (No. 5, 5-12): UCLA won two of three meetings with USC this season. The Bruins held USC under.200 hitting percentage in each of the wins, while the Trojans did the same to UCLA in its victory. UCLA had a 12-8 edge in aces over the three matches and a 38.5 to 29.5 margin in total blocks.

RECENT UCLA MPSF TOURNAMENT HISTORY — UCLA has won MPSF Tournament titles in 2006, 2001, 2000, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993. 
2019 -- #2 seed UCLA def. #7 CUI 3-0 in quarterfinals; lost to #3 USC (at Pepperdine) in semis 1-3; 2018 -- #2 UCLA def. #7 Stanford 3-0 in quarterfinals; def. #4 Concordia (at BYU) 3-1 in semis, lost in final at #1 BYU 1-3; 2017 -- #5 seed UCLA lost at #4 UC Irvine 1-3 in quarterfinals 2016 -- #2 UCLA def. #7 Hawai'i 3-1 in quarterfinals, def. #3 Long Beach St. in semis 3-1, lost at #1 BYU in championship 1-3; 2015 -- #8 UCLA lost at #1 UC Irvine in quarterfinals 0-3.