MVB Goes Down in MPSF Semifinals
The No. 2 seeded UCLA men's volleyball team dropped a 0-3 decision to No. 3 seed Pepperdine in a semifinal match at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Championship Tournament on Friday afternoon in Provo, Utah. Scores of the contest were 20-25, 23-25, 24-26.
The Bruins finish with a 15-6 record and will await the announcement of the two at-large teams for the seven team bracket in the National Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship on Sunday (10 a.m. PT at ncaa.com) to see if the season will continue.
Cole Ketrzynski topped the UCLA attack with 17 kills and a .500 hitting percentage. Kevin Kobrine registered his fifth straight double-digit kill effort, with 15, while swinging at a .400 clip. Alex Knight added nine kills, hit .429 and led the team with three blocks. Sam Kobrine recorded the lone Bruin ace in the match and had a team-high seven digs to go with 40 set assists. UCLA out hit the Waves .432 to .423 (second-highest by a Bruin opponent this season) for the match and won the blocking battle 7.0 to 4.0. Pepperdine had four aces to one for the Bruins.
UCLA fell behind 3-5 early in set one. Pepperdine kept control and expanded the lead to 10-13. UCLA closed to 13-15 after a Knight swing. However, the Waves tallied the next four points to take a commanding 13-19 edge. A Kevin Kobrine kill followed by an Ian Parish / Ketrzynski block trimmed the margin to 18-21. Pepperdine was then able to hold off the Bruins for a 20-25 win.
UCLA owned a 7-5 lead in set two after a Daniel Matheney kill. Pepperdine came back to even the score at 9-all, but the Bruins used a kill from Knight and a Matheney/Ketrzynski block to move in front 15-13. The Waves swung the momentum back their way to go ahead 17-18. After a Ketrzynski kill leveled the set at 18-all, Pepperdine scored the next three points. UCLA fought off a couple of set points down the stretch, but the Waves prevailed 23-25.
Pepperdine put a three-point streak together to run out to a 6-10 lead in set three. With UCLA down 8-13, Sam Kobrine served the Bruins back into the set, winning four straight points while at the line. Pepperdine went up 15-18, before a Ketrzynski kill, a Wave error and a Sam Kobrine spike tied the score at 18-all. The set was then even at points 19 through 23 when Ketrzynski delivered back-to-back kills which resulted in a 24-23 Bruin lead. A service error leveled the score at 24 and then a Pepperdine block and a Bruin attack error ended the match at 24-26 for the Waves.