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MVB Wins Season-Opener

Jan 15, 2022
Miles Partain (24) and J. R. Norris IV (2) at the net for the Bruins.

The No. 2 UCLA men's volleyball team opened up the 2022 season with a straight set win over Princeton (0-2) on Saturday evening on Collins Court in the John Wooden Center. Scores of the non-conference match were 25-12, 25-22, 25-22. Kevin Kobrine led a balanced UCLA attack with 11 kills and three blocks. J.R. Norris added career-bests for kills (6), block assists (4) and aces (3).
 
In set one, Princeton moved out to early leads of 3-5 and 4-6. UCLA evened the score at six-all and then grabbed its first lead of the contest at 10-9 on a dig and a kill by newcomer Guy Genis. Alex Knight's tough serve pushed the Bruins advantage from a 12-10 lead to 22-10. UCLA extended the lead to 14-10 after a triple block by Cole Ketrzynski,  Kobrine and Genis. Another block by Kobrine / Genis made it 18-10. A triple block by J.R. Norris IV, Ketrzynski and Kobrine decided the set at 25-12. UCLA outhit Princeton .360 to -.129 in the set.
 
Set two went back and forth with each team taking two-point leads in the early going. The score was then tied at points 11 through 16. UCLA moved in front 18-16 after a block by Norris, Ketrzynski and Kobrine. An ace by Kobrine made it 20-17. Ethan Champlin delivered an another ace for a 22-19 cushion. Princeton rallied to even the score at 22 before Norris added two straight aces for a 25-22 win.
 
Princeton moved out to leads of 4-5 and 7-9 in set three. UCLA evened the score at 9-all with another ace. The score was then evened up at points 14 to 19. Back-to-back kills from Kobrine lifted the Bruins to a 21-19 margin. A Knight kill made it 23-19. Princeton cut the gap to 24-22 before a service error by the Tigers ended the match at 25-22. The Bruins swung at a .476 clip in set three.
 
UCLA controlled the net and out blocked Princeton 10.5 to 1.0 on the night. UCLA  outhit the Tigers .406 to .165 over the course of the contest. The Bruins also enjoyed a 7-4 edge at the service line. Ketrzynski, who tied his career-high with five block assists, and Genis, who registered a block solo and three assists, ach finished with six kills. Cole Pender topped UCLA with seven digs. Setter Miles Partain added career-high totals of four kills, six digs and three blocks assists.
 
The Bruins will host No. 11 Ohio State (Friday) and No. 4 Penn State (Saturday) in the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge which is scheduled to be played in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom. USC will square off against the two Big Ten opponents in the other match each night.