MVB Takes Out CSUN in Three
The No. 2 UCLA men's volleyball team improved to 4-0 on the year after sweeping Big West Conference opponent CSUN (0-1) in a non-league match on Thursday night on Collins Court in the John Wooden Center. Scores of the contest were 27-25, 25-18, 25-22. Redshirt freshman outside hitter Grant Sloane, in his first collegiate match, led a balanced attack for the Bruins with 10 kills, 2 aces and a couple of blocks.
In set one, CSUN surged to a 4-8 lead in the early going. UCLA closed to 7-9 after a block by Sloane and Guy Genis. UCLA evened the score at 12-all following a Matador attack error and tied the score again, at 16, on a back row spike from Sloane. CSUN went back in front 18-20 and 19-21. A block by Merrick McHenry and Ido David, an error and a David ace pushed UCLA in front 22-21. Another Sloane kill handed UCLA a 23-22 edge. CSUN leveled the score at 24-each and 25-each. Genis' kill off hands put the Bruins up 26-25. A block by Genis and David earned the win at 27-25. UCLA hit .320 for the frame with Sloane's four kills leading the way.
UCLA moved out to a 5-1 advantage to begin set two. Sloane delivered an ace to open up an 8-3 gap. However, CSUN battled back to narrow the margin to 9-8. UCLA responded by scoring the next six points, including a couple on aces by Miles Partain, for a 15-8 cushion. UCLA led 20-15 after a McHenry kill and 22-18 following a swing by Genis. A career-high third Partain ace put the lead at 23-18. David's smash through the block gave UCLA a set point at 24-18. A CSUN attack error ended the set at 25-18. The Bruins hit .478.
CSUN grabbed a quick 1-5 advantage in set three. A couple of David spikes combined with a Genis kill and ace tied the set at 6-6. The Bruins grabbed their first lead of the frame, at 8-7, following a Partain roll shot. The difference grew to 17-12 with a triple block by McHenry/David/Sloane. McHenry's ace serve pushed UCLA ahead 21-15. Sloane's 10th kill of the night made it 24-19. CSUN scored the next three points before the match ended on a Matador service error following a Bruin timeout.
UCLA hit .357 for the match and registered a season-high 9 aces. CSUN won the block battle 8.0 to 5.5. The Bruins will return to action on Saturday night against No. 7 Lewis, a team which advanced to the NCAA semifinals last season. The match is set to begin at 5 p.m. on Collins Court in the John Wooden Center.