MVB Goes the Distance to Earn the Win
The No. 4 UCLA men's volleyball team (6-1) took down No. 15 UC Irvine (3-7) in five sets in a non-conference match held on Saturday evening in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom before over 1,200 fans. Scores were 25-23, 23-25, 25-14, 16-25, 15-11. Ido David, with 20, and Guy Genis, with 13, each produced season-best kill totals while combining to hit .471 to led the way for the Bruins. Setter Miles Partain finished with six kills, three aces, four digs and 52 set assists on a night in which UCLA hit .402 for the match. The Bruins will take to the road next week for a pair of matches against Big West Conference foes in No. 13 UC San Diego and No. 3 Long Beach State.
In set one, UCLA used the strong service of Partain to break a 5-all tie and rattled off five straight points for a 10-5 lead. Partain tallied a couple of aces during the run. Consecutive kills by David pushed the score to 13-8. UCLA led 17-11 following a Ethan Champlin swing. Another David kill made it 21-15. UC Irvine then rallied with three straight points to narrow the gap to 21-18. Merrick McHenry answered with a kill, but the 'Eaters closed to 23-21 and 24-22. McHenry's swing out of the middle ended the set at 25-23. David finished with seven kills in the frame for UCLA which hit .393.
UC Irvine jumped out to a 2-6 advantage to begin set two. UCLA pulled to within 5-7 following a Genis kill, but UCI answered to move back out to a 9-14 edge. The Bruins capitalized on another Partain service run to even the match at 15-all. Kills by Champlin and Genis handed the Bruins a 17-15 lead. However, UC Irvine came right back to go up 18-20. An Anteater ace put the visitors up at 20-23. McHenry's kill pulled UCLA to within one at 22-23, but UCI prevailed 23-25. UC Irvine hit .652 for the frame.
Champlin helped serve UCLA into a 5-1 lead to begin set three. Cole Ketrzynski's third kill of the early going put the Bruins in the lead at 6-2. Kills by Partain, Champlin and Genis made it 12-6. A David block equaled a 15-9 lead. Champlin's ace moved the gap to 17-9. Genis' swing left the Bruins in front 20-11. Another Ketrzynski swing made it 22-13. David's kill off hands ended the set at 25-14. The Bruins hit .600 for frame.
UC Irvine scored the first four points of set four. The Bruins narrowed the deficit to 5-8 after a Genis kill, but UC Irvine recovered to register seven of the next nine points to move out to a 7-15 lead. An ace from David made it 12-18. The Anteaters pulled away down the stretch for a 16-25 win. UC Irvine outhit the Bruins .423 to .043 for the set as UCLA had seven attack errors.
UCLA broke an early tie on a Champlin block for a 5-4 lead in the decisive fifth set. A David kill and a UC Irvine error out UCLA in front 8-6 at the break. David's career-high 20th kill make it 9-7. Kills by Partain and Ketrzynski gave UCLA a 12-9 advantage. Champlin hit off hands for a 13-10 edge. Genis' kill made it 14-11 and Champlin delivered set and match point for a 15-11 win.