MVB Hosts No. 1 Beach on Saturday
No. 2 Bruins Battle No. 1 Long Beach State — UCLA (7-2), ranked No. 2 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll, will play host to No. 1 Long Beach State (7-1) on Saturday on Collins Court in the John Wooden Center. This is the first meeting with the Beach in Westwood since the 2020 season when Long Beach defeated UCLA in a five-set decision. The Bruins last knocked off a team ranked No. 1 in the AVCA poll a year ago with an early season 3-1 win at then No. 1 BYU. Prior to that victory over the Cougars, the Bruins had last taken down a top-ranked opponent in a 2014 match against Stanford. The last time UCLA hosted the No. 1-ranked team was in a 2019 match against Long Beach State (a 3-0 Beach win). UCLA has been ranked as high as No. 2 in the AVCA poll in five of the last six seasons (not 2021). The Bruins were last ranked No. 1 in 2016 over a four-week period.
Sat., Feb. 19
Long Beach State at UCLA - Collins Court at the John Wooden Center
Live Stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=382171
LAST MATCH -- UCLA fell to No. 1 Long Beach State in the Walter Pryamid in straight sets (Feb. 11) by scores of 22-25, 23-25, 13-25. Ido David led the Bruins with 9 kills and an ace. The Beach hit a 2022 UCLA-opponent best .400 in that win while out acing the Bruin 2 to 4 and outblocking UCLA 4.5 to 7.0.
VS. No. 1 -- UCLA has played the nation's No. 1-ranked (AVCA) team nine times in the last five seasons. The Bruins own a record of 1-8 in those matches, including six setbacks against the Beach. It split a pair of matches last season against then-top ranked BYU in Provo, winning Feb. 4 and losing Feb. 6, 2021.
NCAA / MPSF RANKINGS -- Entering the week, the Bruins are rated in the Top 10 nationally in kills (2nd-13.18), set assists (2nd-12.24) and hitting% (.338). Merrick McHenry rates 2nd in hitting % (.510), Miles Partain ranks 7th in the nation in set assists per frame at 9.88 and Ido David sits in 10th in aces at 0.57 per set. UCLA leads the MPSF in kills per set (13.18) and assists per set (12.24).
PLAYER NOTES -- Merrick McHenry has hit .559 over the past four matches (38k-5e-59ta) ... hit a season-high .667 on nine attempts (6 kills) in the first meeting with Long Beach ... had a season-high 13 kills in win at UC Irvine ... was errorless on 22 swings against Ohio St. and Penn St. while producing 12 kills ... Ido David has at least one ace in each of the last six matches and is tied for third in the MPSF and 10th in the NCAA in aces/set (0.57) ... he recorded a high of four aces in last week's win at UCSD ... had a combined 39 kills and hit .424 in wins over UC Irvine ... Guy Genis has hit .600 over the past four matches (33k-3e-50ta) ... began the week second in the MPSF with a .581 hitting percentage ... hit .571 with 9 kills at UCSD ... Cole Ketrzynski had a season-high 13 kills in last week's win at UCSD ... had 8 kills in Pauley win over UCI, hitting .636 ... Cole Pender had season-high 11 digs at UCI ... team-high honors in digs with 7 against both Penn State and CSUN ... Ethan Champlin registered a school record four-straight service aces in a set during the win at UC San Diego ... he is 10th in MPSF in service ace average (0.34) ... had a combined 18 kills and 4 blocks in the two wins over UCI ... tied his career-high with 18 kills (also last year vs. Stanford) against Penn St. ... Miles Partain is 7th in NCAA in set assists (9.88) average ... had a career-best three service aces vs. UCI and CSUN ... team hit over .400 in both wins over UCI ... Kevin Kobrine had 12 kills (.385), 6 digs, 5 blocks in win over Penn St. ... Grant Sloane posted a season-best 16 kills in win at UC Irvine ... compiled a 10-kill, 2-block, 2-ace debut match v. CSUN ... Alex Knight had a season-high 9 kills against Lewis ... added 8 kills in win over Penn State to go with 7 digs.
AT HOME -- The Bruins are 5-1 this season at home (2-1 in Wooden; 3-0 in Pauley) ... last season UCLA posted a 7-2 home record, with all matches being played in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom ... Over the past six-plus seasons, UCLA is 48-7 in matches played in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom (2016: 10-1--lost to UCI, 2017: 8-1--CSUN, 2018: 13-2--Long Beach 2xs, 2019: 7-1--Long Beach; 2020: 2-0; 2021: 5-2--lost to USC, BYU; 2022: 3-0). UCLA is 2-1 this season on Collins Court and 14-7 over the last six-plus seasons in the Wooden Center.
UCLA HOSTS 2022 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP -- Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom will be the site of the 2022 Men's Volleyball Semis and Final on May 5 and 7.
MPSF -- Next week, the Bruins will begin Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) play with a home-and-home series against Concordia, Irvine. The top-seeded team after regular season play will host the entire MPSF post-season Tournament beginning on Apr. 20. Pre-season coaches poll: 1-Pepperdine, 2-UCLA, 3-BYU, 4-Grand Canyon, 5-USC, 6-Stanford, 7-Concordia, Irvine.