MVB Climbs to No. 1; Begins MPSF Play Wednesday
NO. 1 BRUINS BEGIN MPSF PLAY vs. CONCORDIA — UCLA (8-2), ranked No. 1 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll, will play a home-and-home two-match series with Concordia University Irvine (5-2) to begin 2022 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) action. The Bruins will host CUI on Wednesday in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom at 7 p.m. and then travel to play the Eagles on Friday at 7 p.m. UCLA split last season's regular season matches against the Eagles - winning in three sets in Westwood and dropping a five-setter reverse sweep in Irvine. The teams then met for a third time in the quarterfinals of the 2021 MPSF Tournament with the Bruins claiming a 3-1 win in a match played at Provo, Utah.
Feb. 23 - CUI at UCLA (Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom) - 7 p.m.
Live Video: https://pac-12.com/live/ucla
Live Stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=382172
UCLA AS NO. 1 -- UCLA rose to the top spot in Monday's AVCA poll for the first time since week 12 of the 2016 season (week of Mar. 28). The Bruins defeated then No. 1 Long Beach State in five sets on Saturday in a sold out John Wooden Center. The Bruins were also ranked No. 1 in 2016 over an earlier three-week period in weeks 2, 3 and 4 (Jan. 18-Feb. 1). UCLA has been ranked as high as No. 2 in the AVCA poll in 6 of the last 7 seasons (not 2021).
LAST MATCH -- UCLA defeated then-No. 1 Long Beach State last Saturday on Collins Court in five sets (Feb. 19) by scores of 25-20, 25-23, 23-25, 21-25, 15-12. Ethan Champlin (13k), Ido David (12) and Guy Genis (11) led a balanced UCLA attack. UCLA enjoyed a .331-.286 edge in hitting%, 4-2 margin in aces and a 12.5 to 10.0 advantage in team blocks. Miles Partain had 47 set assists, a couple of aces and a team-high 10 digs. The Bruins also received significant contributions late in the match from Kevin Kobrine, Alex Knight and J.R. Norris IV who came off the bench to combine for 11 kills and 3 blocks.
MPSF -- The top-seeded team after regular season play will host the entire MPSF post-season Tournament beginning on Apr. 20.
Pre-season MPSF coaches poll: 1-Pepperdine, 2-UCLA, 3-BYU, 4-Grand Canyon, 5-USC, 6-Stanford, 7-Concordia, Irvine.
HONORS -- Off the Block named Guy Genis as the Co-National Middle Attacker of the Week following his 11-kill, 5-block performance vs. the Beach.
NCAA / MPSF RANKINGS -- Entering the week the Bruins are rated in the Top 10 nationally in kills (2nd-13.10), set assists (4th-12.03) and hitting% (4th-.337). Merrick McHenry rates 3rd in hitting % (.487) and Miles Partain ranks 9th in the nation in set assists per frame at 9.82. UCLA leads the MPSF in hitting% (.337) and kills per set (13.10).
PLAYER NOTES -- Merrick McHenry has hit .514 over the past 5 matches (44k-8e-70ta) ... Ido David has at least one ace in 6 of the last 7 matches and is 19th in the NCAA in aces/set (0.50) ... Guy Genis has hit .615 over the past 5 matches (44k-4e-65ta) ... he began the week first in the MPSF with a .593 hitting percentage ... hit .667 with 11 kills in win vs. Long Beach ... Ethan Champlin led UCLA with 13 kills in win over Beach ... he has at least one ace in each of the past four matches ... he is 9th in MPSF in service ace average (0.35) ... Miles Partain is 9th in NCAA in set assists (9.82) average .... Grant Sloane posted six kills in win over Beach and had a season-best 16 kills in an earlier win at UC Irvine ... Cole Pender had season-high 11 digs at UCI ... Alex Knight had 4 kills in win over Beach ... J.R. Norris IV used his strong serve to spark the Bruins against Long Beach.
AT HOME -- The Bruins are 6-1 this season at home (3-1 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 3-1 this season on Collins Court and 15-7 over the last six-plus seasons in the Wooden Center.
TICKETS NOW ON SALE AS 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 along with a pair of Opening Round Matches on May 3. For ticket information go to: www.uclabruins.com/ncaamvb