MVB Mows Down Trojans in Three
The No. 1 UCLA men's volleyball team (16-3, 6-1) upped its first-place lead in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings with a sweep of USC (17-5, 4-3) in a match played on Thursday night in the Galen Center Pavilion. Scores of the contest were 25-23, 25-19, 25-17. The win marked the first home loss this season by the Trojans in 13 outings. Kevin Kobrine led a balanced Bruin attack with 14 kills for his fourth straight double-digit effort against MPSF opposition this season.
UCLA moved out in front 3-1 in the early stages of set one behind the serve of Miles Partain and a Merrick McHenry block solo. USC quickly evened the score at 3 and then the score was level at points 4 through 14. USC put back-to-back points together and grabbed a 14-16 advantage. Kevin Kobrine's swing tied the score at 17-all. Consecutive kills from Ethan Champlin and Kobrine put UCLA into the lead at 20-19. A Trojan service error and a block by McHenry/Kobrine pushed UCLA into a 22-20 edge. Knight's third kill of the set gave UCLA its largest lead of the set at 23-20. USC closed to 24-23 before a Trojan attack error ended the set for a 25-23 Bruin win.
Miles Partain recorded the first ace of the match to help stake UCLA to a 2-0 lead to begin set two. USC came back to even the score at 7-all. The Bruins answered with a run of five straight points featuring another ace by Partain and a block solo by Kobrine. After the Trojans came back to narrow the margin to 14-12, Guy Genis added a kill and a pair of blocks to push UCLA in front 17-12. An ace by Knight made it 19-13. Kobrine kills put UCLA up 22-17 and then 24-19. A Genis/Partain block finished off the set for a 25-19 win.
Aces by Champlin, McHenry and Kobrine helped UCLA begin the third set with a 6-3 lead. A block by Champlin/McHenry increased the gap to 9-5. A series of Trojan errors and a Champlin kill extended the difference to 13-6. Knight's roll shot made it 18-10. Another Kobrine kill put UCLA in charge 23-15 and then he ended the set and match with a crosscourt swing for a 25-17 win.
UCLA outhit the Trojans .364 to .190 and won the battle of the block 7.0 to 5.5. The Bruins had six aces to one for the home team. The same two programs will battle it out again on Saturday night at 5 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom.