No. 5 USC Men's Volleyball Falls to No. 1 UCLA in First Loss at Home in 2022
LOS ANGELES--Kevin Kobrine had 14 kills (.591) and Ethan Champlin added 9 kills (.500) as the No. 1 ranked UCLA men's volleyball team defeated No. 5 USC 3-0 in the Galen Center Pavilion on Thursday (Mar. 31). This was USC's first home loss of the 2022 season.
USC fell to 17-5 on the season (4-3 MPSF) while the Bruins improved to 16-3 (6-1 MPSF).
Sam Korbine led the Trojans with 10 kills (.300) and added 1 dig, 1 block and 1 assist for Troy. Simon Gallas tallied 7 kills (.107) and collected 5 digs, 2 bocks and 1 ace.
As a team, UCLA hit .364 compared to USC's .190.
It was USC's largest home attendance (975) since the 2017 match against UCLA with 1,000. The match was also USC's first 3-0 loss at home since falling to Grand Canyon in 2021.
As any USC-UCLA rivalry match is, it was heated from the start. After setter Chris Hall put up a perfect backset against the flow to Gallas, USC took an early 6-5 lead. The Bruins continued to push points and stayed even with the Trojans. UCLA made the final jump at the end of the set and won with a close 25-23 score. Not surprising as he was playing his former team, Kobrine was the hot hitter on the Trojan side of the net, hitting .571 in the first set.
After starting the set even at 6-6, the Bruins jumped ahead at 11-7 to force USC into a timeout to regroup. As UCLA continued to maintain the momentum, USC head coach Jeff Nygaard subbed in Luke Hobus at opposite and Jameson McKibbin at setter to ignite a spark. Shortly thereafter, the Trojans scored two in a row off a McKibbin dump and Schroeder-Bronwing block. It wasn't enough to hold off the Bruins, and UCLA took the second set 25-19 to take a 2-0 overall lead in the match.
UCLA continued to carry the momentum into the third set and never lost control of the lead. After the Bruins took a 16-9 lead, USC fought to stay in the set, but UCLA closed it out with a 25-17 score to win the match.
USC's next action takes the team across town to Westwood, Calif. for a rematch against the Bruins on Saturday (Apr. 2) at 5 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion.