MVB Aces Tritons
The No. 2 UCLA men's volleyball team, now 2-0 on the season, captured a straight set win over UC San Diego (1-1) on Friday afternoon in a match played at the UC Santa Barbara Asics Tournament. Scores of the match were 25-18, 25-16, 25-14.
The Bruins out aced the Tritons 18-2 for the match to equal the school record for aces in a match which was also accomplished last season in a contest at Fort Valley State. The 18-ace performance also ties the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) record for a match which is held by both the Bruins and the Trojans. Freshman Andrew Rowan fired off six aces to lead a total of six Bruins who totaled multiple aces on the match. UCLA hit .377 for the contest paced by Cole Ketrzynski's nine kills.
After falling behind early, UCLA came back to even the first set score at 6-6 on a Ketrzynski kill. Cooper Robinson followed with two straight aces and the Bruin lead soon grew to 14-9 after back-to-back aces by Ketrzynski. Kyle Vom Steeg's ace made it 17-11. Another ace, this one by Matthew Edwards, upped the gap to 20-14. J.R. Norris IV's ace ended the first set with a 25-18 win. The total of seven aces in single set tied the school record which was last achieved against Fort Valley State a year ago.
Rowan helped serve the Bruins out to a 4-1 edge in the early going of set two. UCSD came back to level the score at 5-all. A Vom Steeg ace put UCLA in front 9-6. A block by Norris IV and Ketrzynski extended the lead to 13-9. A couple of Vom Steeg kills put UCLA up 16-11 and 18-13. Edwards and Ketrzynski combined for a block to make it 20-13. Norris IV's swing moved UCLA ahead by 22-16. Two aces by Rowan finished off the set at 25-16.
UCLA broke away from the Tritons in set three thanks to Edwards' strong serve, moving from a 8-6 edge to 12-6 after a pair of aces from the redshirt freshman. Back-to-back kills by Robinson put UCLA up 16-10. Norris IV's kills and blocks helped the Bruins extend the margin to 20-11. A pair of aces by Rowan closed out set three and the match at 25-14.
The Bruins will now square off with the host team, No. 7 UC Santa Barbara, at 8 p.m. on Saturday night in the final match of the UCSB Asics Tournament. UCLA then returns home to host No. 15 Princeton on Jan. 14 at 6 p.m. on Collins Court in the John Wooden Center.