UCLA Men's Volleyball Heads to the Desert to Take on GCU
The Bruins started the season with a win at home over the Antelopes. This weekend, they will play them twice on the road.
This evening, the #6 UCLA men’s volleyball team visits the #9 Grand Canyon University Antelopes in the first of two meetings this weekend. After splitting a pair of matches with Pepperdine, the Bruins swept a two-game midweek series with Stanford last week, 3-1 and 3-0. Tonight’s game won’t be televised, but it will be live streamed.
Last Time Out
In the second meeting against Stanford on Wednesday last week, the Bruins swept the Cardinal, 25-23, 25-21, 25-18. The first set against the Cardinal was a back-and-forth battle. The Bruins took an early 3-0 lead and that would be the largest lead either team would have in the set. Finally with it tied as 22-22, UCLA rattled off three of the next four points to take this set on a kill by Merrick McHenry, 25-23.
With the second set tied at 3-3, the Bruins went on a 9-1 run that Stanford could not recover from. However, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. With the score 21-14, UCLA, the Cardinal went on a 5-0 run and they managed to close the final score in the set to 25-21.
The final set started off as another battle and it was tied as late as 13-13. That’s when Ethan Champlin started a 4-1 run for the Bruins. It wasn’t a huge lead, but it was enough as Stanford was not able to score on consecutive points for the remainder of the match and the Bruins went on to win the set, 25-18, and the match, 3-0.
Champlin led the Bruins with 15 kills and Sam Kobrine led them with 37 digs.
Grand Canyon Antelopes
I scratched my head when I looked at this week’s rankings because the Grand Canyon Antelopes were ranked ninth, despite a dismal 4-8 record. But this is a team which beat BYU at home and Stanford on the road. Their other two wins came against Southern Cal and Concordia.
So, while they haven’t been “consistently good,” they’ve shown flashes. That makes the dangerous enough to steal one from a clearly superior team and, make no mistake, UCLA is a clearly superior team. If the Bruins go into tonight’s match on auto-pilot, look for the ‘Lopes to steal one at home. If UCLA comes in focused on the task at hand, then they should sweep tonight and tomorrow
# 6 UCLA Men’s Volleyball (11-4)