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UCLA Men's Volleyball Travels to Pepperdine After Comeback Win
The Bruins rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win Thursday
The #8 UCLA men’s volleyball team moved into second place in the MPSF standings on Thursday when they came from behind to defeat the #4 Pepperdine Waves at Pauley Pavilion, 3-2. This evening, the Bruins will look to hold onto it when they travel to Malibu for a rematch at Firestone Fieldhouse at 5 pm PT.
Last Time Out
The Bruins opened the match by scoring the first point. Pepperdine responded by scoring the next two points. The teams went back and forth and, after 18 points, the score was tied 9-9. At that point, UCLA went on a 5-1 run to take a 14-10 lead, but the Waves followed with a 5-1 run of their own. That tied the set back up, 15-15. With the still tied at 16-16, UCLA went on a 4-1 run, giving the Bruins a 20-17 lead and it looked like they would take the first set. But another 5-1 run by the Waves left UCLA trailing, 22-21. The Bruins tied it back up on a kill by Ethan Champlin, but Pepperdine got kills on the next two volleys, giving the Waves their first set point. A Pepperdine service error closed the gap to 24-23, but UCLA was unable to tie it again and the Waves took the first set, 25-23.
The Bruins bounced right back in the second set by scoring the first six points and, soon, they expanded their lead even more. In fact, the Waves were unable to score consecutive points until the score was 20-7, Bruins. With the score 22-9, Pepperdine scored the next three points. That was all the Waves could muster and UCLA scored the final three points to win the second set 25-12.
After the break, the teams split the first 12 points of the third set, but a 5-2 Pepperdine run left the Bruins trailing, 11-8. The closest UCLA could come to overcoming that deficit was one point at 15-14. The Bruins could not tie the set and the Waves went on to win the third set, 25-22.
The Bruins responded to losing the third set by starting the fourth scoring three consecutive points. Pepperdine managed to close the gap to just a point at 3-2, but a 9-3 UCLA run expanded the Bruins’ lead to 12-5. UCLA cruised to a 25-14 win to tie the match up at two sets each and force a fifth and deciding set.
The Bruins and Waves kept the fifth set close early and, after 14 points, the set was tied, 7-7. Pepperdine scored next on an attack error by Cole Ketrzynski. UCLA tied it on the next point, which proved to be the beginning of a 7-1 Bruin run. That gave UCLA their first match point, but a service error allowed the Waves to fight off the end of the match. It wasn’t a long delay, however, as Austin Matautia killed the next point to win the set, 15-10, and the match, 3-2, for UCLA.
Ketrzynski was tied with Merrick McHenry for the most kills by a Bruin. Each had 14 kills while Sam Kobrine led with 43 assists.
With tonight’s match being played in Malibu, it’s very possible that the Waves will flip the script tonight to earn a split for the weekend.
If UCLA can play as well, or perhaps a little better, as they did on Thursday, they could steal a road win from the Waves. Doing so would improve their hold on second place in the MPSF standings and allow them to keep pace with BYU who swept Stanford, 3-0, earlier today.
#8 UCLA Men’s Volleyball (9-3)
Opponent: #4 Pepperdine Waves (7-3)
When: 5:00 pm PT, Saturday, March 13, 2021
Where: Firestone Fieldhouse, Malibu, CA
Live Stream: WatchStadium.com and the Stadium app
Live Stats: UCLA StatBroadcast