The last time the Bruins played, they lost to BYU in the MPSF Championship game. Thankfully, the only negative aspect to that loss is the fact that UCLA needs to play an opening round match tonight.
The Bruins have drawn the weakest possible opening round opponent in the Harvard Crimson. Harvard earned their NCAA Tournament bid by defeating Princeton in the EIVA Volleyball Tournament Championship Game.
But the Crimson didn’t exactly have a stellar season. They finished the regular season in third place in the EIVA behind George Mason and Penn State. Harvard lost regular season conference matches to George Mason and Penn State as well as non-conference matches to Southern Cal, Concordia and Cal State Northridge.
Look for the Crimson to be setting the ball for Riley Moore. Moore is a 6’ 5” tall middle blocker who boasts a .410 hitting percentage. He is ranked as one of the top five players in the nation in hitting percentage.
When Harvard isn’t setting Moore, the Bruins will need to watch out for Brad Gretsch. Gretsch was named the Most Outstanding Player of the EIVA Tournament after having 30 kills and a .378 hitting percentage.
Overall, the Bruins need to be careful to avoid looking past the Crimson to a potential rematch of the MPSF Championship Game against BYU. As long as the Bruins can do that, it should be a relatively quick match. I’m expecting UCLA to sweep the Crimson to set up that MPSF rematch at home.
This is your UCLA Bruins vs. Harvard Crimson NCAA Tournament open thread.
Go Bruins!!! Bring home 116!!