Tonight, the UCLA men’s volleyball team is in St. Charles, Missouri for a match against the Lindenwood Lions at 5:30 pm PT.
On Wednesday, UCLA lost their first match of the season when the #2 Bruins were swept by the #12 CSUN Matadors in Northridge. While the Bruins should have been able to beat the Matadors, they collapsed in the first set. With a 20-18 lead, UCLA watched CSUN go on a 7-2 run to win the set. The second set was all-CSUN from the beginning as the Matadors scored the first two points of the set and never trailed en route to a 25-16 set win. UCLA led for most of the third set before the Bruins collapsed again and lost it 25-23, allowing Cal State Northridge to complete the sweep.
Last night, the Bruins traveled to McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois, outside St. Louis. UCLA swept the Lions, 25-20, 29-27, 25-21. Brandon Rattray led the Bruins with 13 kills while Daenan Gyimah had 11 and Austin Matautia had 10. Micah Ma’a added 45 assists and nine digs.
In the first set, with the Bruins trailing 6-5, Grant Maleski tied it up and then put the Bruins ahead with an ace serve. A McKendree attack error put UCLA up 8-6. From that point on, UCLA never trailed in the set and went on to win the set, 25-20.
The second set was a back-and forth battle which UCLA led through most of. But, UCLA almost lost the set. With the score tied 23-23, Rattray committed an attack error that gave McKendree a set point, but a Dylan Missry kill tied it back up at 24-24. A Missry attack error gave the Lions their second set point, but, again, they couldn’t close it out as a service error tied it up at 25-25. The Bruins were unable to convert on their first two set points and it was 27-27. Finally, UCLA got a pair of consecutive kills from Gyimah and Rattray to win the set, 29-27.
The third set last night continued the battle from the second set through the first 28 points. With the score tied 14-14, UCLA went on a 6-2 run to make it 20-16. That would be enough because the Lions couldn’t get any closer than three points down after that as the Bruins took the third set 25-21 to complete their sweep of the match.
Lindenwood University is a Division II school in St. Charles, Missouri. Because so few schools play men’s volleyball, Division I and Division II schools compete for one championship. So, facing D-II schools like Lindenwood and McKendree in men’s volleyball is more common.
Last night, Lindenwood lost their season opener against the University of Charleston in five sets.
Tonight’s match should be a piece of cake for the Bruins. Lindenwood isn’t a very good team. Last season, the Lions went 9-16 and they struggled against most of the Division I teams they faced.
There’s no reason to think that they will be much better.
This is your UCLA men’s volleyball vs. Lindenwood open thread.