The UCLA men’s volleyball team heads down San Diego way this evening for a match against the UC San Diego Tritons at 7 pm PT.
Last Time Out
Last Saturday, the Bruins hosted #1 Long Beach State and it wasn’t pretty as UCLA was swept in three sets. The first set didn’t start off ugly. The Bruins jumped out to a early 4-0 lead, but with the score 8-4, the 49ers went on a 4-0 run of their own to tie the set. Long Beach would eventually take a slight lead at 14-13 before the UCLA went on a 5-1 run to make it 18-15. The 49ers tied it back up at 21-21 and the race was on for the final points. The Bruins took three of the next five points to earn their first set point on a kill by Brandon Rattray. UCLA couldn’t close it out as Long Beach State tied it up on the next rally. Austin Matautia gave the Bruins their second set point as UCLA took a 25-24 lead. Again, the Bruins couldn’t finish as the 49ers scored the next two points to give them their first set point at 26-25. Matautia was able to tie it back up, but TJ DeFalco gave Long Beach State their second set point. Daenan Gyimah took a pass from Micah Ma’a to tie the set back up at 27-27. DeFalco and Kyle Ensing scored the next two points for Long Beach State to give the 49ers the set win.
In the second set, Long Beach State took a quick 3-0 lead to start the set off with a 6-2 run. The 49ers held onto the lead for most of the set, but, with the score 20-18, UCLA scored a pair of consecutive points to tie the set up 20-20. Unfortunately, Long Beach State responded with three consecutive points of their own to make it 23-20. Rattray cut the lead to two points before DeFalco gave the 49ers their first set point of the second set. After Rattray killed the next volley to force a second set point, he committed a service error to give the second set to Long Beach State.
UCLA took an early 4-1 lead in the third set and held the lead until a service error by Maa tied the set at 6-6. That point was the start of a 4-0 run by Long Beach State which made the score 9-6 and the 49ers didn’t look back after that. J.R. Norris cut the lead to two points at 9-7 but the Bruins wouldn’t get any closer than that as Long Beach State went on to win the third set, 25-17, and the match 3-0.
UC San Diego Tritons
The Bruins faced the Tritons at Pauley three weekends ago and UCLA won the match 3-1. Now, the Tritons host the rematch at RIMAC Arena in La Jolla. Last weekend, the Tritons were swept on the road by then-#8 Lewis University on Friday night and then-#7 Loyola-Chicago on Saturday night. The losses were the Tritons’ first since the lost to UCLA three weekends ago.
Tonight’s match is the home opener for the Tritons. So, I’m looking for them to come out fired up to play at home after playing on the road for almost a month. I still think UCLA will win this one, but I think it will go four sets and, possibly, even five.
This is your UCLA Bruins at UC San Diego Tritons men’s volleyball open thread.