Including this afternoon’s game, UCLA has just three regular season men’s volleyball matches left and they are half a game behind Pepperdine in the MPSF standings after the Bruins lost to the Waves on Wednesday in four sets. So, every match matters.
This afternoon, UCLA welcomes the Grand Canyon Antelopes to the John Wooden Center at 2 pm PT.
Last Time Out
On Wednesday night, UCLA traveled up the coast to face Pepperdine in Malibu. It was an important match for the Bruins as a win would have given them a tiebreaker over the Waves. Instead, UCLA lost to them in just four sets.
The first set was a pretty hard fought battle between the teams. UCLA never led by more than a point in this set while Pepperdine never led by more than two through the first 42 points of the set. Then, with the Waves ahead, 22-20, Pepperdine rattled off three of the next four points to win the set, 25-21.
While UCLA led early in set, the teams were tied 11-11 after 22 points. The Bruins took the next point on a Pepperdine service error before the Waves went on a 4-0 mini-run to take a 15-12 lead. The Bruins responded with a 5-0 run of their own to take a 17-15 lead, but they couldn’t hold on to the lead and the set was tied, 23-23. A Micah Ma’a attack error gave the Waves their first set point. Ma’a responded with a kill to tie it, 24-24, while a service ace gave the Bruins a 25-24 lead. The teams kept battling and soon it was tied, 29-29. Finally UCLA managed to score on consecutive points with the score tied to give the Bruins the 31-29 set win.
The final two sets were all Pepperdine. The Waves opened the third set scoring the first two points and that might as well have been the set because that’s as close as UCLA got. Eventually, Pepperdine won the third set, 25-16.
The fourth set was a little bit better, but not much. The Bruins took an early 2-1 lead, but, after six points, it was tied 3-3. At this point, Alex Parks made two costly errors. The first was a ball handling error while the second was an attack error. That put the Waves up, 5-3, and it only got worse from there as Pepperdine went on to win the fourth set, 25-17.
Grand Canyon Antelopes
At just 2-7 in the MPSF, GCU is the worst team in the league. In fact, they’ve lost every MPSF road match they’ve played so far this season. Their only road win of the entire season came against the University of St. Katherine, a small university that was founded in 2010 and which has only 237 full-time equivalent students in San Marcos, CA.
That should tell you just how bad GCU has been on the road this year. The Bruins should end their three-match skid today with a three-set sweep of the Antelopes.
This is your UCLA vs. GCU men’s volleyball open thread.