Tonight, the UCLA men’s volleyball team heads across town to face Ohio State in the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge at the Galen Center.
Last Time Out
Last Friday, UCLA traveled to Phoenix to play Grand Canyon University. While the match wasn’t as easy as it was expected to be, the result was what was expected as the Bruins won the match, 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 25-23.
In the first set, UCLA jumped out to the early lead, but GCU managed to tie the set up at 16-16. At that point, the Bruins went on a 5-1 run to take a 21-17 lead and they went on to win the set, 25-20.
The Antelopes jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the second set and never looked back, UCLA slowly crept back into the set to trail 20-18, but that was as close as the Bruins got. GCU went on to win the second set, 25-21.
GCU lead early on in the third set as well, but, with the Antelopes up, 11-8, UCLA went on an 11-3 run and took a 19-14 lead. But Grand Canyon wasn’t done yet. They scored on six of the next eight rallies to cut the Bruins’ lead to 21-20. UCLA scored the next two points while GCU then did the same. The Bruins finished the set by winning two of the final three points as they won the set 25-23 to take a two set to one lead.
The final set was another battle. Grand Canyon has a 23-22 lead in this set, but UCLA managed to score the next three points to win this set, 25-23, and the match, 3-1.
Four Bruins recorded double-digit kills. Brandon Rattray led both teams with 15 kills while Daenan Gyimah had 14. Austin Matautia added 12 and Sam Kobrine had 11. Meanwhile, Micah Ma’a led UCLA with 51 assists and 10 digs.
Ohio State Buckeyes
What a difference a year makes. Last season, the Ohio State Buckeyes made it as far as the NCAA semifinals where they lost to Long Beach State. This season, the Buckeyes are just 6-12 and are in seventh place in the Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association.
The Bruins also had a match against Ohio State last year and, while UCLA won, they needed five sets to do it. Given that the Buckeyes have had such a tough season, I don’t expect tonight’s match to go to five sets like last year’s match did.
That said, I’m thinking that the Buckeyes will still probably take one set.
This is your UCLA vs. Ohio State men’s volleyball open thread.