This afternoon, the UCLA men’s volleyball team will play another game as a part of the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge when the Bruins face off against the Penn State Nittany Lions at 5 pm at the Galen Center across town.
Last Time Out
Last night, the UCLA Bruins swept the Ohio State Buckeyes, 25-21, 25-20, 25-21. Austin Matautia led the Bruins with nine kills while Micah Ma’a added 27 assists.
The first set started a little slow as the teams alternated scoring on the first ten points. First, UCLA would score and, then, Ohio State would, leaving them tied 5-5. The Bruins then went on a 6-2 to take an 11-7 lead and they never looked back. Ohio State did manage to cut the lead to a point on multiple occasions, but with the score, 15-14, UCLA used a 5-2 mini-run to end the Buckeyes hopes of tying the set back up as the Bruins went on to win the set, 25-21.
The second set was all-Bruins also. After UCLA scored the first two points, Ohio State quickly bounced back to take a 3-2 lead. But, the Bruins roared back with a 5-0 run which became a 7-1 run and then a 10-3 run. The Buckeyes couldn’t get any closer than two points down after that and UCLA went on to win this set, 25-20.
The final set was a tougher battle that featured seven ties. The final tie in the set came with the score, 21-21. That’s when, with the match win within reach UCLA sandwiched a pair of kills by Grant Maleski and Austin Matautia in between a pair of attack errors by the Buckeyes to finish up the set and the match with four consecutive points as the Bruins won set three, 25-21 to complete the sweep.
Penn State Nittany Lions
Like Ohio State, the Nittany Lions have run a successful men’s volleyball program over the years, but, also like the Buckeyes, it’s been a tough season for Penn State. The Nittany Lions are just 8-9 overall after last night’s loss to #11 Southern Cal in five sets.
The Nittany Lions’ woes are due to their inability to beat ranked teams. In fact, six of Penn State’s nine losses this season have come at the hands of ranked teams. Meanwhile, they have yet to beat a single ranked team.
Penn State may be tougher to beat than Ohio State was last night, but that shouldn’t affect the final result. UCLA should win this match, but I’ll be surprised if the Bruins are able to pull off a sweep as I think that UCLA will need four sets to win this one.
This is your UCLA Bruins vs. Penn State Nittany Lions men’s volleyball open thread.