After sweeping Concordia on Thursday, the UCLA men’s volleyball team concludes the regular season tonight with a match against crosstown rival Southern Cal at the Galen Center at 7 pm PT.
Well, it looks like UCLA will be playing Southern Cal for pride tonight because Pepperdine has swept Concordia, 25-11, 25-20, 25-17, to claim the MPSF regular season title. As a result, the Waves will host the MPSF Tournament.
So, tonight’s match against Southern Cal might not have many implications for the MPSF as the Bruins will finish second no matter how tonight’s match turns out. It could still affect whether or not UCLA receives an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament if the Bruins can’t win the MPSF Tournament.
Last Time Out
On Thursday, UCLA swept the Concordia Eagles, 25-19, 25-19, 25-19. In the first set, the Eagles went up 2-0 and were still ahead by the time it reached 8-5. The Bruins came back to tie it at 8-8, but Concordia bounced right back to retake the lead 10-8. UCLA came storming back with seven consecutive points to take a 15-10 lead and the Eagles couldn’t recover. UCLA went on to win the set 25-19.
The second set started off as a bit of a battle and the teams were tied 4-4 after eight points. The Eagles took their last lead of the set at 5-4 right before the Bruins rattled off six consecutive points to make it 10-5. The Eagles managed to stop the bleeding momentarily by scoring the next point, but UCLA scored five of the next six to take a 15-7 lead. Concordia was able to cut the Bruins’ lead back to four at 15-11 and even to three at 22-19. It wasn’t enough as UCLA finished the set by winning the final three points.
The Bruins won the first two points of the third set and, while Concordia was able to cut UCLA’s lead to just a point on three separate occasions, they just couldn’t tie it up and UCLA ran away with another 25-19 set win to finish the sweep.
Southern Cal Trojans
The Trojans are ranked sixth in the country, just one spot behind the Bruins. But when these teams met back in February, UCLA swept their crosstown rivals. The Trojans have won eight and lost just two since they met the Bruins in February
When you combine that with the fact that this is a rivalry match, UCLA can’t expect Southern Cal to just roll over.
And, UCLA still needs this win in case they don’t earn the MPSF’s automatic bid. I think the Bruins will win this one, but I think it could go as many as five sets tonight.
This is your UCLA vs. Southern Cal men’s volleyball open thread.