April 17, 2010
Courtesy of UCLA
Seventh-ranked UCLA upset No.1 Stanford Friday night in five games in Pauley Pavilion. The win represented UCLA’s third victory this season against a team ranked atop the national coaches poll.
The Bruins won 30-24, 23-30, 21-30, 30-26, 15-7 in two hours and 29 minutes in front of 1,108 fans. The victory raised the Bruins’ overall record to 16-12, 11-10 in league play. Stanford fell to 18-6, 15-6 in MPSF action. Pepperdine’s victory at Long Beach State on Wednesday night assured the Bruins a berth in the conference playoffs. Tomorrow night’s match against Pacific will determine the Bruins’ seed.
Friday night’s match was clearly one of embers and ashes for both teams. The Bruins started and finished hot; the Cardinal sizzled in the first three games before being extinguished by UCLA’s blazing hitters and torrid block.
In the first game, the Bruins hit .577 on the strength of five kills (and zero errors) apiece from sophomores Jack Polales and Thomas Amberg and four kills from senior Garrett Muagututia. UCLA also recorded four total blocks and two aces to none in both categories by Stanford. The Cardinal committed seven costly service errors, but hit better than 42%.
Stanford’s hitting and digging dominated Games 2 and 3 as freshman Brad Lawson recorded eight kills and senior Evan Romero connected on seven. The Cardinal out-blocked the Bruins 6.0-1.0 and hit for an aggregate percentage of 41.3%.
In the final two games, the Bruins ignited anew. After falling to an attack percentage of less than 15% in Games 2 & 3, UCLA hit .300 in Game 4. In that game, Muagututia pounded seven kills and sophomore Nick Vogel added five. The Bruins also added two blocks and an ace in this game.
In Game 5, Muagututia carried the Bruins again. The UCLA senior pounded six kills without an error and added a huge block assist with Vogel. He scored four of the Bruins’ first five points as UCLA raced to an 8-2 lead at the changeover. In the end, he led all players with 23 kills (.400) and 25.0 points. He also led the team with 13 digs.
As a team, the Bruins hit .900 in the final set.
For the match, three other Bruins recorded double-digit kills: Amberg recorded 13 kills (.462) and 15.5 points, Polales added 12 kills, an ace and four block assists and Vogel smacked 11 kills (.360), an ace and blocked eight balls for 16.0 points. Senior setter Kevin Ker recorded 61 assists, one kill, two aces, nine digs and 3.5 points.
Romero led the Cardinal with 19 kills and 20.5 points, followed by Lawson’s 17 kills and 18.5 points.
UCLA will end its regular season Saturday night with a 7 p.m. match against Pacific in Pauley Pavilion.