Quiroga gets 21 kills as No. 4 UCLA takes down second-ranked UC Irvine
Fourth-ranked UCLA recorded its second upset this month, dispatching No. 2 UC Irvine in four sets at the Bren Center on Saturday.
Set scores were 25-16, 25-16, 19-25, 25-17 in 100 minutes in front of 1,879 fans. UCLA improved to 17-9 overall, 13-7 in MPSF competition. UC Irvine fell to 17-7, 14-6.
More importantly, the Bruins remained in fourth place, ahead of Pepperdine in the conference standings. The top-four finishers in the MPSF race are awarded the home court in the quarterfinals of the MPSF tournament.
Earlier in March the Bruins avenged a home loss by beating third-ranked Long Beach State at the Pyramid. Saturday's victory at UCI extended UCLA's winning streak to six matches -- the Bruins were 6-0 in March -- and snapped a three-match losing streak to the Anteaters dating back to last season. For the month, the Bruins hit .380 and have raised their season hitting percentage to .320, ranked among the top five in the country.
Junior Gonzalo Quiroga earned a match-high 21 kills (.439) and adding an ace and two block assists for 23.0 points. Teammate Dane Worley recorded 13 kills (.526) and three block assists for 14.5 points and Robart Page added 11 kills (.364). Setter Connor Bannan posted 50 assists and libero Evan Mottram recorded 15 digs.
The Bruins converted 15 more kills than the `Eaters (57-42) and limited one of the nation's top hitting teams to an attack percentage of .183. UCI's Colin Mehring, who had been hitting better than 50 percent on the season, was held to four kills in eight swings with an error (.375). Additionally, UCLA out-blocked UCI, 11.0-10.5 and served five aces to the hosts two.
The kill leader for UCI was Connor Hughes with 12.