#4 UCLA Snaps 3-Game Losing Streak with Win Over #9 Pepperdine

  0 Braden Keith | February 12th, 2017 | College - Men's Indoor, MPSF, News

Match Stats

  • #4 UCLA def. #9 Pepperdine 3-2 (23-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 15-7)
  • UCLA moves to 10-4 (7-3 MPSF); Pepperdine falls to 5-4 (3-3 MPSF)
  • Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, California
  • Attendance: 1,785
  • Match Stats

The 5th-ranked UCLA Bruins halted a 3-game tailspin on Saturday by beating #9 Pepperdine in 5 at home. This was the 4th game in a row, and the first they’ve won, without outside hitter Jake Arnitz in the lineuup. Arnitz, the team’s leader in kills/set (3.35) and hitting percentage (.355) this season has been sidelined with injury for the last two weeks.

In his absence, JT Hatch has stepped up offensively, including a season-high 24 kills on Saturday. His last two games, combined with 19 against Stanford on Thursday, have each been his best outputs of the season.

Besides his .340 hitting percentage, Hatch also dug a career-high 16 shots – joining Jackson Bantle (11) in double digits defensively for the Bruins.

Mitch Stahl, who was also sidelined this season but was back in action this weekend, added 11 kills and 5 blocks for the Bruins.

When it came down to crunch time in the 5th-and-final set, it was a team effort for the Bruins. They earned 13 out of the 15 points in that set offensively, including 3 kills and an ace by Hatch, 2 by Stahl, 2 kills and an ace from Dylan Missry, 2 by Oliver Martin, 1 by Hagen Smith from the setter position, and a well-timed ace from Micah Ma’a, who has really righted his own ship after some tough outings earlier in the month.

Pepperdine, in their effort to nearly pull-off the upset, got 14 kills from Michael Wexter (5 errors, 45 attacks, .200 hitting) and 15 kills from David Wieczorek (6 errors, 38 attacks, .237 hitting). Joshua Stewart played well out of the middle for the Waves, with 4 kills and 39 assists from the setter position.


Press Releases

Courtesy UCLA Athletics:

No. 4-ranked UCLA rallied to take the final two sets in a five-set MPSF win at No. 9 Pepperdine on Saturday night. Scores of the match were 23-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 15-7. JT Hatch registered 24 kills, hit .340 and totaled a career best 16 digs to lead the Bruin attack. UCLA is now 10-4 overall and 7-3 in league play. The Bruins will host No. 13 CSUN on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion.

The Bruins used a trio of three-point runs to move out to a 10-3 advantage in set five. Mitch Stahl provided some of the early firepower in the set with a couple of kills and an ace. Hatch tallied an ace and kills for points 13 and 15. Dylan Missry’s ace pushed the Bruins to match point. The Bruins outhit the Waves .600 to .235 for the set.

In set four, the Bruins went down 16-17 before Oliver Martin entered the match and promptly evened the score at 17-all, after teaming with Micah Ma’a on a block. A Martin kill handed UCLA a 23-21 lead. Pepperdine closed to one at 23-22 and 24-23, but a Ma’a swing gave the Bruins the set.

In set three, Pepperdine broke open a close set with a mini-run for a 15-17 lead. The Waves pushed the margin to 18-22 and then to 21-24 before taking a 21-25 win. UCLA hit just .094 for the set, with eight errors.

The Bruins opened up leads of 8-5 and 12-8 in set two. Pepperdine closed to 16-13, but UCLA broke away to lead 21-15 after a Hatch kill. Another Hatch blast made it 23-16 and the Bruins took the set after a service error.

UCLA jumped to an 11-7 edge in set one. The Waves slowly chipped away at that gap and closed to 15-14. UCLA held on to the lead until Pepperdine evened the score at 21-all. The Waves then grabbed the lead for good on a couple of Bruin errors and won the set 23-25.

Hatch’s total of 24 kills was one shy of his career-best of 25 set at USC in 2015. Stahl finished with a season-best 11 kills (.611) and had five blocks to move past Scott Morrow into third place on the all-time school block assist and total blocks lists. Ma’a and Missry totaled eight kills each, with Ma’a adding five blocks. Jackson Bantle recorded 11 digs. Pepperdine won the blocking battle, with an opponent’s season-high total of 17.0 to 11.5 for the Bruins. UCLA had five aces to three for the Waves. The Bruins hit .252 for the match to .209 for Pepperdine.

Courtesy Pepperdine Athletics:

MALIBU, Calif.: – The 9th-ranked Pepperdine men’s volleyball team put in solid work and a big fight against 4th-ranked UCLA in Firestone Fieldhouse this Saturday night, eventually falling in a five-set showdown. After splitting the first four sets, 25-23, 19-25, 25-21, 23-25, the Bruins came out strong in the fifth for a 15-7 win to post the MPSF victory.

Senior setter Joshua Stewart (San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine College Prep/Pacific) impressed for the second-consecutive night, amassing his fourth career double-double with 39 assists and 11 digs. He also added a career best .667 hitting percentage on a 4-0-6 attack output and tabbed three blocks, including one solo towards the Waves’ effort.

Overall, the Waves (5-4, 3-3 MPSF) tabbed a .209 success rate with 51 kills on 139 swings. The Bruins (10-4, 7-3) hit for a .252 percentage with 64 kills on 143 attempts. Pepperdine out-blocked the opposition with 17.0 team blocks, compared to 11.5, but UCLA was good for five aces and 59 digs as opposed to the home team’s three aces and 46 digs.

Senior Mitchell Penning (St. Louis, Mo./Westminster Christian Academy) amassed a career-best nine blocks, including one solo rejection, while adding three smashes. Redshirt-sophomore David Wieczorek (Chicago, Ill./Loyola Academy) led the squad with 15 kills on a .237 attack ouput, while adding eight digs and two blocks.

Sophomore Michael Wexter (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way West HS) produced 14 kills, eight digs and three blocks. Junior libero Weston Barnes (Laguna Beach, Calif./Laguna Beach HS/George Mason) led the team with 14 digs and a solid 29 service receptions with not a single error.

Junior Alex Harthaller (Innsbruck, Austria/Akademischeg Gymnasium/IPFW) was good for a team-best three aces, along with four blocks and eight kills. Redshirt-junior Clay Carr (Costa Mesa, Calif./Newport Harbor HS) added five kills and five blocks.

The Waves stunned the Bruins to open the match in set one. After falling behind 11-7, the Waves started to work back in, but remained one-to-two points behind the opposition until the 20-21 mark. Carr put in four strong services to offset the Bruins and force three attack errors to give the Waves the edge and Pepperdine opened the night with a 25-23 set win.

In the second, the teams worked back-and-forth for a while, but UCLA ultimately had the edge with an early 12-8 lead. Pepperdine was unable to come back from the early deficit and the opposition evened the match with a 25-19 victory.

The energy was on both sides of the net in the third, with the Waves and Bruins going head-to-head through 8-8, 12-12 and 15-15 tied scores before the home team would surge forward. A combined block from Penning, Stewart and Harthaller, followed by a Carr, Wexter collaboration put the Waves ahead 22-18 down the back stretch. Stewart dished out back-to-back kills to Harthaller and Penning to pick up momentum, and a final smash from Harthaller put the Waves ahead 2-1 on the night with a 25-21 win.

UCLA picked up an 11-8 lead in the fourth, but the Waves were quick to tie things up 15-15 with a smash from Wexter. After exchanging advantages en route to a 21-21 tie, UCLA started to edge forward. Two kills from Wexter late in the set put the score at 23-24, but the Bruins put the set away 25-23 on a kill of the team’s own.

With the energy from the fourth-set win and an early ace in the fifth by the Bruins’ Micah Ma’a, the opposition had the enthusiasm and produced a 15-7 set score to shut the match down with a five-set victory.

Next up, Pepperdine hits the road to challenge Cal Baptist and USC at 7 p.m. on February 16 and 18 respectively. Follow Pepperdine @PeppVolleyball on Twitter and Facebook for immediate updates and head to PepperdineWaves.com for recaps, results and more.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of VolleyMob.com. Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined SwimSwam.com as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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