No. 2 UCLA stayed its course with a sixth-straight victory in the form of a sweep of crosstown rival USC, while No. 14 Pepperdine upset No. 4 UC Irvine on the road in Wednesday action.
#2 UCLA def. #16 USC 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-19)
- UCLA moves to 14-1, 3-0 MPSF; USC falls to 4-9, 1-2 MPSF
- Los Angeles, California
- Box Score
- USC Recap / UCLA Recap
The UCLA Bruins extended their current win streak to six matches, while moving to 3-0 in MPSF play and 14-1 on the season, marking the program’s best start since 2005 (15-1).
Key Stats: The Bruins hit at a .458 clip, well over their .363 season percentage, which ranks second nationally. The effort included a .591 clip in the opening stanza and a .556 effort in Set 3. UCLA nearly doubled the Trojans’ offensive output, besting USC 44-23 in kills. The homestanding Bruins also topped USC in aces (6-1) and blocks (9-7.5).
Stat Leaders: Junior outside Dylan Missry and senior opposite Christian Hessenauer each turned in double-digit kill tallies to lead the Bruin attack. Missry notched 12 kills and a team-best six digs, while hitting at a .429 clip. Hessenauer put down 11 kills at a .412 clip, while adding a team-high six digs and five blocks. National hitting percentage leader sophomore middle Daenan Gyimah added seven kills on an errorless .700 effort (7-0-10), while also chipping in five stuffs and a team-best two aces. Two other players – redshirt senior middle Oliver Martin and senior outside JT Hatch – managed six putaways each to round out the Bruin offense.
Junior outside Ryan Moss was best among the Trojans with nine kills, while redshirt junior outside Jack Wyett added six putdowns to go with a team-best four digs and four blocks. Freshman middle Sam Lewis served up the team’s lone ace.
It Was Over When: The teams played to a 15-all stalemate in Set 3 with neither earning more than a two-point edge to that point. It was a one-point game late at 19-18 UCLA, before the Bruins turned it on to close out the victory. Hatch, Gyimah and Hessenauer notched kills in the final 6-1 run, which was capped by a pair of Gyimah aces.
#14 Pepperdine def. #4 UC Irvine 3-1 (25-17, 34-32, 13-25, 25-16)
- Pepperdine moves to 6-3; UC Irvine falls to 10-3
- Irvine, California
- Box Score
- Pepperdine Recap / UC Irvine Recap
Key Stats: Thirteen aces were the difference in the match for Pepperdine in a four-set road win over UC Irvine. The Waves outserved UCI 13-4, but the rest of the stats were fairly even. Both teams managed 51 kills, while UCI outhit Pepperdine .301 to .281. Pepperdine boasted a slim 8-7.5 lead in blocks.
Stat Leaders: Three Waves players turned in double-digit kill efforts led by redshirt junior outside David Wieczorek‘s 19. Senior outsides Alex Harthaller (13) and Colby Harriman (10) followed. Each of the three also served up three aces alongside junior middle Max Chamberlain. Harriman hit at a team-best .368 clip, while Wieczorek hit .350. Junior outside Michael Wexter put up four blocks, while Harriman added three.
Junior opposite Karl Apfelbach and freshman outside Joel Schneidmiller shouldered the offense for UCI with 17 and 14 kills respectively. Schneidmiller served up two of the team’s four aces, while Apfelbach notched seven digs and an ace. Sophomore middle Matthew Younggren was next on the team with seven kills, hitting .538, while sophomore middle Scott Stadick and senior outside Aaron Koubi also notched five kills apiece. Stadick also put up a match-high five blocks.
It Was Over When: The Waves pulled away early, using a 6-0 run to go ahead 11-4 in Set 4. Two kills and a block by Wieczorek guided the rally, which was capped by a Harthaller ace. UCI was within five at 12-7, but would get no closer as Pepperdine scored nine of the next 11 to put things out of reach at 21-9. Harthaller notched three kills and the Waves served up three aces, two by Wieczorek and one by Chamberlain, in the run. UCI scored five of the next six, with two kills by Patrick Sohacki, and one each by Younggren and Apfelbach, but that only narrowed the gap to eight at 22-14. Two service errors and a Wexter putaway closed out the match for Pepperdine with the 25-16 win.