Jan. 5, 2007
Santa Barbara, Calif. - The third-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team advanced to Saturday's championship match of the 43rd Annual Elephant Bar Collegiate Invitational with a 3-0 win over No. 6 UC Santa Barbara Friday night at Robertson Gymnasium. The Bruins will play top-ranked UC Irvine for the tournament title while the Gauchos will take on No. 9 Cal State Northridge in the runner-up match.
Scores of the match were 30-22, 36-34, and 30-26. With the loss, the Gauchos dropped to 1-1 on the young season. UCSB defeated No. 12 USC 3-0 in first round action Friday. UCLA, the reigning national and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champions, improved to 2-0 on the season as it defeated No. 7 Pacific 3-1 earlier in the day.
UCSB jumped out to a 6-0 lead to start the match as senior opposite Evan Patak dropped in a pair of service aces in the spurt. The Bruins tied game one 10-10 on a kill by Paul George and after the two teams traded several points, George served an ace to put UCLA up for good at 15-14. UCLA hit .517 in the opening game with 17 kills and just two errors in 29 attempts.
In the second stanza, UCSB took its first lead (14-13) on an ace by senior outside hitter Bryan Berman. Both teams had several chances to put the game away in the later stages, but attack and service errors cost them. The Bruins, down 34-33, went on a 3-0 run behind a kill from Jamie Diefenbach, a service ace by George, and a Gaucho attack error to ice the win.
Game three was close all the way and was tied 24-24 before the Bruins rattled off three straight points. UCSB couldn't recover and Steve Klosterman put away his 18th kill of the night to end the match.
UCLA, which ended up hitting .404 for the match, got 18 kills from both George and Klosterman. Klosterman added six digs and two blocks to the effort, while Diefenbach finished with six blocks. The Bruins aced the Gauchos nine times, including three each for George and Beau Peters. Peters had 46 assists in the victory.
UCSB hit .333 and swung at a .419 clip in the third game. For the third consecutive match, Patak led the Gauchos with 18 kills. Junior outside hitter Michael Fisher also hit double figures with 10 kills. Defensively, Bryan Berman, a senior outside hitter, led UCSB with six digs. Senior middle David Kennedy posted five blocks.
In the other three second round match-ups, UC Irvine took out Cal State Northridge in three, Pacific defeated USC 3-1, and No. 10 Long Beach State outlasted Stanford 3-2.
All four of Saturday's matches will be played at Robertson Gymnasium.
Second Round Results (overall season records in parentheses):
#1 UC Irvine (3-0) def. #9 Cal State Northridge (1-1), 3-0 (30-19, 30-24, 30-22)
#3 UCLA (2-0) def. #6 UC Santa Barbara (1-1), 3-0 (30-22, 36-34, 30-26)
#10 Long Beach State (1-1) def. Stanford (0-2), 3-2 (30-22, 27-30, 22-30, 30-26, 15-13)
#14 Pacific (1-1) def. #12 USC (0-2), 3-1 (30-24, 30-27, 26-30, 30-27)
Final Round Match-ups
Saturday, January 6
#12 USC vs. Stanford (7th/8th place match), 11 a.m.
#10 Long Beach State vs. #14 Pacific (5th/6th place match), 1:30 p.m.
#6 UC Santa Barbara vs. #9 Cal State Northridge (3rd/4th place match), 4 p.m.
#1 UC Irvine vs. #3 UCLA (championship match), 6:30 p.m.