No. 4 UCLA Defeates No. 9 UC Irvine for Third Straight Victory
Los Angeles, Calif. - Fourth-ranked UCLA stifled surging No. 9 UC Irvine Friday night in a key MPSF match at UCLA. The Bruins snapped the Anteaters' three-match winning streak and extended their own streak to three matches.
UCLA won 23-30, 30-25, 30-26, 31-29 in two hours and five minutes before 1,123 fans in Pauley Pavilion. The attendance was a season-high at home. The victory raised the Bruins' overall record to 8-3, 5-2 in conference play. The Anteaters fell to 6-6, 3-4.
After a sloppy first game in which the Bruins committed seven hitting errors, eight service miscues and were out-blocked 3.5-2.0, they rallied to sweep the next three games on the shoulders of junior Jamie Diefenbach and sophomore Garrett Muagututia.
Mugututia, who hit .000 in Game 1 after missing practice for a week due to illness, slammed 12 kills with just two errors over the next three games to finish with an attack percentage of .323. He added nine digs, three block assists and an ace for 16.5 points. Diefenbach also pounded 14 kills (.600) and recorded two aces and three block assists for 17.5 points. Fourth-year junior D.J. Stromath recorded 10 kills (.400), an ace and led the team with a career-high of seven total blocks. Junior Ryan Ratelle had 11 kills and 13 points.
For the Anteaters, junior Jon Stellar recorded 20.5 points on 18 kills (.371), two aces and one block assist. Cory Yoder added 16 kills (.389).
The Bruins continue their homestand next week, hosting USC on Feb. 6 and Pepperdine on Feb. 9. Both matches begin at 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion.
Article courtesy of UCLA athletics.