No. 3 UCLA Falls to No. 4 Penn State in Three Games
Honolulu, Hawai'i - Third-ranked UCLA was swept by fourth-ranked Penn State Friday night in the second round of the 14th Outrigger Hotels Invitational in Honolulu.
Penn State won 30-18, 30-26, 38-36 in one hour and 47 minutes. The victory raised Penn State's record to 2-0 overall, while the Bruins fell to 1-1. Penn State snapped a four-match losing streak to UCLA dating to 1997. The last time the Nittany Lions swept the Bruins was in 1991.
The Nittany Lions outgunned the Bruins, recording 12 more kills (59-47), limiting their passing mistakes and serving for a higher percentage (85.4% to 78.3%). The Bruins averaged six service errors a game and the Nittany Lions averaged just over four. Penn State also outblocked the Bruins 9-5, including eight in Game 3.
In Game 1, Penn State hit .615 (17-1-26) and the Bruins faltered at .241 with five errors in 29 swings. UCLA also committed eight unforced errors, including six at the service line.
In Game 2, the Bruins improved their hitting and limited their mistakes, but the Nittany Lions got six kills from Matt Anderson and five from Max Lipsitz, while never trailing after their fourth point.
The Bruins lost several chances to take Game 3, including a two-point lead at 29-27. Anderson and Lipsitz each spiked kills to tie the score before UCLA's Dylan Bowermaster was blocked by Lipsitz and Max Holt to give the Lions match point at 30-29. A PSU service error and a net violation gave the Bruins a 31-30 lead before UCLA's Weston Dunlap served wide to make it 31-all. After Bowermster was blocked again, the Bruins scored two points on kills by Sean O'Malley and Jamie Diefenbach to give UCLA another game point. But Anderson answered with a kill and Holt got another to give PSU match point again at 34-33. The teams traded points and the Bruins moved ahead 36-35 on a kill by Dunlap. A service error by Diefenbach and two kills by Anderson gave Penn State the victory.
For the second straight night sophomore Garrett Muagututia led the Bruins with 14 kills, eight digs and 15 points. Bowermaster added a career-high of 12 kills and Diefenbach recorded seven kills (.500), an ace and one solo block.
Anderson led the Nittany Lions with 24 kills (.465), followed by Ryan Sweitzer (.459).
The Bruins will meet Hawaii Saturday night in the tournament finale at 7 p.m. (HST).
Article courtesy of UCLA athletics.