MPSF Volleyball Results, Jan. 10

Micah Ma'a, UCLA (Photo by UCLA)
Jan. 10, 2018

No. 3 UCLA 3, No. 5 UC Irvine 2 (21-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-16, 16-14)

Recap by UCLA

The No. 3 men's volleyball team rallied from a two-set deficit to take down No. 5-ranked UC Irvine (2-1) from the Big West Conference and win its fourth straight match to open the 2018 season on Wednesday night in Pauley Pavilion. Scores of the match were 21-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-16, 16-14.

Seniors JT Hatch and Christian Hessenauer provided the spark to turn the Bruin fortunes around. Hatch had five kills in set three and Hessenauer totaled seven kills in set four to help send the match the distance. Hatch added three kills and a block in set five, while Hessenauer added a couple of kills. UCLA is now 4-0 on the year and will next play in a non-league match at UC San Diego on Tuesday night. Friday's scheduled match against UC Santa Barbara has been postponed due to the road closures along the 101 freeway.

In the deciding set, UCLA broke a 4-all tie on a dump kill by setter Micah Ma'a and then took a 6-4 lead after an Irvine error. The Bruins owned a 10-7 lead after a Hatch kill, but the visitors came back to even the score at 11 each. Kills by Hatch and then Ma'a lifted the Bruins into a 13-11 advantage, but UCI fought back to tie the score at 14. Hessenauer came through with a kill for a 15-14 lead and then UCLA took the match after an ace by Ma'a.

UCLA hit just .200 in set one and .105 in set two. Coach John Speraw then made some lineup changes, inserting freshman Garland Peed at libero and freshman Ian Parish at middle blocker. Hatch switched from libero to an outside hitter role and Hessenauer reclaimed his spot at opposite. The moves worked as the Bruins hit .273 in set three and then .714 with no errors on 21 swings. In set five, UCLA hit .588 with just one error in 17 swings.

Set three was a tight battle throughout. A couple of Hatch kills broke a 16-all tie and handed UCLA the lead for good in the set. The Bruins wrapped up the set on a swing by Hessenauer. In set four, UCLA moved to a 7-3 lead and then pulled away to a 19-11 advantage before settling for a 25-16 decision after a kill by Dylan Missry.

Hessenauer (.524) and Daenan Gyimah (.684), who added three blocks, led UCLA with 13 kills apiece. Missry, who totaled a career-best five aces, and Ma'a, who had 48 set assists, topped the dig list with 10 each. UCLA won the blocking battle 6.5 yo 5.0 and outhit the Anteaters .317 to .243 for the match.