UCLA Hosts BYU in NCAA Semifinals

May 2, 2018

NCAA Tournament Central

NCAA Quarterfinal: UCLA 3, Harvard 1 (23-25, 25-21, 25-11, 25-21)

Recap by UCLA

The UCLA men's volleyball team advanced to the NCAA Semifinals for the second time in three seasons after posting a four-set win over Harvard on Tuesday night in Pauley Pavilion. Scores of the NCAA Opening Round match were 23-25, 25-21, 25-11, 25-21. It was UCLA's 18th home win of the season against just one loss.

Senior Christian Hessenauer topped UCLA with a career-high tying 22 kills (.381) and six block assists as he compiled a career-best 26.0 points. Middle blockers Oliver Martin (9-0-9 1.000) and Daenan Gyimah (11-1-20 .500) added five and six block assists, respectively. It was the ninth straight match in which Gyimah had registered a hitting percentage of at least .500. Micah Ma'a set the team to a .390 hitting percentage and recorded an ace for the 10th straight match. Jake Arnitz finished with 11 kills and hit .304. In set one, Harvard separated first, utilizing a 0-3 run to establish a 9-12 lead. UCLA used the serve of Dylan Missry to begin to battle back. A pair of kills by Arnitz tied the score at 19-all and then put the Bruins up 20-19. The Crimson came right back with the next three points for a 20-22 advantage. A Hessenauer kill closed the gap to 21-22, but Harvard scored two of the next three to move to set point. Another kill by Hessenauer saved one set point at 23-24, but a Bruin service error handed the Crimson the win. Harvard hit .348 in the set with 3.5 total blocks. UCLA had seven service errors and six attack errors in the frame. UCLA went down 3-5 to begin set two before a Martin kill tied the score at 6-all. A block by Ma'a pushed UCLA in front 14-12, but Harvard came back to move in front 15-16. A Hessenauer kill evened the score at 16-each and ignited a 5-0 Bruin run. Gyimah's swing put UCLA ahead 20-16 and the Bruins went on to capture the set at 25-21. The Bruins outhit the Crimson .323 to .105 for the set. In set three, UCLA rolled to a 5-0 start. The Bruin block came alive and a wall by Hessenauer / Gyimah made it 8-3. A kill by Oliver lifted the Bruins into a 12-5 edge. A Hessenauer swing made it 17-8. Blocks by Missry / Martin, Martin / Hessenauer and again by Martin / Hessenauer handed the Bruins their final three points in the set for a 25-11 win. UCLA hit .409 with 6.0 total team blocks. UCLA opened up a 4-1 lead to begin set four. Harvard came back to even the score at 7-all. Hessenauer and Arnitz went back-to-back with kills for a 9-7 Bruin advantage. Harvard closed to one at 14-13, 15-14 and 16-15 before a kill by Ma'a sparked a spurt which put UCLA in front 18-15. After Harvard closed to 20-18, Hessenauer answered with a kill. Missry added a spike for a 24-20 margin and Martin delivered the final kill for a 25-21 win. Hessenauer tallied eight kills in the set.

UCLA, now 25-7 on the year, will play next on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. in Semifinal Two against No. 2 seed BYU (22-6). In the other NCAA men's volleyball semifinal match, two-time defending national champion Ohio State, which survived a five-set match against UC Irvine, advanced to play top-seeded Long Beach State in Semifinal One on Thursday which begins at 5 p.m. in Pauley.