The Bruins were stumped in their first road game of the season.
No. 2 UCLA men’s volleyball (2-1) fell to No. 12 CSUN (3-1) in straight sets in a nonconference match Wednesday night at the Matadome. The match was the Bruins’ first road game and loss of the season.
“It was just a full thrashing,” said coach John Speraw. “We literally got beat in every category tonight.”
The contest was evenly matched for the majority of the first set.
CSUN middle blocker Daniel Wetter, however, led a late rally, and the set resulted in a 25-22 loss for the Bruins. UCLA hit for just .115 in the set and had six service errors.
“I think it’s just focus,” said junior middle blocker Daenan Gyimah. “We’re definitely going to have to be better at serving and block defense.”
The Matadors’ momentum continued into the second set as they opened with a 10-5 lead over the Bruins. UCLA did not take the lead throughout the remainder of the set and trailed by as much as nine points.
Despite efforts from redshirt junior opposite Brandon Rattray, who led the team with eight kills overall, and Gyimah, who contributed seven kills, UCLA could not overcome the deficit and fell 25-16 to mark a second set loss.
“It just wasn’t going our way,” Rattray said. “They were bombing their serves, and we were out of system.”
Rattray and Gyimah, alongside contributions from senior setter Micah Ma’a, who had 24 assists on the night, were able to give UCLA a 14-7 lead over CSUN in the third set.
However, UCLA could not maintain its lead for the remainder of the set. The Bruins’ six service errors and a .261 hitting percentage allowed the Matadors to sweep with a 25-23 third-set win.
The Bruins ended the night with 19 service errors, 17 attack errors, four reception errors, two block errors and an overall hitting percentage of .200.
The home team recorded a .417 hitting percentage with 17 service errors, eight attack errors and two reception errors. CSUN also led the game in kills, service aces and assists.
“They outdug us, outblocked us, outhit us and outserved us. … Each of our pin hitters were below .200,” Speraw said. “Our middles weren’t as effective as they needed to be, and we didn’t attack the system very well.”
UCLA will continue its road trip, and will face Mckendree and Lindenwood on Friday and Saturday, respectively.