Thursday, February 27

Men’s volleyball heads to Midwest coming off first loss of season

Junior middle blocker Daenan Gyimah posted seven kills in the loss to CSUN. Gyimah led the NCAA in hitting percentage last season and has hit for .359 through three games this season. (Andy Bao/Daily Bruin)

Men's volleyball

Friday, 5:00 p.m

Lebanon, Illinois
No TV info

The Bruins will begin their cross-country road trip after suffering an early loss.

No. 2 UCLA men’s volleyball (2-1) will travel to the Midwest to face McKendree (0-0) and Lindenwood (0-0) on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

The Bruins were swept by No. 12 CSUN on Wednesday, losing sets 25-22, 25-16, 25-23. UCLA hit for .200 overall and as low as .115 in the first set.

Redshirt junior opposite Brandon Rattray said after the match that the Bruins hope to rebound from the loss during their trip.

“We’re going to bounce back and we head to Chicago tomorrow and take care of business on the road,” Rattray said. “We’ve been training really hard and it just didn’t really go that well tonight, but there’s plenty of good stuff to come the rest of the season.”

McKendree began play in volleyball as recently as 2014 and finished last season 11-15, including a 3-0 loss to the Bruins last January. Lindenwood finished last season 9-16, falling to Loyola University Chicago in the MIVA Tournament.

Middle blocker Connor Hipelius led the Lions offensively last season with 176 kills on a .387 hitting percentage. The Lions also featured middle blocker Sam Schindler, who finished behind with 171 kills.

UCLA hit for .381 and .365 in its first two games of the season, but posted 43 attacking errors and 66 service errors as a team. As many as 30 of those errors from the service line came against UC San Diego.

“For the trip, we’re probably just going to learn as much as we can, watch this loss (against CSUN) over and over and not really waste it,” said junior middle blocker Daenan Gyimah.

McKendree has outside hitter Patrick Ross returning this season, who finished fourth on the team in kills with 183 a year ago. The Bearcats allowed 1,222 kills to their opponents last season, while recording 1,187.

Coach John Speraw said he is expecting a new experience for the Bruins.

“I’m expecting some tough matches,” Speraw said. “We’ve never been there before, so I’m excited for some new stresses for us. I think the more we can stress ourselves the better we can be in the long run.”

The Bruins will begin the weekend play Friday at 5:00 p.m. against McKendree in Lebanon, Illinois.

Sports senior staff

McCarthy is currently a Sports senior staff writer. He was an assistant Sports editor in 2018-2019 for the men's tennis, women's soccer, track and field and men's volleyball beats. McCarthy was previously a reporter on the men's volleyball and men's water polo beats. He is a third-year English and history student from Atlanta, Georgia. McCarthy is an avid Tottenham Hotspur and Conor McGregor fan.

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