UCLA men’s volleyball conquers Concordia in first conference win of season
Freshman setter/opposite Mads Kyed Jensen tied his career high with 8 kills in No. 8 UCLA men’s volleyball’s first conference victory of 2020.(Xiomara Novo/Daily Bruin)
|No. 8 UCLA||3|
|Concordia University Irvine||1|
By Samuel In
Feb. 15, 2020 5:26 p.m.
This post was updated Feb. 17 at 1:01 p.m.
The Bruins won their first conference match after not picking up a set in their previous two.
No. 8 UCLA men’s volleyball (6-5, 1-2 MPSF) defeated Concordia University Irvine (6-8, 1-2) on Friday night in four sets by scores of 25-19, 17-25, 28-26 and 25-17.
In his third match back from injury, senior middle blocker Daenan Gyimah recorded his highest totals since returning to the court in kills and hitting percentage with 14 and .600, respectively. Despite his performance, Gyimah said he’s still not fully healthy.
“I’m still a little behind,” Gyimah said. “My shoulder’s been bugging me a bit just because I went from not getting out of my bed for three weeks to playing twice a day. I’m getting back into it.”
UCLA was swept in its first two conference matches against No. 2 BYU and No. 11 Stanford. Gyimah said the Bruins have improved their work ethic throughout conference play.
“Aside from the fact that (BYU and Stanford) are way better than (Concordia), we’re a bit more invested as the captains,” Gyimah said. “The captains group has been really on the guys to get in extra, and we’ve been watching film outside what the coaches mandate us to watch. Work ethic-wise we’ve been doing better.”
The Bruins’ highest hitting percentage for the match came in the second set at a line of .391, but it was also the only set they dropped, as they allowed the Eagles to hit for .438.
Freshman setter/opposite Mads Kyed Jensen said a lapse in focus led to the eight-point defeat in that set.
“We laid off the gas pedal in the second set,” Kyed Jensen said. “If we’re not fully focused, we can play pretty bad. I think there’s some stuff we can do off the court like meditation, breath control and stuff like that.”
With UCLA up 17-14 in the first set, Concordia subbed in setter Christian Oviedo, who took over setting duties up until midway through the fourth set. Assistant coach Spencer McLachlin said the Bruins had difficulty adjusting to Oviedo in the second set.
Oviedo ended the match with five service aces to only one service error. He had 28 assists, 22 more than Eagles’ starting setter McLain Mott.
“In the second set, they really served the ball well,” McLachlin said. “They had (Oviedo come) in, and he was doing some good things so we had to come and change our defensive scheme against him. Our block wasn’t as good as it was in the first set. Their setter came and served three aces in a row which put us in a hole.”
UCLA’s next match will be Sunday at 5 p.m. against crosstown rival USC in Pauley Pavilion. The Trojans ended the Bruins’ season last year by defeating them in the MPSF tournament.