The Bruins swept past a Canadian collegiate team from the University of Alberta 3-0 in an exhibition match played on Saturday night in the John Wooden Center. Scores of the contest were 25-23, 25-19, 25-20.
Senior middle blocker Clayton Paullin led the way for the Bruins with 15 kills and a hitting percentage of .625. Freshman hitter Jake Arnitz added 10 kills, six digs and three blocks.
UCLA jumped out to a 6-3 lead in set one only to see Alberta register the next six points. A kill by sophomore Mitch Stahl halted the run. The visitors then ran out to a 8-14 edge before an Arnitz kill and a Michael Fisher ace brought some momentum back to the Bruins. Setter Steve O’Dell’s ace handed UCLA the lead at 17-16. Another Arnitz kill leveled the set at 20-each and the Bruins went on to a 25-23 win.
UCLA moved out to the early lead in set two and enjoyed a 7-3 advantage following back-to-back kills by Fisher. Alberta narrowed the gap to 11-9 before Stahl and Arnitz combined on a block to ignite a 4-2 run. The Canadian team came back to close to within two again, at 19-17. The Bruins owned a 22-17 lead after a service ace by Stahl on the way to posting a 25-19 victory.
J.T. Hatch and Eric Sprague entered set three for the Bruins and each provided a spark in a 25-20 win. The freshmen both recorded a pair of kills and an ace. Sprague added a block solo which handed UCLA a 7-4 lead. His ace made it 9-5 and Hatch’s service ace lifted the Bruins into a 16-10 lead. A Hatch kill made it 21-15.
The Bruins hit .452 for the match and outblocked the Bears 14-4. UCLA recorded nine service aces to none for the visitors.
UCLA will host Laval University, from Canada, on Monday night at 7 p.m. in the Wooden Center in another exhibition match. The Bruins will open the regular season next Friday in the UCSB Invitational. The first home regular season match is on Jan. 25 against Princeton. MPSF league play begins on Jan. 16 at BYU.