UCLA to make two trips to East Coast in 2020

Photo courtesy of UCLA athletics and Don Liebig

Brandon Johnson | Senior Contributor

The UCLA men’s volleyball team will accrue quite the frequent flyer miles early in the 2020 season, making two trips to the East Coast in the first month of the season. The Bruins open the season in Buffalo at Daemen College, before traveling to George Mason, the site of the 2020 national championships.

UCLA will make a second trip back East when they travel to State College to take part in the yearly Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge, taking on Penn State (Jan. 24) and Ohio State (Jan. 26).

In total, the Bruins will play five nationally televised matches on the Pac-12 Network, Feb. 8at Stanford, Feb. 16 in Pauley Pavilion against USC, Feb. 29 in Los Angeles against defending national champion Long Beach State, April 9 in L.A. against Stanford, and April 4 at USC.  

UCLA is coming off a 19-9 season (8-4 MPSF), but they lost in the second round of the conference tournament to rival USC. The Bruins will have to replace the production of All-American Setter Micah Ma’a, a Lloy Ball Award finalist, and Outside Hitter Dylan Missry.

Coach John Speraw, fresh off leading the United States Men’s National team to a bronze medal at the World Cup, will look to replace this production with a wide range of depth. Senior middle blocker Daenan Gyimah, the defending Ryan Millar Award winner, will look to continue his dominant ways, while seniors Austin Matautia and Brandon Rattray will provide power from the pins. Sophomore setter Alex Parks and sophomore libero Cole Pender spent time in the starting lineup in 2019, and should be called on for more responsibility in 2020.

In addition, the Bruins bring in one of the top recruiting classes in the country, loaded with players with international experience. Outside attacker Alex Knight and middle attacker Ethan Hill spent time on the United States Boys’ Youth National Team, while setter Mads Kyed Jensen has seen time with the Danish Men’s National Team and outside hitter Cole Ketrzynski is a member of the Canadian Boys’ Youth National Team.

2020 UCLA Schedule

Thursday, Jan. 2 at Daemen
Saturday, Jan. 4 at George Mason
Monday, Jan. 6 at Princeton
Friday, Jan. 17 at UC San Diego
Friday, Jan. 24 at Penn State
Sunday, Jan. 26 vs. Ohio State (Neutral site)
Thursday, Jan. 30 vs. Princeton
Saturday, Feb. 1 at Long Beach State
Thursday, Feb. 6 at BYU
Saturday, Feb. 8 at Stanford
Friday, Feb. 14 at Concordia-Irvine
Sunday, Feb. 16 vs. USC
Wednesday, Feb. 19 vs. UC Santa Barbara
Friday, Feb. 21 at Grand Canyon
Friday, Feb. 28 at CSUN
Saturday, Feb. 29 vs. Long Beach State
Tuesday, Mar. 3 at UC Santa Barbara
Thursday, Mar. 5 vs. CSUN
Saturday, Mar. 7 vs. UC San Diego
Friday, Mar. 13 at Pepperdine
Wednesday, Mar. 25 vs. Pepperdine
Saturday, Mar. 28 vs. Grand Canyon
Thursday, Apr. 2 vs. Concordia-Irvine
Saturday, Apr. 4 at USC
Thursday, Apr. 9 vs. Stanford
Saturday, Apr. 11 vs. BYU