There wasn’t much that could slow down the offense for No. 5/5 UCLA in the final game.
The UCLA offense in the decisive fifth game committed no attack errors and hit .579 as it defeated No. 7/8 UC Irvine 25-18, 25-215, 23-25, 21-25, 15-9 on Wednesday in Irvine, California.
This match-best offensive performance came after the Bruins were held to less than a .200 attack percentage in the previous two games and blew a two-game lead. In addition, the Bruins had to rally from an early two-point deficit in the fifth game and were able to close out the non-conference match on a 5-1 run that featured kills from three players.
Outside attacker Cooper Robinson led all players with a career-high 22 kills on a .333 attack percentage, including having a game-high four kills in the fifth game. Robinson had three kills during a four-play stretch midway through the final game to help give the Bruins (7-2, 0-0 MPSF) a three-point lead.
Setter Andrew Rowan guided the UCLA offense to out-hit UC Irvine .321 to .226 in the opener of a home-and-home series between the two teams this week.
Along with Robinson, outside attacker Ethan Champlain finished with 13 kills and had three kills in the final game. Opposite Ido David contributed nine kills and one error on a .444 attack percentage against UC Irvine (5-2, 0-0 Big West).
UC Irvine outside attacker Hilir Henno in the loss had a team-high 15 kills and hit .481.
Henno, the 2013 National Server of the Year, also opened the fifth game with back-to-back aces.
This loss ends the Anteaters’ five-match winning streak. UC Irvine during that winning streak had three victories against ranked teams, including two road wins versus No. 9/9 BYU during the weekend.