Speraw appalled at Pauley

UCLA closes out Pauley Pavilion by sweeping Anteaters, whose coach, a UCLA alum, rips his team's poor showing.

March 24, 2011|By Barry Faulkner,

LOS ANGELES — On a night dripping with nostalgia, tradition and ceremony, the UC Irvine men's volleyball team made what Coach John Speraw termed a ceremonial appearance in the final match played in the existing structure that is UCLA's storied Pauley Pavilion.

Thursday's result was a 25-20, 26-24, 25-21 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation victory for the Bruins, who closed the venerable facility that was opened by Coach Al Scates' volleyball program in 1965 on a note befitting a program with 24 national titles.

Speraw, who played for and coached with Scates, was not unaware of the proud tradition in Pauley, which will undergo renovations beginning April 1 and reopen the fall of 2012. But the only historical reference Speraw was in a mood to consider after his team's first three-game loss in nearly two months, was a recollection about the last time the Anteaters played this poorly.


"I was watching that and I couldn't believe how badly we were playing," said Speraw, whose No. 5-ranked team fell to 12-11, 9-8 in the MPSF. "That is the worst volleyball match I've seen this program have in … years. I can't remember the last match that was that brutal.

"I'm disappointed, because I expected the team [coming off a 12-day layoff from a stretch of eight matches that included six victories] to come in and be fired up. We've been playing well, this was a big night and I thought we were going to compete. [We] didn't compete; didn't even dream of competing. And I'm upset about it."

It was the sixth straight triumph for the No. 7-ranked Bruins (14-9, 7-8), whose last match had been March 11.

UCLA rallied from deficits of 12-7 and 23-21 to win the second game, and trailed, 18-17, in Game 3, before closing things out in 84 minutes, then posing for pictures at the net.

The Bruins hit .279 as a team, 96 points better than the 'Eaters, and their six aces doubled the total produced by the visitors.

Junior All-American opposite Carson Clark led UCI with 12 kills, but hit just .143. He had two of his team's three aces.

Junior outside hitter Jordan DuFault, another All-American, had six kills with a .455 hitting percentage. No other Anteater had more than three kills.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles