NORTHRIDGE — The UCLA men's volleyball team recently got back from a trip to Hawaii, and with many players suffering from jet lag, it seemed an ideal opportunity for Cal State Northridge to snap an eight-match losing streak against the Bruins.
Think again. Though UCLA, ranked second nationally, was not its usual explosive self, the sixth-ranked Matadors did not play up to their potential either. Worn out and all, the Bruins cleaned house with a 15-2, 15-12, 15-9 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation victory Friday night at Matador Gym.
The victory was the eighth consecutive UCLA sweep of Northridge. UCLA leads the series, 31-2.
"They didn't have to do much," Northridge Coach John Price said. "They were real flat and we didn't take advantage of that at all. We just never got in a rhythm."
The Bruins (3-1, 1-0 in MPSF play) cruised to an 8-0 lead in the first game. Jason Hughes nailed an ace for the Matadors (3-3, 2-1) and a UCLA net violation gave Northridge its second point a couple of plays later.
But the Matadors couldn't get their offense going and the Bruins put the game away.
The Matadors showed signs of life in the second game when, after trailing, 8-4, they tied it, 8-8. UCLA responded with a six-point run, but Northridge held off two game points and scored four times before the Bruins took a two-game lead.
"We never have team meetings after the game, but we're going to have one tonight to try to figure out what went wrong," Price said. "I really don't know and I'd love to find out."
Things went downhill for the Matadors in the final game. UCLA took a 10-3 lead and Northridge didn't threaten.
Senior middle blocker Dirk Schlueter had eight kills for Northridge, and freshman Kevin Bergschneider added five.
"I really don't know what happened," Schlueter said. "Maybe we weren't ready to play."
Sophomore middle blocker Tom Stillwell, a graduate of Notre Dame High, had eight kills and nine blocks for UCLA. Senior outside hitter Brian Wells added eight kills.