2023 MPSF Men's Volleyball Championship

UCLA Volleyball Claims MPSF Championship In Dominant Fashion

UCLA Volleyball Claims MPSF Championship In Dominant Fashion

UCLA cruised past Stanford in the final round of the 2023 MPSF Championship, claiming the program's first title at the tournament since 2006.

Apr 23, 2023 by Kyle Kensing
Highlights: UCLA Vs. Stanford

In a performance indicative of its play all season, top-seeded UCLA was both balanced and dominant en route to its first MPSF Championship title since 2006. The Bruins closed the tournament in three straight sets, beating host Stanford on Saturday, 25-22, 25-21 and 25-23. 

UCLA trailed only briefly in the opening set before taking the lead for good with a 5-1 run midway through. Ethan Champlin scored on consecutive assists from freshman setter Andrew Rowan during the pivotal stretch. 

A pair of Cardinal service errors closed the set and denied Stanford any hope of mounting a comeback. 

Replay: UCLA Vs. Stanford

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In the second set, UCLA scored five straight points after falling behind 3-1 early. Though Stanford whittled away at a Bruins lead that grew to as many as four points, ultimately forcing a 19-19 tie on a Will Rottman service ace, UCLA responded with four straight points. 

Merrick McHenry made a kill and was in on two blocks over the crucial, closing stretch for the Bruins. McHenry finished the title match with a team-high 10 kills on 12 attacks. 

The final set was close throughout, with neither team leading by more than three points — an advantage Stanford built with an 18-15 lead. 

But UCLA regrouped to finish the title round on a 10-5 run, culminating with Rowan assisting Ido David on the set-and-match-winning kill. David produced seven kills for the match, equaling Champlin's production. 

Rowan made 34 assists and a team-best three aces. The freshman landed on the All-Tournament along with teammates David and McHenry. McHenry earned Most Valuable Player for his standout, all-around performance, guiding the Bruins to a tournament title that has eluded it for years. 

Rottman finished with a match-best 13 kills for Stanford, and along with Kevin Lamp, scored a pair of service aces. Rottman and libero Justin Liu earned All-Tournament for Stanford, while Heath Hughes of BYU and Christian Janke of Grand Canyon rounded out the honorees. 

Stanford's run to the MPSF Championship title game was not enough to land the Cardinal in the NCAA Tournament, which was announced Sunday. But the MPSF does feature two teams in the field — and they could meet in the national semifinals. 

UCLA receives a 1st-round bye as the top overall seed, awaiting the winner of Grand Canyon and Long Beach State. 

Hawaii and Penn State, the second and third seeds, are the only teams to have scored match victories over UCLA this season.