Wednesday was a good volleyball day for UCLA.

The sixth-ranked Bruin men rallied for a five-set indoor victory over No. 4 Pepperdine n a battle of the MPSF leaders.

And the top-ranked UCLA women beat No. 2 USC in a big early season beach match.

Recaps — and a video interview with USC’s Tina Graudina — follow, but first a look at Thursday’s NCAA Division I-II men’s schedule.

There are two MPSF matches when No. 8 Stanford goes to No. 9 BYU and No. 13 USC goes to Concordia.

The Big West, MIVA and EIVA are off.

North Greenville is the only Conference Carolinas team in action when it goes to Coker for a non-league match.

UCLA men win: The Bruins (13-4, 5-0) maintained their MPSF lead with a 29-31, 17-25, 25-20, 25-18, 15-9 victory over Pepperdine (11-3, 4-1) behind a career-high 22 kills by Austin Matautia.

Matautia hit .486 and added an assist, one of UCLA’s five aces, 11 digs and three blocks. He had nine kills in the third set and six more in the fifth.

Brandon Rattray had 18 kills, hit .367, and had an assist, six digs and four blocks. Sam Kobrine had 12 kills and hit .308 to go with an ace, five digs and a block. UCLA hit .352, which included setter Micah Ma’a going 4 for 7 to hit .429 to go with 60 assists, an ace, eight digs and two blocks, one solo.

Michael Wexter led Pepperdine with 20 kills and hit .333. He had an ace, three digs and six blocks, one solo. David Wieczorek had 12 kills, an ace, five digs and three solo blocks. Kaleb Denmark added nine kills, two assists, an ace, five digs and three blocks.

Haley Hallgren-Alexandra Poletto-USC-UCLA volleyball
USC’s No. 3 pair of Alexandra Poletto (left) and Haley Hallgren (right) celebrate/Ed Chan,

UCLA tops USC: The Bruins are 6-0 after winning 3-2 at USC in a battle of the top-two NCAA beach teams. Earlier, USC opened its season with a 4-1 victory over No. 13 Loyola Marymount.

UCLA won at Nos. 2, 4 and 5 against USC. 

“That was a great match,” UCLA coach Stein Metzger said. “That’s how it should be, every time we play each other, it should be like that. Tons of drama, a lot of great plays, and of course we don’t mind winning in the end.

“Of course, we know that it’s not always going to go that way, so every time we get to play them and win, it’s a great night.

“I kept looking over my shoulder at Abby Van Winkle and Lindsey Sparks. Lindsey got her shot in a big match playing in the four position, and they looked pretty spectacular. They put together some runs of three and four plays that looked amazing, so I’m really excited for the youth of this program.

Sarah Sponcil and Lily Justine closed the match in the No. 2 pairing with a win over USC’s Terese Cannon and Sammy Slater 21-18, 21-14.

“It was a big win,” Justine said. “They’re ranked No. 2, we’re ranked No. 1, I think we knew that they were going to come out gunning for us, and bringing their best game, and they did, that’s what we expected. I think we did a good job of holding them off, and continuing our win streak.”

The results:
1. Abril Bustamante/Tina Graudina (USC) def. Megan McNamara/Nicole McNamara (UCLA); 21-16, 21-18
2. Lily Justine/Sarah Sponcil (UCLA) def. Terese Cannon/Sammy Slater (USC); 21-18, 21-14
3. Haley Hallgren/Alexandra Poletto (USC) def. Mac May/Savvy Simo (UCLA); 21-15, 19-21, 15-12
4. Lindsey Sparks/Abby Van Winkle (UCLA) def. Joy Dennis/Maja Kaiser (USC); 21-17, 21-17
5. Izzy Carey/Megan Muret (UCLA) def. Cammie Dorn/Mollie Ebertin (USC); 22-20, 22-20

Against USC, LMU won at No. 4, when Sara Kovac and Jessie Prichard beat Dennis and Kaiser. The Lions are 3-1.

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