Feb. 19, 1997

    UCLA Defeats USC as Scates Wins 900th

    LOS ANGELES -- UCLA men's volleyball coach Al Scates won the 900th match of his 35-year career as the No. 5 Bruins defeated No. 12 USC, 15-9, 4-15, 15-5, 15-6, at USC's North Gym on Wednesday night in front of 340.

    The Bruins improved to 6-3 overall and 5-2 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The Trojans fell to 6-5, 5-3.

    Senior opposite hitter Paul Nihipali had a match-high 25 kills and hit .467 for UCLA. Sophomore swing hitter Fred Robins had 13 kills.

    USC was led by sophomore opposite hitter Gabe Gardner's 23 kills. Freshman setter Donald Suxho had 54 assists and 16 digs.

    The Bruins outhit the Trojans, .326 to .238, and outblocked them, 13-7.

    Service aces by junior quick hitter Tom Stillwell and freshman quick hitter Adam Naeve finished off Game 1 for the Bruins. The Trojans came out strong in Game 2, however, and a 9-0 run gave them a 14-3 lead.

    In Game 3, the Bruins got out to a quick lead, going ahead 7-1 and later scoring the game's final 4 points, including a service ace by freshman setter Brandon Taliaferro to end the game. Game 4 was much the same, as UCLA erased USC's 2-0 lead with a 6-0 run and ended the match on another 6-0 run.