Men’s volleyball heads to UCLA

Freshman outside hitter Billy Fauntleroy sets the ball for the Trojans in the first set of a game against Cal State Northridge as the team hosted the USC Fall Tournament at the Galen Center. Photo by Kaan Demiroz | Daily Trojan

The men’s volleyball team will wrap up its preseason play at the UCLA Fall Tournament this weekend. The Trojans will face off against three teams, including the Bruins, in the tournament at the Wooden Center.

The weekend will start with a match against UC Santa Barbara on Friday. The Gauchos went 10-16 last season, struggling against top-tier competition and dropping their final five games of the season. The teams faced each other twice last season. In the first meeting, the Gauchos surprised the Trojans in a hard-fought 3-2 match. USC bounced back in the second meeting, claiming a 3-0 victory.

On Saturday, the Trojans will face off against Cal State Northridge. The Matadors went 12-15 last season, playing the Trojans twice. Similarly to UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Northridge came out strong and swept USC in a 3-0 victory in the teams’ first meeting. The Trojans returned a month later and battled for a 3-2 win, leaving the teams level at 1-1 on the season.

Following the game against Cal State Northridge, the team will face UCLA for a preseason rivalry match. The Bruins were 17-10 last season, and finished ranked No. 6 in the AVCA Division Coaches’ rankings. The rivals met twice last season, and the Bruins came away victorious both times. In the first meeting, UCLA won 3-1. The second came late in the season, with UCLA sweeping USC 3-0.

Previously, the Trojans went 1-5 in the USC Fall Tourney, a tournament the team hosts at the Galen Center each year. USC split teams for the tournament, notching a solo victory over Concordia in a 3-0 sweep. However, the Trojans fell to Cal State Northridge, Grand Canyon, Stanford, UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara in three sets. The tournament allowed for third sets to be optional, but the Trojans took the extra set each time for experience.

After the UCLA Fall Tournament, the regular season will officially begin for the Trojans with a non-conference home matchup with Princeton at the Galen Center. The team will then travel to Hawaii for the Texaco Rainbow Warrior Classic, facing off against Juniata, Stevens Institute and Hawaii.