BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Daemen men’s volleyball team opened up their season on Thursday night in a spectacular fashion by hosting #2 ranked UCLA in front of a sold out crowd.
First set, Zach Yerington caps off a beautiful set up with a massive hit to close the gap 23-15. UCLA goes on to take the first set 25-16.
Second set now, the Bruins showing off their height, Daenan Gyimah goes up and puts the hurt on that ball with a gigantic hit to make it 10-9.
UCLA takes the second set 25-16 as well, but the Wildcats turn up the heat to start the third! A nice rally between Daemen and UCLA featuring plenty of blocks ends with a Bruin shot down the line that falls out of bounds, Wildcats take the point 7-4.
Halfway through the set, Yerington comes through with a beautiful ace! UCLA up 19-14.
But the Bruins string together the final points of the match with this big hit by Brandon Rattray. UCLA goes on to win the third 25-17 and sweep the Wildcats, but according to both coaches, this game wasn’t really about the score at the end.
“What we talked about leading up to this is that today wasn’t really about today,” Daemen head coach Don Gleason said, “It was about putting on display who we want to be for the rest of this season, who we want to be as a program for years to come.”
“I think the most important thing that we figured out really quick is that we belonged on the court with them.”
“We were obviously involved with trying to help start Daemen men’s volleyball a couple years back, so I was interested to come out here and support that, so to bring UCLA into this gym and help build the awareness of the sport within the city as best we can,” UCLA head coach John Speraw said. “I’m excited that Pepperdine is coming at the end of the month so some really well regarded programs are coming to play Daemen, and that’s what we should be doing.”