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LEAPIN' LIZARDS, IT'S UCLA AGAIN
Jerry Kirshenbaum
May 20, 1974
Like their basketball brothers of yore, the volleyball Bruins seem to be taking permanent possession of the NCAA title, and what does it matter if the teams they beat are friends and neighbors
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May 20, 1974

Leapin' Lizards, It's Ucla Again

Like their basketball brothers of yore, the volleyball Bruins seem to be taking permanent possession of the NCAA title, and what does it matter if the teams they beat are friends and neighbors

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But the Bruins soon were bearing out the assessments of Scates, who had said, " UCSB is more overpowering than we are, but I feel we're quicker and can fool them." Bouncing back in the second game, the Bruins turned to Leonard, who scored on an assortment of well-placed spikes and tantalizing little dinks, often as not after receiving quick sets at the net from teammate Jim Menges. The teams then traded games again, and with the match at two apiece, UCSB jumped off to a 7-1 lead that appeared to all but settle the matter. Then, slowly, the Bruins fought back. A UCLA serve fell between a couple of Gaucho players. Dave DeGroot touched the net, costing UCSB another point. Normand meanwhile had found ways to get past Roberts and the other UCSB blockers, mainly by slapping the ball along the sidelines. Soon it was 7-7 and then, suddenly, UCLA led 14-12. As Suwara looked on helplessly, Normand blocked a smash by the home team's Gerald Gregory. The ball skimmed the net and skittered down the near sidelines, and UCLA had it 15-12.

For all the exploits of Normand, Leonard and the other UCLA regulars, the Bruins' biggest hero may well have been an unheralded freshman named Sabin Perkins, whom Scates twice sent into the final game strictly to serve. He responded by serving a total of nine points, including the one that put the Bruins ahead for good at 10-9. Mobbed by teammates afterward, Perkins admitted, "It's amazing. I'm usually lucky if I get one point on my serves." In so cozy an affair as the NCAA volleyball championships he was the only one who sounded like an outsider.

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