RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The University of California San Diego men's volleyball team wrapped up its 2017 season with a 3-0 defeat against California Baptist University inside Van Dyne Gym on Wednesday night. Set scores were 25-19, 25-19 and 25-19.
With the loss, UCSD finished the year at 7-20 overall. California Baptist wound up 8-21 overall. Though the NCAA Division II rivals are fellow members of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), Wednesday's meeting was a non-conference affair. The Tritons had posted a 3-1 victory over the Lancers in the lone MPSF matchup in La Jolla back on March 14. UCSD is leaving the MPSF to join the new Big West Conference as an associate member next season, while CBU remains.
The contest marked a final match in a UCSD uniform for four Triton seniors in fourth-year players Shayne Beamer and tri-captains Ian Colbert and Calvin Manchenko, and second-year transfer Josh Schmidt.
Though the Tritons led 10-9 in the opening stanza, five straight Lancer points gave the hosts a 14-10 advantage as UCSD head coach Kevin Ring called the night's first timeout. CBU came out of the break and tallied the next three as well to extend the stretch to 8-0, triggering Ring's second timeout. A Jackson Burge service error finally stopped the bleeding, but the Lancers cruised to the 25-19 set victory. Colbert did, however, punctuate a lengthy rally with an emphatic kill for 22-16.
UCSD tallied the first point of game two on another bad Burge service, but relinquished the next five to force a timeout. The Tritons chipped away bit by bit and caught up at 15-15 on a solo rejection of Burge by Bryan Zhu, but the Lancers built their advantage right back up again to 21-15, and grabbed the two-set lead.
CBU never trailed in the third. The Tritons called their initial timeout down 8-4. They tallied three successive points on a Nathan Thalken kill and two in a row by Manchenko to level the score at 9-9. The set was tied a third and final time at 10-10 ahead of three straight Lancer points and UCSD's last timeout of the night.
Colbert put down a team-high 10 kills for his seventh effort in double-figure kills this year and 17th of his career. He added six digs and an ace. Thalken provided nine kills, four digs and an ace of his own. Junior setter Milosh Stojcic collected 24 assists, a team-best eight digs and a season-high-tying three kills. Freshman libero Ryan Lew managed five digs. Zhu (San Diego/Rancho Bernardo HS), a redshirt junior middle blocker, had two kills, three digs and three total blocks, two of them solo.
Three Lancers were in double-figure kills in Rohit Paul (12), Luis Palos (10) and Enrique de Diego Garcia (10). Cody Jackson had 31 assists and served three aces.
The Tritons were without Tanner Syftestad, their kill leader, for a second straight match after the opposite hitter and tri-captain suffered a season-ending injury last Friday, April 7. Syftestad thus completed his junior campaign with 366 kills, the most by a UCSD player since Frank Fritsch's 412 in 2010. He will head into his final go-around with 823 career kills, 10th on the program's all-time list.
After 25 seasons of MPSF membership, since that league's inaugural year, UCSD Men's Volleyball will begin a proud new era in the Big West come January of 2018.