Photo by: Derrick Tuskan
Freshman Shane Benetz (right) finished with nine kills Saturday.

Tritons Earn Sweep Against UC Santa Cruz

UC San Diego

LA JOLLA, Calif. - The University of California San Diego men's volleyball team won for the second time in as many nights Saturday as it swept UC Santa Cruz by scores of 25-22, 25-18, and 25-22 at RIMAC Arena.

UC San Diego, which defeated Concordia Irvine in five sets Friday, improved to 5-6 overall. UC Santa Cruz dropped to 6-7.

The Tritons held a huge advantage in attack percentage, out-hitting the Banana Slugs .258 (45-20-97) to .099 (27-19-81). They sided out at 70 percent, their most efficient performance of the season.

Wyatt Harrison finished with a match-high 14 kills and hit .333 (14-4-30) for UC San Diego. Freshmen Shane Benetz and Logan Clark (Chula Vista/Otay Ranch Senior HS) each put away nine kills with Clark hitting an impressive .667 (9-1-12) while adding three blocks. Ryan Lew totaled a match-best seven digs and Connor Walbrecht assisted on 33 kills.

The Tritons rolled to a 5-0 lead to open the match and led for most of the set. With UC San Diego ahead 19-17, the Slugs went on a 5-2 run to take a 22-21 lead. However, the Tritons scored four consecutive points, two coming from Benetz kills, to win the frame.

It was another strong start for the home squad in the second set as the Tritons cruised to an 8-1 lead. Trailing by as many as nine points, UC Santa Cruz closed within five at 22-17, but two errors by the Slugs and a kill by Harrison put UC San Diego up 2-0. 

The third set was the most competitive as it saw 10 tie scores. Behind 11-9, the Tritons mounted a 6-1 run to go up 15-12. Leor Schiffer had back-to-back kills and a block during the run. A later 6-2 run by the Slugs had them leading 21-19, but UC San Diego exploded to win six of the final seven points of the match to seal the victory. Jimenez, Harrison, and Benetz had kills to go along with three errors by UC Santa Cruz, two on the attack and one from the service line.

UC San Diego holds a commanding 18-8 lead in the all-time series with UC Santa Cruz. It was the third sweep for the Tritons this season.

UC San Diego opens its second season of Big West Conference play next week as it hosts UC Irvine on Friday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. The Anteaters are 11-2 overall and ranked fourth in the country.

About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles, and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in the summer of 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's pre-eminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.

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For complete coverage and information regarding UC San Diego Athletics, follow the Tritons online at UCSDTritons.com and through social media on Twitter (@UCSDTritons), Instagram (@UCSDTritons) and Facebook (UCSDTritons). To stay tuned in to UC San Diego Men's Volleyball, follow the team's Instagram (@UCSDmvb).

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