LA JOLLA, Calif. - Johl Awerkamp had a match-high 11 kills, but the UC San Diego men's volleyball team dropped its fifth consecutive match Friday night, falling in straight sets against No. 15 Cal State Northridge at RIMAC Arena. Scores were 25-18, 25-14 and 28-26.
The loss lowered the Tritons' overall record to 3-12 with a 1-9 mark in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) play. The Matadors, who were coming off a three-set loss at No. 4 UC Irvine Wednesday, improved to 5-9 overall and 3-7 in the MPSF. It was the first road win of the season for CSUN.
UCSD held a slight advantage in kills with 40 compared to CSUN's 38, but the Tritons were far less efficient as they took 23 more swings than their opponent. They finished the night with a .111 attack percentage, collecting the 40 kills with 29 errors in 99 attacks. The Matadors swung at a solid .408 with 38 kills and just seven errors in 76 attempts. UCSD was out-blocked 8.5 to 4.0.
Awerkamp, playing in just his third match of the season and first since Jan. 6 at Hawaii, hit .300 with the 11 kills to go along with five errors in 20 attacks. Middle blocker Sebastian Brady matched him with a .300 attack percentage on six kills and three errors in 10 swings. Brady added three blocks.
UCSD's outside hitters had an off night offensively. Vaun Lennon totaled eight kills but hit .087 (8-6-23) and Carl Eberts had seven kills but hit -.160 (7-11-25).
Mike Brunsting and Garrett Dempsey split setting duties with each totaling 17 assists for the match. Libero Chase Frishman led the Tritons defensively with eight digs.
On the other side of the net, John Baker kept pace with Awerkamp and matched his 11 kills. He hit .500 with just one error in 20 attacks. Four Matadors hit .300 or better, including Drew Staker, who posted a .556 attack (6-1-9). Staker also had a match-best five block assists.
The Tritons kept it close in the first set and were down by just two at 10-8 before the Matadors exploded for seven straight points to essentially seal the win.
In the second set, UCSD used an early four-point run to go up by a score of 7-3, but Northridge won 11 of the next 13 points to take a 14-9 advantage. The Matadors closed out the set by taking eight of the final nine points.
The third set proved to be the most competitive as it featured 15 tie scores and four lead changes. The Tritons posted their best attack percentage of the night in the frame, hitting .257 with 18 kills and nine errors in 35 attempts. An Awerkamp kill tied it for the final time at 26-26 as two Triton errors, one from the service line and one on attack, allowed CSUN to take the set and the match.
UCSD takes on No. 9 Long Beach State Saturday at RIMAC Arena (7 pm). It will be the last home match for over a month as the Tritons play their next six away from La Jolla. The match will be covered by live video as well as live stats.
UCSD students are admitted free to all home matches. Tickets are available at RIMAC Arena beginning one hour prior to the start of the match.
- UCSDtritons.com -