All-time series vs. Cal Baptist: CBU leads 16-5
First Meeting: 4/11/01 (UCSD 3-2)
Last Meeting: 1/22/11 (CBU 3-1)
Last UCSD Win: 1/8/11 (3-1)
Current UCSD Streak: Lost 1
All-time series vs. UC Irvine: UCI leads 34-7
First Meeting: 3/1/89 (UCI 3-0)
Last Meeting: 1/21/12 (UCI 3-0)
Last UCSD Win: 1/12/11 (3-1)
Current UCSD Streak: Lost 2
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Still In the Hunt
UCSD remains in the race for the eighth and final spot in the MPSF Tournament. BYU, Long Beach State, Pepperdine, Stanford, UC Irvine, UCLA and USC have all secured a berth. Cal State Northridge is the front-runner for the final slot with a 7-13 record. UCSD (6-15) and UC Santa Barbara (5-15) are the only teams remaining that can catch the Matadors. For UCSD to nab the spot, all three teams would have to finish with identical 7-15 records - meaning the Tritons need to defeat UC Irvine Saturday, CSUN needs to lose its final two matches and UCSB needs to win its last two matches. The Matadors host Pepperdine and USC, while the Gauchos are at Stanford and Pacific. If the scenarios play out, UCSD would win the tiebreaker between the three as it is 3-1 vs. the tied teams. CSUN is 2-2 and UCSB is 1-3. If UCSB is out of the picture, the Matadors hold the tiebreaker against the Tritons as they have won a higher percentage of sets over the two matches between the squads (4-3). If UCSD is out of the picture, UCSB would earn the final tourney spot as it has won five of eight sets vs. CSUN.
Win Streak Ends with Pair of Losses on the Road
UCSD's unprecedented five-match win streak came to an end with losses at No. 1 USC on Apr. 5 and No. 6 Pepperdine on Apr. 7. Scores against the Trojans went 25-16, 25-15 and 25-20. The Tritons were out-blocked 13-4 and held to just a .010 attack percentage. The Trojans swung at .259. Carl Eberts finished with 12 kills and 13 points, both team-highs for UCSD. He also added six digs and a pair of blocks. Chase Frishman had a match co-high 10 digs, his fourth straight match with 10 or more digs. The Trojans sided out 77% of the time. The Waves won by scores of 25-23, 25-19 and 25-21. The Tritons hit .235 while Pepperdine countered at .333. The Waves held a sizable advantage in the sideout battle, regaining the serve 71 percent of the time to the Tritons' 60 percent. Pepperdine put up a strong block, sending back 14 balls to UCSD's four. Eberts led the Tritons with a match co-high 14 kills and 16.5 points while adding three blocks. Vaun Lennon followed with 10 kills, hitting .353 from the outside. He also finished with a team-high five digs.
Victories at RIMAC Arena over UCLA (Mar. 30) and UCSB (Mar. 31) gave UCSD five consecutive wins. The string started at UCSB (Mar. 9) and continued at Long Beach State (Mar. 15) and at Cal State Northridge (Mar. 16). The last time the Tritons had won five straight was back in 1990, prior to joining the MPSF. In fact, UCSD had a pair of five-match win streaks that year. The first went from Mar. 29 until Apr. 6 (two vs. UC Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Menlo, La Verne). Following a loss against Long Beach State, the team won its next five between Apr. 18 and Apr. 28 (La Verne, two vs. Santa Clara, Menlo, UC Santa Cruz) to close out the season.
Lennon Named National Player of the Week
Outside hitter Vaun Lennon was named the AVCA National Player of the Week on Apr. 3. The day before, he was tabbed the MPSF Player of the Week. On Mar. 31, Lennon posted a career-high .632 attack percentage with 13 kills, two aces and six digs in a sweep over No. 15 UCSB at RIMAC Arena. The previous night, he hit .333 with 12 kills, an ace and nine digs in a four-set upset over No. 3 UCLA. For the week, Lennon hit .465 and averaged 3.57 kills per set, 2.14 digs per set and 4.14 points per set. Lennon became the third AVCA National Player of the Week to come out of UC San Diego. Jason Spangler was honored in 2008 and Donald Chen earned the title in 2000. He is also the third Triton to be named the league's player of the week as Spangler won the award in 2008 and Eric Mai garnered the accolade in 1997.
Cal Baptist Notes
The Lancers enter Thursday's match with a 12-15 overall record and have won nine of their last 11 matches. Between Mar. 2 and Mar. 10, the team won a season-high seven consecutive matches. Most recently, CBU swept Hope International, the NAIA's No. 3 squad, at home on Apr. 3. The Lancers are 1-10 in road matches this year. Aaron McCalmont leads the team in kills (318, 3.31/set), aces (35, .36/set), digs (200, 2.08/set) and points (377.5, 3.93/set). Connor Metcalfe is averaging 10.06 assists per set and Kristopher Johnson has a team-high 94 blocks. The match against the Tritons will close out the season for the Lancers. Cal Baptist is in its final year of a transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II and will compete in the MPSF beginning in 2013.
UC Irvine Notes
The No. 2 Anteaters enter the week at 20-5 overall and 16-5 in the MPSF, good for third place. Saturday's match will end the team's regular season and a win against the Tritons will give it home court in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals. UCI has won 11 of its last 13 matches and was victorious in 10 straight between Feb. 18 and Mar. 30. In the league, Carson Clark ranks first in aces (.55/set) and sixth in kills (3.71/set) and points (4.56/set). Daniel Stork is fifth in assists (10.60/set), Jeremy Dejno is fifth in aces (.42/set), Dan McDonnell is seventh in hitting percentage (.429), Kevin Tillie is eighth in points (4.02/set) and ninth in kills (3.48/set) and Michael Brinkley ranks ninth in digs (2.04/set). As a team, the Anteaters are first in attack percentage (.353) and aces (1.71/set). They also rank second in kills (13.69/set), third in assists (12.38/set) and fifth in opponent hitting percentage (.274).
UCSD dropped one spot from No. 11 to No. 12 in this week's national poll from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). The top 10 slots remained the same as the previous week with USC first, UC Irvine second and UCLA third.
In the MPSF
Individually, Carl Eberts ranks 14th in kills (3.22/set) and 15th in points (3.80/set), Garrett Dempsey is 13th in assists (7.87/set), Mike Brunsting is 14th in assists (6.65/set), Fred Stahl is 13th in blocks (.97/set) and Chase Frishman is sixth in digs (2.24/set). As a team, UCSD ranks fifth in digs (8.68/set), seventh in aces (.88/set), eighth in kills (12.26/set) and ninth in assists (11.52/set).
USC to Host NCAA Final Four
USC will play host to the 2012 NCAA Men's Volleyball Championships at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. The semifinals will be held on May 3rd at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and the national title match will be on May 5th at 7 p.m. For tickets, go to http://www.GetTrojanTix.com and click on the Championship Events link. For complete information on the Championships, visit http://www.ncaa.com/championships/volleyball-men/d1.
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