UC San Diego Drops Regular Season Finale, 3-1 at No. 11 CSUN
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The University of California San Diego men's volleyball team fell short in its final regular season match Saturday, dropping a 3-1 decision at No. 11 CSUN. Scores from the Matadome in the San Fernando Valley were 23-25, 25-15, 25-16, and 25-19.
With the Big West Conference loss, UC San Diego sits at 7-19 overall and 0-10 in the league. The Tritons are the sixth seed in next week's conference tournament and will face third-seeded UC Irvine in the opening round.
"It was a tough loss tonight," said UC San Diego head coach Kevin Ring. "Some of the things that we were really strong in last night against Northridge, we didn't have tonight."
Opposite hitter Collin Shannon and outside hitter Wyatt Harrison provided much of UC San Diego's offense, finishing with 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Middle blocker Logan Clark (Chula Vista/Otay Ranch Senior HS) had seven kills and five blocks while hitting .375. Outside Xander Jimenez recorded six kills, six digs, and four blocks and libero Ryan Lew amassed a team-high nine digs.
The Tritons hit .214 on the night with 43 kills and 19 errors in 112 attack attempts. A night after putting away two service aces with just seven errors, they had just one ace on 15 errors tonight.
CSUN, which swept UC San Diego Friday in La Jolla, hit .339 with 57 kills and 17 errors in 118 swings. The Matadors had four aces and held an 11-8.5 advantage in blocks. Three players had at least 10 kills including Dimitar Kalchev (match-high 17), Maciej Ptaszynski (12), and Daniel Wetter (10).
"Northridge did a nice job putting the pressure on us," said Ring. "Service pressure, their offense picked up, and we unfortunately didn't respond in a manner that was going to put us in a position to win. We did get the first set, but after that they controlled the tempo and really had momentum."
The six-team Big West Tournament is slated for April 18-20 at the University of Hawaii's Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu. Long Beach State earned the top seed and Hawai'i is No. 2. Both teams receive a bye into the semifinals. The other first round contest pits No. 4 UC Santa Barbara against No. 5 CSUN.
"We've had some competitive matches against UC Irvine already this season and we're looking forward to matching up with them again," said Ring.
In 2018, Long Beach State topped Hawai'i to win the inaugural Big West Tournament crown and then went on to win a national championship.
The winner of the conference tourney receives an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Final Big West Conference Standings
1. Long Beach State, 10-0
2. Hawai'i, 8-2
3. UC Irvine, 5-5
4. UC Santa Barbara, 4-6
5. CSUN, 3-7
6. UC San Diego, 0-10
2019 Big West Conference Tournament
Stan Sheriff Center • Honolulu, Hawai'i
Thursday, April 18 - First Round
8 p.m. PT: #6 UC San Diego vs. #3 UC Irvine
10:30 p.m. PT: #5 CSUN vs. #4 UC Santa Barbara
Friday, April 19 - Semifinals
8 p.m. PT: Winner 4/5 vs. #1 Long Beach State
10:30 p.m. PT: Winner 3/6 vs. #2 Hawai'i
Saturday, April 20 - Final
11 p.m. PT: Championship match
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 81 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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