LA JOLLA, Calif. - Johl Awerkamp had a season-high 20 kills to lead the UC San Diego men's volleyball team to a 3-2 victory over Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) foe California Baptist Thursday night at RIMAC Arena.
Down two sets to one, UCSD came from behind to win by scores of 25-20, 20-25, 23-25, 27-25 and 15-10. The Tritons improved to 2-18 on the season and, with their first league victory of the year, are now 1-17 in MPSF play.
Awerkamp hit .342 with the 20 kills and seven errors in 38 attacks. He also added two assists, two service aces, eight digs and a block assist.
Mike Brunsting finished with 16 kills while hitting .367 (16-5-30) for UCSD. He recorded a career-best five service aces and totaled seven digs. Kirill Rudenko was also potent on the attack for the Tritons, hitting .474 with 10 kills and just one error in 19 swings.
CBU (4-16, 2-15 MPSF) got a double-double from Johannes Brink, who finished with 21 kills and 13 digs, both match-highs. Three other Lancers posted double-digit kill totals, including Rocky DeLyon (14), Joel Blocksom (10) and Kristopher Johnson (10). Johnson had six blocks and DeLyon had five.
Both squads hit well as UC San Diego finished at .345 (69-20-142) and California Baptist attacked at .326 (65-22-132). UCSD hit .414 (15-3-29) in the opening set, while CBU had the best hitting percentage of the night in the second set, .560 (16-2-25). The Lancers held a 12-2 advantage in blocks.
Awerkamp and Rudenko each put down four kills in the fifth set, with Awerkamp accounting for UCSD's final two points to close out the match. Brunsting amassed three of his five aces in the deciding frame and served six straight points to help the Tritons get out to an 11-5 lead.
The two teams split the regular season series as CBU earned a 3-2 victory in Riverside back on Jan. 16. The Tritons and Lancers also split the 2013 series, the first year that California Baptist was an MPSF member.
UCSD travels to Provo, Utah, to take on BYU Saturday at 6 p.m. (PT). The Cougars, ranked third nationally, are 13-4 overall and sit atop the MPSF standings at 13-2. The match will be broadcast live by BYUtv and will also be covered by live stats.
Following Saturday's contest, the Tritons will play their final six regular season matches in La Jolla.