UCSD (4-10, 2-8) vs. #15 UC Santa Barbara (5-9, 3-7)
Friday, Feb. 15 • 7 p.m.
RIMAC Arena • La Jolla
Live Video • Live Stats
TRITONS RETURN HOME AFTER TWO WEEKS AWAY
UC San Diego (4-10, 2-8 MPSF) returns home to the friendly confines of RIMAC Arena this weekend for the first time since a Jan. 30 non-conference triumph over visiting Princeton. The Tritons, who have lost seven straight Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) matches since a 2-1 start to league play, host No. 15 UC Santa Barbara (5-9, 3-7 MPSF) on Friday night, Feb. 15. UCSD then welcomes top-ranked defending national champion UC Irvine into RIMAC on Saturday night, Feb. 16. First serve for both contests is set for 7 p.m. The Tritons have not faced UC Irvine yet this year, and are 0-1 against UCSB. Saturday's meeting with the Anteaters will put UCSD at exactly the midway point of the conference schedule. Following this weekend, the Tritons head into a one-match week with a non-conference affair at Hope International on Friday, Feb. 22.
All UCSD home matches inside RIMAC Arena again this season feature a live online video stream as well as live stats, both free of charge. Fans can access live video and live stats from the Schedule/Results tab of the men's volleyball page at UCSDtritons.com.
UCSD FINDS IT TOUGH GOING ON MPSF ROAD STRETCH
UCSD completed an 0-4 road stretch up in the Bay Area last weekend. The Tritons first lost 3-1 in Stockton to No. 11 Pacific on Friday, Feb. 8. They had knotted the match at one set apiece, but the host Tigers pulled out a narrow 26-24 victory in the all-important third set and went on to take the match, 25-22, 17-25, 26-24 and 25-17. That third set featured 15 tie scores and eight lead changes. Cheyne Hayes led three Tritons in double-figure kills with a match-high 15. Nick Iorfino had 13 and Carl Eberts added 10. Mike Brunsting handled setting duties all weekend and contributed 46 assists and a career-high 15 digs for his second double-double as a Triton at UOP. On Saturday night at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto, UCSD suffered a three-game sweep to No. 4 Stanford, 25-22, 25-22 and 25-23. Fred Stahl, a Bay Area native, collected a team-high 10 kills.
TRITONS RECEIVING VOTES IN AVCA POLL
For the second week in succession, UCSD is among teams receiving votes just outside of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I-II Men's Coaches Top 15 Poll, released each Monday. The Tritons had moved up in each of the first three installments of the listing after they were one of five teams drawing votes outside of the preseason edition of the rankings, and were last at No. 13 on Jan. 28.
EBERTS APPROACHING EXCLUSIVE 1000-KILL CLUB
In his final season of college volleyball, senior outside hitter Carl Eberts needs 97 kills to become just the fifth player in program history to reach the 1,000-kill plateau. The product of Huntington Beach and Edison High School produced 89 kills as a redshirt freshman in 2010, before leading the squad in 2011 and 2012 with 326 and 335 kills, respectively. With 97 more kills, Eberts would join current members of the 1,000 Club and former teammates Jason Spangler (1,491; 2007-10) and Frank Fritsch (1,403; 2007-10), as well as Jim Waller (1,301; 2001-04) and former Triton women's volleyball head coach (2005-09) and current LMU women's coach Tom Black (1,268; 1993-96). Eberts once again paces the team through 14 matches this season with 153 kills (3.19/set). He ranks 15th in the conference.
SCOUTING UC SANTA BARBARA
The 15th-ranked Gauchos are 5-9 overall and 3-7 in the MPSF. They sit one spot above the Tritons in 12th-place in the league ledger. UC Santa Barbara is coming off of a 3-1 road defeat at UC Irvine on Thursday night, losing the match after taking the first game. Set scores were 20-25, 25-19, 25-21 and 25-22. Sophomore opposite Matt Marsh had a double-double with a match-high 19 kills and 14 digs. UCSB was swept in its two meetings with the Tritons in 2012, both contests coming during UCSD's five-match MPSF win streak late in the year. The Gauchos dropped a 3-1 decision at home before falling in La Jolla on March 31 by the score of 3-0. Though still trailing in the all-time series, 29-7, the Tritons have knocked off the Gauchos in six of their last 12 meetings, with a pair of season sweeps in 2009 and 2012. UCSB earned a 3-1 win in this season's previous match-up at home back on Feb. 1. Rick McLaughlin is in his fifth season as the Gaucho head coach.
SCOUTING UC IRVINE
Top-ranked defending national champion UC Irvine is 11-3 overall and 8-3 in the MPSF. The Anteaters, winners of a season-high and current conference-best seven matches in a row, are in second-place in the league standings behind BYU. In Thursday's home win over UCSB, junior outside hitter Jeremy Dejno put down 16 kills while senior Kevin Tillie put together his second double-double of the year with 14 kills and 16 digs. The ‘Eaters are 8-2 outside of Irvine this season. UCSD and UCI have yet to face each other in 2013, after the Anteaters posted a 3-0 sweep in La Jolla to end the Tritons' 2012 campaign. The teams will play again at the Bren Center in Irvine on March 28. UC Irvine leads the all-time series, 33-10, and has won three straight meetings since a 3-1 Triton victory in Irvine on Jan. 12, 2011. David Kniffin is in his first year in charge at UC Irvine after replacing John Speraw, who left for his alma mater, UCLA, in the off-season.
Mike Brunsting posted his second career double-double at No. 11 Pacific on Friday, Feb. 8, with match highs of 46 assists and 15 digs, the latter total also a career high for the junior setter. Cheyne Hayes had produced the season's first double-double by a Triton, against then-seventh-ranked Long Beach State on Jan. 5. Hayes had a team-high 18 kills to go along with a match-high 15 digs in the 3-2 loss to the 49ers in the third-place match of the UCSB Asics Invitational. Both totals were career highs. UCSD had two double-doubles during the 2012 season, by Carl Eberts (1/14 vs. NJIT: 15 kills and 11 digs) and Brunsting (1/14 vs. NJIT: 12 digs and 55 assists).
IN THE MPSF
Through matches played Feb. 10, Chase Frishman is fifth in the MPSF in digs at 2.30 per set and Carl Eberts is 15th in kills (3.19/set) and digs (1.69/set) and points (3.56/set). Garrett Dempsey (8.26/set) and Mike Brunsting (4.88/set) are 13th and 15th, respectively, in assists, with Fred Stahl 13th in blocks (1.08/set). UCSD is up to third in team digs (9.41/set), eighth in opponent hitting percentage (.272) and ninth in assists (11.28/set). Last year, Carl Eberts ranked 14th in both kills (3.22/set) and points (3.77/set), while Frishman was third in digs (2.28/set). UCSD ranked sixth in digs (8.60/set).
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