UCSD (7-16, 4-14 MPSF) vs. #4 UCLA (15-9, 11-7 MPSF)
Friday, Mar. 29 • 7 p.m.
RIMAC Arena • La Jolla
Live Video • Live Stats
UCSD (7-16, 4-14 MPSF) at #2 UC Irvine (17-5, 14-5 MPSF)
Sunday, Mar. 31 • 4 p.m.
Bren Events Center • Irvine
TRITONS FINALLY BACK INSIDE RIMAC
UC San Diego (7-16, 4-14 MPSF) recently had what was supposed to be a season-long five-match road stretch knocked down to a four-match swing, as a contest at UC Irvine previously scheduled for Thursday night, Mar. 28, was moved to Sunday, Mar. 31. The Tritons thus next make their first return to RIMAC Arena since Mar. 2 this Friday night, Mar. 29, playing host to fourth-ranked Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) foe UCLA. UCSD then makes the short trip north to Irvine to take on the second-ranked Anteaters (17-5, 14-5 MPF). First serve Sunday inside the Bren Events Center is set for 4 p.m.
All UCSD home matches inside RIMAC Arena 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. Sunday’s match in Irvine will have live stats through PrestoSports Prime Time. Follow @UCSDtritons, @UCLAMensVB and @UCIMVB for in-match Twitter updates.
UCSD SNAPS SKID IN LOS ANGELES
UCSD overturned 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to edge USC in five sets at the Lyon Center its last time out on Saturday, Mar. 16. The result put an end to streaks of five straight losses overall and six in a row in league play. The Tritons’ second-set victory also snapped a string of losses in 16 successive games overall and 19 against MPSF opponents. Scores against the Trojans were 23-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-20 and 15-12. Carl Eberts led all players with 17 kills while Greg Smith added a career-high 13 kills. Cheyne Hayes accounted for a match- and career-high 11 total blocks as UCSD maintained a considerable advantage at the net, 20.0-13.0 in total team blocks. Chase Frishman provided a team-high 11 digs. Fred Stahl had a hand in eight blocks.
UCSD is receiving votes outside of the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I-II Men’s Coaches Top 15 Poll, released each Monday. The Tritons were last ranked on Jan. 28 at No. 13.
Carl Eberts leads the team with 13 matches in 2013 (52 career; three with 20-plus) with double-figure kills, including a season-high 22 (Jan. 17). Nick Iorfino (seven), Cheyne Hayes (six), Vaun Lennon (six), Greg Smith (two), Sebastian Brady (one) and Fred Stahl (one) have also reached the 10-kill mark at least once this season. Chase Frishman has a team-best seven matches (24 career) with double-figure digs, while Kevin McGinnis has three and Eberts, Hayes and Mike Brunsting one apiece.
EXCLUSIVE 1000-KILL CLUB ON HORIZON FOR EBERTS
In his final season of college volleyball, senior outside hitter Carl Eberts needs only 16 more 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. 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 this season with 234 kills (3.16/set).
VETERAN DUO MOVING UP ALL-TIME CHARTS
Carl Eberts and Chase Frishman are each moving up separate all-time lists in the UCSD men’s volleyball record book. Eberts is now up to fifth in kills with 984. He is seventh in digs (476), sixth in attacks (2,344) and just outside the top-10 list in aces (52; two short). Frishman, meanwhile, is alone in second with 621 digs. Eric Leserman (2006-09) tops that list with 885.
FRISHMAN HITS DIGS MILESTONES
Senior libero Chase Frishman’s first dig of the Jan. 25 meeting with Cal State Northridge was career dig No. 500, making the Dana Point native just the sixth player in program history to reach that total. At Long Beach State on Mar. 6, Frishman then also eclipsed the 600-dig mark, and is now up to No. 2 on the all-time UCSD chart with 621.
The No. 4 Bruins are 15-9 overall and 11-7 in the MPSF, good for a fourth-place tie. UCLA, like UCSD, will have been idle for two weeks since a 3-2 conference road victory after being down 1-0 and 2-1, as the Bruins won at then-eighth-ranked Cal State Northridge on Mar. 15 for their fourth straight. Junior outside hitters Gonzalo Quiroga out of Argentina and seven-foot New Yorker Robart Page are averaging 3.62 and 3.25 kills per set, respectively. Dane Worley, the national player of the week for the week of Mar. 11-17, leads in digs at 1.47 per set while averaging 2.80 kills. Junior setter Connor Bannan (445 assists, 10.85/set) is the younger brother of former Triton Phil Bannan (2008-11), UCSD’s all-time leader in assists (4399) and aces (110). UCSD is 6-8 against UCLA over their last 14 meetings since 2008. The Bruins edged the Tritons, 3-2, at the Asics Invitational back on Jan. 4, and 3-0 at New Pauley Pavilion on Feb. 2. UCSD now has one last shot to extend its streak of seasons with at least one victory over the Bruins to six straight. John Speraw is in his first go-around in charge at his alma mater after 10 years at UC Irvine, where he guided the Anteaters to three national championships in the past six years, including the 2012 crown.
SCOUTING UC IRVINE
Second-ranked defending national champion UC Irvine is 17-5 overall and 14-5 in the MPSF. The Anteaters, in second-place in the league standings behind BYU, host UCLA on Saturday night prior to welcoming the Tritons. Senior outside hitter Kevin Tillie leads UCI with 294 kills (3.92/set) while junior outside hitter Jeremy Dejno is second with 213 (3.00/set). Junior middle blocker Colin Mehring paces the conference in hitting percentage (.500) and the team in blocks (1.32/set). The then-top-ranked Anteaters swept UCSD in their first match-up this season in La Jolla on Feb. 16. UC Irvine leads the all-time series, 34-10, and has won four 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.
FIRST-EVER PROGRAM SWEEPS OF USC
Following it’s first-ever 3-0 sweep over then-eighth-ranked USC in its 2013 home opener in La Jolla on Jan. 10, UCSD completed the first season sweep of the No. 14 Trojans in program history when it won 3-2 at the Lyon Center on Mar. 16. The Tritons are 8-38 all-time in 46 meetings, with four triumphs now in Los Angeles. The Jan. 10 result snapped a seven-match losing skid against USC.
TRITON BLOCK PARTY AT USC
UCSD produced a team block total of 20.0 in its 3-2 win at USC on Mar. 16, the third-highest mark in the entire Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) in 2013. It was the most blocks by the Tritons in a single match since they had an identical 20.0 during a 3-2 home win over Hawai’i on Mar. 14, 2009. Cheyne Hayes’ match-high 11 blocks were the most by a UCSD player since all-time leader Calvin Ross posted a pair of 12-block efforts at home versus USC (3/6) and Hawai’i (3/14) in 2009. It is also tied for the fourth-best individual total in the MPSF this season. Hayes and Fred Stahl (8) accounted for UCSD’s top two outputs of 2013.
IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Through matches played Mar. 24, Chase Frishman ranks 20th nationally in the NCAA Division I-II in digs per set (2.34). Fred Stahl is 24th in blocks per set (1.05). UCSD is 23rd in digs per set (8.83), 24th in assists per set (11.18), 26th in kills per set (11.81), 29th in blocks per set (2.08) and 30th in hitting percentage (0.216).
IN THE MPSF
Through matches played Mar. 24, Chase Frishman is fifth in the MPSF in digs at 2.34 per set. Garrett Dempsey (7.67/set) and Mike Brunsting (5.90/set) are 13th and 14th, respectively, in assists, with Fred Stahl 12th in blocks (1.05/set). UCSD is sixth in the conference in team digs (8.83/set), and is 11th in assists (11.18/set), kills (11.81/set) and blocks (2.08/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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