LA JOLLA, Calif. - Despite a dominant second-set performance and three players in double-figure kills, UC San Diego was topped by No. 14 University of Hawai’i, 3-1, in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) men’s volleyball action Friday night inside RIMAC Arena. Set scores were 25-20, 15-25, 25-21 and 25-23.
UCSD dropped to 7-21 overall and 4-19 in MPSF play with one match remaining for the 2013 season. Hawai’i kept its postseason hopes alive in improving to 10-16 overall and 9-14 in league play. The Warriors must beat the Tritons again on Saturday night, and hope that No. 10 Cal State Northridge loses at No. 2 Long Beach State, in order to secure the eighth and final berth into the 2013 MPSF Tournament.
Carl Eberts (13), Nick Iorfino (12) and Johl Awerkamp (11) were the kill leaders for the Tritons, while senior libero Chase Frishman produced a match- and season-high 16 digs. Senior middle blocker Greg Smith finished with six kills and a team-best six total blocks to share the match high. Mike Brunsting had 31 assists and six digs.
Brook Sedore put down 19 kills for UH to lead all players with Taylor Averill (13) joining him in double digits. Averill hit .706 (13-1-17) and added six block assists. Davis Holt was similarly efficient at .615 (9-1-13). Starting setter Joby Ramos collected 28 assists and a team-high nine digs.
The opening set only had one tie score at 4-4, with UH otherwise maintaining a lead, having scored the initial point on a Triton service error. The Warriors were ahead by as many as six at 18-12 after back-to-back Averill kills and a Sedore ace when UCSD called its second timeout, and then again at 23-17. A triple block by Iorfino, Smith and Garrett Dempsey, followed by an Iorfino ace denied a pair of set points for Hawai’i before another service miscue gave the visitors game one.
The Tritons were in control of the second game for its entirety, trotting out to leads of 5-1 through a run of four straight points after the only deadlock of the frame at 1-1, and 10-4 moments later. UCSD went up by nine at 20-11 on a Sebastian Brady ace, and extended to as large a lead as 11 at 24-13 on solo blocks by Smith and Eberts around a Smith kill on successive points.
Midway through a tighter third set, Brady and Eberts combined to stuff Sedore and level the score at 10-10. Four straight Triton points turned a 14-12 deficit into a 16-14 lead. A run of five consecutive UH points later gave the Warriors all the cushion they would need at 21-18.
A triple block by Holt, Sedore and Jace Olsen made it 1-1 early in the fourth. Three straight Hawai’i points led into a Triton timeout followed by the eighth and final tie score of the frame at 17-17. A Smith kill pulled UCSD within just one at 24-23, but another service error cemented the Warrior victory.
The Tritons put a capper on their 2013 season on Senior Night Saturday against Hawai’i at RIMAC Arena. First serve is slated for around 7 p.m., after a pre-match ceremony recognizing the career contributions of Eberts, Frishman and Smith.
Triton Notes: UH leads the all-time series, 44-4, though the teams had split the previous eight meetings since 2009 prior to tonight … With 13 more kills, Carl Eberts increased his career total to 1,034 … He will end his college career Saturday night No. 5 on UCSD’s all-time kills list … Eberts turned in the 55th performance of his career with double-digit kills, and team-leading 16th this season … Chase Frishman added 16 more digs to give him 665 as a Triton … Frishman will leave the program in the No. 2 position in that career category … With 210 digs now in 2013, Frishman becomes the third Triton ever to collect 200-plus digs in multiple seasons, having matched his total from 2012 … It was Frishman’s ninth match this season with double-figure digs and 26thof his career … Nick Iorfino reached double figures in kills for the ninth time in 2013 and 14th time in his career … Johl Awerkamp reached double figures in kills for the second time this season and 12th time as a Triton.
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