LA JOLLA, Calif. - Joel Davidson and Shane Veiga combined for 25 kills, but the 11th-ranked UC San Diego men's volleyball team fell in straight sets to No. 3 UC Irvine Saturday at RIMAC Arena. It was the final match of the season for the Tritons and the last career outing for four seniors.
Scores went 25-19, 25-15 and 25-21 in favor of UC Irvine, which improved to 18-11 overall and 14-8 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with its sixth consecutive victory. UC San Diego finished its season at 9-20 and 5-17.
Veiga led all players with 13 kills on a .500 attack percentage at opposite hitter. Outside Davidson, one of the four seniors, put away 12 kills, the sixth time he's finished with a double-digit kill total this season. Senior middle Paul Spitsen got the start and didn't waste the opportunity. He set a new career-high with five kills and matched his career-best .333 attack percentage.
Also playing in their final contest for the Tritons was setter Phil Bannan and middle blocker Calvin Ross. Bannan, the school's all-time leader in assists and service aces, had 36 assists, an ace and a block against the Anteaters. Bannan and libero Chase Frishman each had a match-high six digs. Ross, who became UCSD's career leader in blocks earlier this season, had five points on two kills and three blocks.
"It's been a good four years," said Ross, who finished his career with 361 blocks."Playing with my teammates tonight is what I'll always remember. I was nervous coming in, but it feels weird now to be done playing here."
Bannan amassed 4,399 assists, 110 aces and 522 digs, making him just the fifth Triton to total over 500 scoops in a season.
"It was a fun night with my friends," said Bannan. "I really enjoyed being on the court with them and it was great to get to play with them tonight."
The Anteaters were led by Carson Clark's 11 kills on .588 hitting. He also added two aces, five digs and three blocks and totaled a match-high 14.5 points. Middle Kevin Wynne had seven kills and six blocks as UCI held a solid 12.5 to 5 advantage in blocking.
UCI hit .429 (38-8-70), which included swinging at .667 in the second set. UCSD hit .237 (38-19-80) on the night and attacked at .300 or better in sets two and three. The Tritons had an off night from the service line, committing 14 errors and acing UCI just once.
Six blocks and a .121 attack by the Tritons helped UCI dominate the first set. The Anteaters led by as many as nine points in the frame. Irvine ran out to a 6-0 lead in the second set and would never trail. The third set proved the most competitive as it featured seven ties. The Tritons got their first lead of the match at 3-2 on a Davidson kill. Down 8-7, the Anteaters spun off three straight points to take the lead for good.
The squads split the season series as UCSD upset UCI, 3-1, in Irvine back in January.
UCSD tied for a 10th-place finish in the MPSF with Cal State Northridge and Pacific. The Anteaters placed fourth in the league and will host fifth-place Hawai'i in an MPSF Tournament quarterfinal on Apr. 23.
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