LA JOLLA, Calif. - Vaun Lennon had 13 kills and four service aces, but it wasn't enough as the UC San Diego men's volleyball team was swept by No. 14 Loyola Chicago University Wednesday in non-conference action at RIMAC Arena.
Scores were 25-21, 25-23 and 27-25 in favor of Loyola, which won its first match of the season to improve to 1-3. The Tritons, who were coming off a huge upset at No. 11 Hawaii, fell to 1-2 on the young season.
The Loyola win came much in part to a strong offense, both hitting and blocking. The Ramblers totaled 11 blocks as a team and the Tritons put up a solid wall as well, finishing with 9.5 stuffs. However, LCU hit .325 for the match with 40 kills and 13 errors in 83 attack attempts. UCSD struggled to get anything going and posted a .155 hitting percentage with 37 kills and 22 errors in 97 swings.
Lennon, a sophomore outside hitter that saw limited floor time as a freshman, established new career-highs with his kill and ace totals as well as points with 18.5. He also added two digs and two blocks to cap off the performance. Overall, Lennon swung at .200 with the 13 kills to go along with seven errors in 30 attack attempts.
On the other side of the net, opposite hitter Joseph Smalzer matched Lennon with 13 kills while adding three aces, but he hit .455 with only three errors in 22 swings.
UCSD sophomore middle blocker Sebastian Brady had nine kills, hit .467 and recorded five blocks. Junior Greg Smith also had a nice night for the Tritons in the middle, hitting .559 with five kills, zero errors and nine attacks. He also had two block assists.
Aside from Smalzer, Loyola was paced by 10 kills from Mike Bunting and solid hitting by Danny Podkowa and Eric Daliege. Podkowa hit .727 with eight kills and no miscues in 11 tries and Daliege hit .625 with six kills, a lone error and eight attacks.
Smalzer and Daliege each had five blocks.
The Tritons out-aced the Ramblers 7-5 as Brunsting had two and Smith had one to go along with Lennon's total. Both teams finished with 28 digs each.
Sets one and three both had 11 tie scores with the second set just behind with nine ties. UC San Diego came out to strong to take a 6-1 lead in the first set. In set three, the Tritons had a 5-1 advantage early.
UCSD hits the road for a pair of matches against two different teams at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. Saturday, Jan. 14, the Tritons compete against New Jersey Institute of Technology for the first time in program history. On Sunday, Jan. 15, UCSD takes on the Antelopes of Grand Canyon at 3 p.m.
- UCSDtritons.com -