PHOENIX, Ariz. - Carl Eberts and Vaun Lennon each had 11 kills, but the UC San Diego men's volleyball team was swept at Grand Canyon University Sunday in just the second ever meeting between the two squads.
Scores in the non-conference match at GCU Arena were 25-21, 25-21 and 25-19 in favor of Grand Canyon, which improved to 4-2 on the season. UCSD is now 2-3 with the loss. It was the first time in program history that the Antelopes defeated a team from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF).
UCSD hit .202 (36-17-94) compared to GCU's attack percentage of .304 (40-12-92). The Antelopes sided-out in 84% of their chances, while the Tritons finished at 69%. UCSD had 18 errors from the service line, while GCU had 13.
Eberts and Lennon each also had 12.5 points. Eberts hit .417 (11-1-24) and added six digs and two blocks, while Lennon had three digs and two blocks.
GCU's Ben Ponnet led all players with 15 kills while hitting .367 (15-4-30) with eight digs, a block and a total of 15.5 points. Jordon Tarantino had 10 kills and five blocks while Chris Lockwood hit .533 nine kills and one error in 15 attacks. Trent Bruns had a match-high 10 digs.
"The biggest issue for us today was the service aces," said UCSD head coach Kevin Ring. "When one guy misses a serve, it puts a lot of pressure on the next guy and added pressure on the rest of our game."
The Tritons fell behind 1-0 and would trail the rest of the way in the opening set.
In the second frame, it was close in the first half and blocks by Lennon and Sebastian Brady brought the Tritons back to tie the set at 17-17. However, GCU won the next two points due to two UCSD errors - one from the service line, the other on attack - and would not surrender the lead the rest of the way. The Antelopes ran off three straight points on a Ponnet kill, a block and a Triton hitting error to close out the set.
The final set was also close early. Lennon put down a kill to tie it at 11-11, but Grand Canyon took the next two points, again on Triton errors. The first came at the service line and the second was the result of hitting into the block of the Antelopes. GCU held the lead for the rest of the match.
The all-time series between the two squads is now even at 1-1. The Tritons swept the 'Lopes on Apr. 18, 2009.
UCSD, 1-1 in MPSF play, returns to league action at No. 1 UC Irvine on Jan. 21.
- UCSDtritons.com -