IRVINE, Calif. - The UC San Diego men's volleyball team was defeated in straight sets Saturday afternoon by a red hot UC Irvine squad at the Bren Center in Orange County.
Scores were 25-19, 25-19 and 25-12. UCSD fell to 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), while UC Irvine, the second-ranked team in the nation, upped its overall record to 5-2 and is now also 1-2 in the league.
UCI, which was coming off a pair of home losses against top-ranked BYU, dominated the match, out-hitting UCSD .469 (36-6-64) to .219 (33-17-73). The Anteaters held a 8-3 advantage in blocks and aced the Tritons seven times. Irvine sided-out 86% of the time compared to UCSD's 58% and also posted much higher assist and reception percentages.
Outside hitter Vaun Lennon led the Tritons with nine kills, while middle blocker Greg Smith provided a bright spot with eight kills and no errors in 13 attacks, good for a .615 hitting percentage. He also had a team-best three blocks. Outside Carl Eberts and libero Chase Frishman each had five digs.
All-American Carson Clark led all players with 13 kills for UC Irvine. Clark hit .600 with one error in 20 swings. Five Anteaters hit .333 or better and Michael Brinkley had a match-high seven digs. Dan McDonnell and Clark each had three aces.
UCSD and UCI split last year's two conference match-ups. The Tritons took a 3-1 upset win on the road and the Anteaters retaliated with a 3-0 victory in La Jolla. UC San Diego will have its chance at retribution on Apr. 14 as it hosts UC Irvine at RIMAC Arena.
After playing five of its first six matches on the road, the Tritons return home to host three consecutive matches, starting with MPSF opponent No. 7 Pepperdine on Friday, Jan. 27 and No. 5 USC on Saturday, Jan. 28. Both matches start at 7 p.m. at RIMAC Arena. UCSD students are admitted free to all home matches with a valid ID.
- UCSDtritons.com -