All-time series vs. Pepperdine: PEPP leads 38-3
First Meeting: 1/17/89 (PEPP 3-1)
Last Meeting: 3/12/11 (UCSD 3-2)
2011 Series: tied 1-1
Last PEPP Win: 2/14/11 (3-1)
Current Streak: won 1
All-time series vs. USC: USC leads 36-6
First Meeting: 1/14/89 (USC 2-0)
Last Meeting: 3/11/11 (USC 3-0)
2011 Series: USC 2-0
Last UCSD Win: 3/6/09 (3-1)
Current Streak: lost 5
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Tritons Swept at No. 2 UC Irvine
UCSD was defeated in straight sets (25-19, 25-19, 25-12) at No. 2 UC Irvine in its last match on Jan. 21. The Tritons hit just .219 with 33 kills and 17 errors in 73 attacks, while the Anteaters swung at a hefty .469 with 36 kills and six errors in 64 attempts. UCI also held a 8-3 advantage in blocks and aced UCSD seven times. 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.
UCSD Earns Votes Again in AVCA National Poll
For the fourth straight week, the Tritons received votes and points in the AVCA national poll (Jan. 23), but did not jump into the top 15. MPSF schools own 11 of the 15 spots again this week. For the second consecutive week, BYU is No. 1 in the nation while UC Irvine is second. UCLA, Stanford and USC round out the top five, same as the first five in last week's poll. The Tritons were 15 points behind UC Santa Barbara, which owns the 15th and final spot in the poll. UCSD finished the 2011 season ranked 14th and climbed as high as 11th.
Sophomore outside hitter Vaun Lennon, who played in just 16 matches in 2011, has come on strong early this season and has been on a tear. He's led the Tritons in kills in the last four matches, collecting nine at UC Irvine, 11 at Grand Canyon (tied with Carl Eberts), 22 vs. New Jersey Institute of Technology and 13 against Loyola-Chicago. His 22 kills, nine digs, four blocks and 24.5 points vs. NJIT were all career-highs, as were his four service aces at home against Loyola. Overall, he's leading the Tritons in kills (3.2/set) and points (3.9/set).
Junior middle blocker Greg Smith currently leads the Tritons with a .438 attack percentage with 32 kills and four errors in 64 attempts. He's hit over .500 in three of his last four outings, including a career-high .615 (8-0-13) at UC Irvine last week. In fact, he's been errorless in his last two matches, going 3-0-9 for a .333 attack at Grand Canyon on Jan. 15.
Dr. Alan Houston to Serve as Honorary Coach Saturday
The UCSD volleyball team will welcome Dr. Alan Houston to the bench for Saturday's match against USC as part of the Athletics Department's Honorary Coach Program. Dr. Houston is the Provost of Roosevelt College as well as a professor of politcial science.
The Tritons had zero service aces on Jan. 15 at Grand Canyon University. The last time that happened was on Jan. 7, 2011 against Cal State Northridge at UC Santa Barbara, the team's second match of the season. Since then, UCSD has had just one ace in a match seven times, including last week at UC Irvine.
Riding a five-match win streak, Pepperdine's first road contest of the season will be Friday night at RIMAC. The sixth-ranked Waves play at No. 2 UC Irvine Wednesday night before coming to La Jolla. At 4-0 in the MPSF, Pepperdine has two wins over Hawaii, one against Long Beach State and one versus Cal State Northridge. All four were 3-1 victories at Firestone Fieldhouse. The Waves started the season by splitting a pair of matches against non-conference opponent Lewis. Josh Taylor leads the team in kills, averaging 4.4 per set and Matt West is averaging 10.92 assists per set. As a team, the Waves are hitting .292 while keeping opponents to a .249 attack. Friday's match will be the 1000th in the history of the program. Pepperdine, ranked ninth in the AVCA preseason poll, dropped to 10th after week one before moving to seventh and now sixth. The Waves have lost three of the past four matches against UC San Diego.
USC Coming Off Two Losses at No. 1 BYU
USC, which plays at UC Irvine Friday night before coming to RIMAC, enters the week ranked No. 5 nationally with a 3-2 overall record and a 2-2 mark in the MPSF. The Trojans have wins over Cal Baptist, Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge and, most recently, lost twice at BYU. All three wins were sweeps while the first match against the Cougars was lost in four and the second match at BYU went five. All-American outside hitter Tony Ciarelli is averaging 4.5 kills per set and Henry Cassiday leads the team defensively, averaging 2.17 digs per set. The Trojans are hitting .313 and keeping opponents to a .225 attack percentage.
On Jan. 6, UCSD upset No. 11 Hawaii in straight sets for its first ever victory over the Warriors in Honolulu. It was also the first time in program history that the Tritons swept the Warriors. Scores were 25-21, 25-21 and 25-22 at the Stan Sheriff Center as Carl Eberts led UCSD with 14 kills, three aces, three digs and five blocks. He hit .478 and totaled a match-high 19.5 points. Greg Smith had a career-high seven blocks.
Replacing a Couple of Record Holders
The Tritons will be looking to fill the adidas of setter Phil Bannan and middle blocker Calvin Ross, who were seniors in 2011. One of the most prolific players to ever suit up for the Tritons, Bannan finished his career as the school's all-time leader in assists with 4,399 as well as service aces with 110. He's third in career blocks with 277 and fifth in career digs with 522. Bannan owns the top two spots on UCSD's single season assist list as he collected 1,268 in 2009 and 1,265 in 2010. Bannan's 47 aces in 2011 are the second most put down by a Triton in a single season. Ross ended his career as the Tritons' all-time leader in blocks, totaling 361 between 2008 and 2011. He can also be found at No. 3 on the career attack percentage list, swinging a healthy .372 over four seasons. Ross' .395 hitting percentage in 2011 ranks him seventh on UCSD's single season list.
Brady, Eberts Hit the Books
True freshman middle blocker Sebastian Brady hit .383 in 2011, ranking him 10th on the school's single season record list. Outside hitter Carl Eberts, a sophomore last year, amassed 173 digs last season, 13th on UCSD's single season list.
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