UCSD (3-11, 1-8 MPSF) vs. No. 15 Cal State Northride (4-9, 2-7 MPSF)
Friday, February 24 • 7 p.m. (PT)
RIMAC Arena • La Jolla, Calif.
All-time series vs. Cal State Northridge: CSUN leads 64-6
First Meeting: 2/18/77 (CSUN 3-1)
Last Meeting: 4/7/11 (CSUN 3-0)
2011 Series: CSUN 3-0
Last UCSD Win: 1/30/88 (3-2)
Current UCSD Streak: lost 39
All-time series vs. Long Beach State: LBSU leads 53-4
First Meeting: 2/19/83 (LBSU 3-0)
Last Meeting: 4/9/11 (LBSU 3-1)
2011 Series: LBSU 2-0
Last UCSD Win: 2/24/07 (3-2)
Current UCSD Streak: lost 8
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Pacific and Stanford Take Wins at RIMAC
In its last match, UCSD won a set from No. 4 Stanford, but ended up falling in four sets by scores of 17-25, 26-24, 14-25 and 14-25 on Feb. 18 at RIMAC Arena. The Tritons hit .139 compared to a blistering .455 for the Cardinal. Stanford hit over .500 in two sets, including a .588 clip in the fourth, though it did give away 17 points on service errors. Vaun Lennon led UCSD in kills with 16 and Fred Stahl finished with six blocks. Brad Lawson, last week’s AVCA National Player of the Week, and Brian Cook each had 17 kills for the Cardinal.
The night before, UCSD was swept at home by No. 12 Pacific. The Tritons hit just .066 as the Tigers posted 14 blocks to win by scores of 25-23, 25-21 and 25-18. Carl Eberts had seven kills, three aces, seven digs and four blocks, all team-highs, for UCSD. Cheyne Hayes and Fred Stahl each contributed six kills. Pacific’s Florian Gornik led all players with 12 kills, while Sean Daley had eight blocks.
Cal State Northridge, in the midst of a three-match road trip, suffered a straight set loss at No. 4 UC Irvine Wednesday night, its third consecutive defeat. The team’s last win came on Feb. 10 in the form a five set victory against Pacific. The road has not been kind to the Matadors this season as they have dropped six straight contests away from Northridge. The last time CSUN lost six road matches to start a season was back in 1998. After this weekend, the Matadors will play nine consecutive matches at home. Northridge entered the week ranked 11th in the country in blocks, averaging 2.59 stuffs per set. The Matadors are hitting .242 and opponents are swinging at .287 against them. Jared Moore leads the MPSF with his .526 attack percentage, while Julius Hoefer leads the team in kills with a 3.51/set average. Setter Filip Tomicic ranks 18th nationally with his 9.91 assists/set average. Defensively, Sina Aghassy is collecting 1.67 digs per set. Cal State Northridge dropped four spots to No. 15 in this week’s national poll and has been ranked as high as No. 9 this season.
How’s the Beach?
Long Beach State, currently on a four match road trip, is riding a modest two match win streak, defeating UC Santa Barbara 3-1 and taking out No. 1 UCLA in five sets, both at Walter Pyramid. Freshman John La Rusch, making just his second collegiate start, pounded a career-high 21 kills to help the 49ers get past the Bruins. For his efforts, he was named the AVCA National Player of the Week this Tuesday. Taylor Crabb has registered double-digit kill totals in nine of 13 matches and has posted a double-double in three of his last four outings. He leads the Beach with a 2.85 kills/set average. LBSU ranks second in the MPSF in service aces, averaging 1.27/set. In addition, the 49ers rank third in opponent hitting percentage (.242) and fourth in digs (8.40.set). LBSU owns a .304 attack percentage. The 49ers moved up one spot to No. 9 in this week’s AVCA national poll.
Cal State Northridge Rewind
UCSD was 0-3 against CSUN last season with the first two matches going to the Matadors in four sets and the third in straight sets. In the first match, which was part of UC Santa Barbara’s annual tournament, the Tritons won the first set and out-blocked the Matadors 12-11, but hit .235 compared to .330 for Northridge. UCSD again won the first set of the next match, which was in La Jolla, but CSUN ended up winning the blocking battle, 16.5 to 12.5. Both squads hit under .200 with the Matadors at .171 and the Tritons at .116. Carl Eberts had a match-high 13 kills. At the Matadome in April, UC San Diego committed 16 service errors and hit .263. CSUN swung at .322 with Matt Stork totaling a match-best 17 kills. Eberts again led UCSD with 12 kills.
Long Beach State Rewind
LBSU won both match-ups against UCSD in 2011, both in four sets. At RIMAC Arena, the 49ers put up 11 blocks to the Tritons’ four and hit .319 to UCSD’s .231. Both teams struggled at the service line as Long Beach made 20 errors and UC San Diego had 18 miscues. Carl Eberts and Taylor Crabb each had 11 kills. At the Pyramid, Eberts led all players with 15 kills, but the Tritons surrendered 18 points on serve errors. Crabb again paced the Beach with 13 kills. UCSD won the first set in both matches.
Keeping the SEs Down
UCSD had just seven service errors against Pacific and nine vs. Stanford last week. In their previous nine matches, the Tritons committed 10 or more. They also put down six aces against the Tigers, their second highest total of the season. UCSD has 55 aces this season while opponents have aced the Tritons 52 times. Service errors are also close as UCSD has 199 and opponents have 201.
Making Kerouac Proud
Following this weekend, the Tritons will be on the road for their next six matches (including at CSUN and LBSU) to kick off the second half of the MPSF season. Its longest road swing of the season, UCSD won’t play at RIMAC again until hosting UCLA on Mar. 30 and UC Santa Barbara on Mar. 31.
UCSD Teams Up With Big Brothers Big Sisters Again
In conjunction with Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County, the UCSD men’s volleyball team held a free clinic at RIMAC Arena on Feb. 18. It was the fourth consecutive year that the event was held. The clinic was part of BBBS’ Sports Bigs program. For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/xCVJPr.
In the MPSF
As a team, UCSD ranks third in digs (8.60) and fifth in service aces (1.04/set). Individually, Mike Brunsting is eighth in aces (.32/set), Carl Eberts is 13th in aces (.26/set) and Greg Smith is 15th in hitting percentage (.402).
New Marks Set vs. BYU
Several new career-highs were established during the five-set match against BYU on Feb. 11 – Vaun Lennon: 25 kills, 26.5 points; Fred Stahl: 13 kills, 14.5 points; Mike Brunsting: 62 assists; Carl Eberts: 22 kills (tied previous career-high).
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.
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