Match No. 23
No. 13 UCSD (6-16, 4-13) vs. No. 3 UCLA (19-4, 13-3)
Friday, March 30 • 7 p.m. (PT)
RIMAC Arena • La Jolla, Calif.
Match No. 24
No. 13 UCSD vs. No. 15 UC Santa Barbara (5-15, 3-13)
Saturday, March 31 • 7 p.m. (PT)
RIMAC Arena • La Jolla, Calif.
All-time series vs. UCLA: UCLA leads 50-4
First Meeting: 1/11/92 (UCLA 3-0)
Last Meeting: 3/8/12 (UCLA 3-0)
Last UCSD Win: 4/1/11 (3-0)
Current UCSD Streak: Lost 1
All-time series vs. UC Santa Barbara: UCSB leads 37-6
First Meeting: 1/28/89 (UCSB 3-0)
Last Meeting: 3/9/12 (UCSD 3-1)
Last UCSD Loss: 3/31/11 (3-0)
Current UCSD Streak: Won 1
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Tritons Beat CSUN for First Time Since 1988
Carl Eberts and Johl Awerkamp combined for 37 kills to help lead UCSD to its first victory against Cal State Northridge in over 24 years on Mar. 16. Scores from the Matadome were 19-25, 30-28, 25-18 and 25-21. The Tritons' last win against the Matadors occurred on Jan. 30, 1988 in La Jolla. Between the two victories, Northridge won 40 times. UCSD hit .270 (62-24-141) to CSUN's .189 (47-24-122), which included swinging at a .467 (17-3-30) clip in the third set. The Matadors out-blocked the Tritons 12.5 to 10.5. Vaun Lennon also had a productive night for UCSD, recording 13 kills, six digs and four block assists. Garrett Dempsey racked up 50 assists and nine digs, both career-bests. Chase Frishman led all players and matched a career-high with 15 digs, while Sebastian Brady tallied six block assists. The last time UCSD had won in Northridge was on Feb. 11, 1986.
Historic Week Begins with Win at LBSU
Carl Eberts had 19 kills and Johl Awerkamp added 18 as UCSD outlasted Long Beach State to earn a five-set win at Walter Pyramid on Mar. 15. Scores went 16-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-20 and 15-11. It was the Tritons' second ever win at Walter Pyramid and first since 1983. A 61-48 advantage in kills and a .978 to .913 edge in reception percentage helped lead the Tritons to the win. The Tritons aced the 49ers seven times. LBSU led in several statistical categories, including hitting percentage (.237 to .192), blocks (13.5 to 9) and digs (47 to 38). Eberts also contributed two aces, six digs and three blocks and amassed 22 points, his second-highest total of the season. Awerkamp matched Eberts with two aces and six digs while adding three blocks. He finished with 21.5 points, the second-best total of his season as well. Garrett Dempsey totaled 48 assists, Chase Frishman led UCSD defensively with nine digs and middle blocker Fred Stahl had six blocks. It was the sixth five-set affair for UCSD this season, which evened its mark in the marathons at 3-3.
No. 3 UCLA
The Bruins enter Friday's match with a 19-4 overall record and are second in the MPSF with a 13-3 mark. Like UCSD, UCLA had last week off. The team has just four losses, but two of those have come in its last three matches. After winning six consecutive tilts, the Bruins lost two straight at home, 3-2 against UC Irvine (Mar. 10) and 3-0 vs. USC (Mar. 14). Weston Dunlap leads the nation in hitting percentage (.477) and Thomas Amberg is third in blocks (1.57/set). Gonzalo Quiroga is fifth in aces (.46/set). As a team, the Bruins rank third in hitting (.347) nationally, third in blocks (3.13/set), fourth in kills (13.28/set), sixth in assists (12.30/set) and sixth in aces (1.25/set). Head coach Al Scates is in his 50th and final season leading the Bruins. The legend will retire after this season and UCSD will recognize his accomplishments prior to Friday's match.
No. 15 UCSB
After playing in the national championship match last season, the Gauchos have struggled mightily this season after losing a majority of their starters. They enter the week with a 5-15 overall record and are in last place in the MPSF at 3-13. UCSB has lost its last six matches, most recently at home against USC (3-0, Mar. 16) and Pepperdine (3-0, 3/14). The team has two wins over Cal State Northridge and single victories against Cal Baptist, Pepperdine and BYU. Santa Barbara ranks fourth in digs in the MPSF, averaging 8.68 per set. Individually, Chad Kingi is third in digs (2.28/set), Oliver Deutschman is 10th in assists (9.24/set) and Dylan Davis is 10th in blocks (1.01/set). The Gauchos play at top-ranked UC Irvine Friday before coming to La Jolla.
In the two teams' last meeting on Mar. 8, UCSD was swept by No. 1 UCLA at the John Wooden Center. Scores were 25-21, 25-20 and 28-26. The Tritons hit .299 (40-17-77), their highest attack percentage since swinging at .339 against Hope International on Feb. 3. The Bruins finished at .354 (43-14-82) and held an 8-3 advantage in blocks. Carl Eberts led all players with 14 kills and Johl Awerkamp added another 12 for UCSD. The Bruins were paced by 10 kills from Gonzalo Quiroga. The match featured 27 tie scores.
Fred Stahl hit .611 with 13 kills and six blocks as UCSD defeated UCSB, 3-1, on Mar. 9 at the Thunderdome. Scores were 19-25, 25-21, 25-23 and 26-24. UCSD snapped a nine-match losing skid and it was UCSB's fourth straight loss. Both teams were aggressive at the net as the Gauchos recorded 15 blocks and the Tritons countered with 13. UCSD was superb in the middle. Stahl matched a pair of career-highs with the 13 kills and six blocks. Fellow middle Sebastian Brady hit .500 with nine kills and only one error in 16 attacks and added six stuffs at the net. Vaun Lennon had 12 kills and Johl Awerkamp had 11. Carl Eberts totaled nine kills and a match-high 11 digs. UCSB's Kevin Donohue had a match-best 15 kills while Miles Evans and Evan Licht each posted 10. Licht hit .533 (10-2-15) and added four digs and seven blocks.
Pacing the Offense
Either Carl Eberts or Johl Awerkamp has led the Tritons in kills in seven of the team's last eight matches. Overall, Eberts has led the team 10 times and Awerkamp four, despite playing in just 10 matches to date. Eberts has posted 19 put-aways in his last two contests, while Awerkamp has registered 18 in his last two outings. In fact, Awerkamp has totaled double-digit kill totals in eight consecutive matches and eight of 10 matches played.
Get the Picture
The MPSF Tournament picture is developing. Entering this week, five of the eight spots have been clinched by UC Irvine, UCLA, BYU, USC and Stanford. Pepperdine is currently sixth with a 7-9 league record, while Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge are tied for seventh at 6-10. Pacific (4-11), UCSD (4-13), Hawaii (4-14) and UCSB (3-13) are bunched together in spots 9-12. Each team plays a total of 22 regular season MPSF matches.
Good Things Come in Threes
UCSD has won its last three matches, all on the road (Mar. 9 at UCSB, Mar. 15 at LBSU, Mar. 16 at CSUN). The last time the Tritons won three straight was in 2008 when they beat Hope International (Mar. 14), UCLA (Mar. 28) and UC Irvine (Mar. 29), all at RIMAC Arena.
For the second straight week, UC San Diego is ranked 13th in the AVCA's national poll. The Tritons broke into the poll at 15th on Mar. 12 and had received votes in nine of the 10 polls before that.
In the MPSF
As a team, UCSD ranks sixth in digs (8.49/set), seventh in aces (.92/set), ninth in kills (12.17/set) and ninth in assists (11.36/set). Individually, Chase Frishman is ninth in digs (1.94/set) and Fred Stahl is 14th in blocks (.97/set)
Return to RIMAC
Friday's match against UCLA will mark the first time UCSD has played at home since Feb. 25. The Tritons have been on the road for their last six contests, the longest road span of the season for the team. The trip proved to be productive as UCSD went 3-3 over the stretch, with upset victories against UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge.
USC to Host NCAA Final Four
USC will play host to the 2012 NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. The semifinals will be held on May 3rd at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and the national title match will be on May 5th at 7 p.m. To purchase tickets online, go to http://bit.ly/H48Xfa. For complete information on the Championships, visit http://www.ncaa.com/championships/volleyball-men/d1.
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