LA JOLLA, Calif. - UC San Diego was unable to close the deal in particularly tight affairs in the final two games to lose to Stanford, 3-0, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) men’s volleyball match at RIMAC Arena on Saturday night.
Set scores were 25-20, 27-25 and 26-24.
The result dropped UCSD to 7-20 overall and 4-18 in MPSF play. Stanford moved to 14-11 overall with an even 11-11 league mark. The Cardinal swept the season series between the teams, having posted another three-set home win on Feb. 9.
Stanford scored the very first point of the night on a kill by junior outside hitter Brian Cook and led for the entirety of the opening set. A triple block by Carl Eberts, Mike Brunsting and Sebastian Brady did bring the Tritons within two at 20-18 as Stanford called for time, but managed to hold on coming out of the break.
The second frame saw 15 tie scores and six lead changes. The teams were kotted at 21-21, 22-22, 23-23, 24-24 and finally 25-25 on a Nick Iorfino kill for the Tritons, but the visitors claimed the game as Denny Falls and Steven Irvin produced a combination block on junior opposite Johl Awerkamp, and Eric Mochalski then put down a decisive kill.
UCSD trotted out to a 4-0 lead in the third set and led by as many as six points on several occasions in the early going. The Tritons still maintained a five-point cushion at 22-17 following a Fred Stahl kill when Stanford mounted its comeback in earnest. Back-to-back points on a Daniel Tublin kill and an awry attack by Stahl forced a final timeout by eighth-year UCSD head coach Kevin Ring at 22-19.
After the teams traded points, Mochalski got a kill and teamed with Cook on a stuff block of Iorfino to pull within one. Brady and Irvin swapped kills before another Triton attacking error leveled matters at 24-24 for the first time all set. The only lead change of the game then occurred as Cook and Falls combined to deny Awerkamp and put UCSD on the brink. Cook’s kill capped the proceedings.
Brady finished with a .667 hitting percentage as he compiled eight kills on 12 swings without an error. He also added four total blocks. Iorfino and Awerkamp added nine and eight kills, respectively. Brunsting had 28 assists, one kill, eight digs and team highs of two service aces and five total blocks. Eberts finished with five kills and eight digs.
For Stanford, Irvin (12), Cook (10) and Mochalski (10) all reached double digits in kills. Irvin added nine digs to lead all players in that category as well. Falls had eight total blocks. Freshman setter James Shaw handed out 38 assists.
The Tritons conclude their 2013 season with a two-match home series against the Hawai’i Warriors inside RIMAC Arena next Friday, Apr. 12, and Saturday, Apr. 13. First serve for both contests is slated for 7 p.m., with Senior Night set for Saturday.
Triton Notes: With his five kills tonight, Eberts increased his career total to 1,021, fifth-most in program history.
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