UCSD dropped to 6-12 overall and 3-10 in the MPSF as it began the second half of the conference slate. Cal Baptist, in its first turn as an MPSF member, improved to 7-9 overall and 4-7 in league play, snapping a four-match losing skid in the process.
The Lancers out-hit the Tritons for the match, .338-.139, posting a .522 clip (14-2-23) during a comfortable second-set performance for the home side.
The very first point of the night went to UCSD thanks to a triple block by Carl Eberts, Mike Brunsting and Fred Stahl on a Guilherme Koepp attack. The Tritons got out to a 5-1 lead a short time later via a four-point run, before CBU eventually leveled matters at 8-8.
The final one of eight tie scores followed a Cheyne Hayes kill for UCSD at 19-19. The Lancers rattled off four consecutive points from there, however, punctuated by a Koepp kill for a significant 23-19 advantage, and ultimately took the game.
The Tritons led 8-5 early in the third when Stahl served an ace in the immediate aftermath of back-to-back Nick Iorfino kills from Brunsting sets. CBU scored four of the next five points coming out of a timeout for a 9-9 deadlock.
Still even at 13-13 later in the frame, the Lancers produced five of the next six points, a run that included solo blocks by Amir Lugo-Rodriguez and Koepp, for 18-14. After Hayes and Lugo-Rodriguez traded kills, UCSD scored three successive points to close to within just one again at 19-18 and force CBU's second timeout.
Two kills by Levi Cabral and one by Aaron McCalmont, sandwiched around one by Triton senior Greg Smith, made it 22-19. A Cabral kill and service ace brought Cal Baptist to match point, and after a bad Cabral serve kept the Tritons alive, McCalmont capped the sweep.
"I felt like we missed a great opportunity to win game one as we held CBU to .167 hitting and they missed eight serves," remarked UCSD head coach Kevin Ring. "Unfortunately, we only hit .091 and missed six serves of our own. To beat a very good team like CBU, we needed to perform two-three skills not just as well as CBU, but better than CBU. We didn't do that.
"CBU had an impressive performance in game two. We simply didn't match their offensive production. I felt like we played pretty solid in game three. Even when we weren't playing great, we still found ways to turn points in our favor.
"Heading into the match, we knew we needed to serve tough and in, we needed to pressure CBU at the net with our blocking, and we needed to hit efficiently when CBU was serving to us. We were not good in those three areas and it cost us the match."
Cabral's 11 kills were the match high, while Koepp finished with eight kills and five digs. Rocky DeLyon had a match-high six total blocks.
UCSD next plays host to No. 2 BYU on Saturday night, Mar. 2. First serve at RIMAC Arena is set for 7 p.m.
Triton Notes: Cal Baptist leads the all-time series between the teams, 17-7, and is 11-1 against UCSD in Riverside ... The result snapped a two-match win streak for the Tritons against the Lancers, with back-to-back five-set triumphs in La Jolla late in the 2012 season (Apr. 12) and earlier this year on Jan. 17 ... With seven more kills tonight, Carl Eberts increased his career total to 945, now up to eighth-most in program history, as he vies to become just the fifth Triton ever to reach the 1,000-kill plateau ... Chase Frishman has 588 digs for his career, now tied with former Triton Dickens Tai for fourth-most all-time at UCSD ... Frishman now has six matches with double-digit digs in 2013 and 23 as a Triton ... True freshman Elliott Shaw made his college debut, appearing in the first and second sets and finishing with his first career kill on two swings ... Senior middle Greg Smith drew his fourth start of the year and first since Jan. 5.
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