LA JOLLA, Calif. - The University of California San Diego men's volleyball team used nine service aces to sweep away the University of Manitoba, 3-0, in an exhibition tilt Monday evening inside RIMAC Arena. Set scores were 25-18, 25-23 and 25-21.
Though just a lone exhibition for the Tritons three days ahead of their opener, the match counted for the Bisons, hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Idle since Dec. 8, they moved to 11-2 following the first of three California dates in preparation for the second half of the Canada West Universities Athletic Association season.
Junior opposite and tri-captain Tanner Syftestad led UC San Diego with nine kills, three service aces, three digs and a block assist for a match-best 12.5 total points. Senior middle blocker Shayne Beamer and freshman outside hitter Devin Pontigon (Oceanside/El Camino HS) added eight kills apiece. Beamer hit .636 (8-1-11).
Senior outside hitter and tri-captain Ian Colbert wound up with 10 digs and three aces to share the match high in both statistical categories, to go along with five kills. Junior setter Milosh Stojcic dished out 32 assists and also had five digs.
Adam DeJonckheere led all players with his 11 kills for Manitoba, while setter Luke Herr collected 10 digs and 26 assists.
The Tritons served six aces during a comfortable first-set victory. All six came over the final 11 points, all in back-to-back fashion, with two each by Colbert, Syftestad and Pontigon. Colbert's pair made it 14-10, and Syftestad came up with his two as UCSD nursed a still-precarious edge at 17-15. Pontigon's double effectively clinched the set at 22-16.
UCSD ultimately took game one on a DeJonckheere service error, and the second on Syftestad's third and final ace of the evening on set point.
The third set saw two lead changes and eight tie scores, the last of those at 16-16 before another service mistake by the Bisons and a Syftestad kill gave the home side a lead it would not relinquish, 18-16. At 19-18, a Pontigon kill, solo block by Beamer and awry Manitoba attack after a timeout put the score at 22-18. The Tritons closed out the match through a Beamer kill and stuff block by Beamer and Stojcic.
UC San Diego's 2017 campaign officially gets under way this Thursday night, Jan. 5, at No. 8 UC Irvine. First serve at Crawford Court is slated for 7 p.m. The contest will mark the start of the Tritons' milestone 25th and final season in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, before moving to the newly-formed Big West Conference as an associate member in 2018.