Photo by: Andy Wilhelm
Ryan Lew had a team-high nine digs Friday night in Illinois.

UC San Diego Swept by No. 8 Lewis in Illinois

UC San Diego

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ROMEOVILLE, Ill. - The University of California San Diego men's volleyball team couldn't overcome the big block of eighth-ranked Lewis and suffered a 3-0 non-conference defeat Friday night on the road.

Scores from Neil Carey Arena in Romeoville, Ill., just over 30 miles outside of Chicago, were 25-19, 25-11, and 25-12. 

UC San Diego, receiving votes in this week's national poll, saw its two-match win streak come to an end as it dropped to 2-3 overall. Lewis won its fourth-straight match and improved to 5-1.

The Flyers finished with 15 blocks, leaving the Tritons with a season-low .011 (25 kills, 24 errors, 90 attempts) hitting percentage. Lewis, which plays as a member of the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA), hit .308 (33-9-78) and sided out at 70 percent compared to UC San Diego's 39 percent.

"It was a tough loss tonight," said UC San Diego head coach Kevin Ring. "Credit Lewis for how well they played start to finish. Their service pressure got us in trouble on our side and our offense paid the price."

Individually, sophomore outside Wyatt Harrison led the Tritons with 8.5 points on eight kills and a block while also contributing four digs. Sophomore opposite Collin Shannon ended his night with seven points on seven kills while junior libero Ryan Lew had a team-high nine digs. 

For Lewis, Ryan Coenen totaled match-highs with 15 points and 12 kills. Six Flyers had multiple blocks, including Connor Pallmann, who registered seven (one solo). Michael Simmons led all players on the defensive side with 11 digs.

Lewis stormed out to a 6-0 advantage and led the whole way in the opening set. A Shannon kill brought the Tritons within two at 11-9, but that's as close as they would get.

UC San Diego scored the first two points of the second set, but Lewis responded with a 3-0 run to take the lead. The Tritons quickly tied it following a service error, but the Flyers scored another three unanswered points and stayed in front the rest of the way. They won 11 of the set's final 12 points to seal it.

Lewis was again solid early in the third frame, jumping ahead 9-1. The Flyers closed out the match by scoring seven of the set's final 10 points.

"The key is how well we recover," said Ring. "We are a young team and it's early in the season. We'll learn from tonight, regroup, and come back better tomorrow."

UC San Diego takes on another nationally-ranked opponent Saturday as it travels to No. 7 Loyola (4-1) in Chicago for a 5 p.m. (PT) match. The Ramblers defeated fifth-ranked Pepperdine in five sets Friday.

After playing its first six matches of the season on the road, the Tritons finally open their home slate on Jan. 25 against UCLA.

Speaking of home matches, it was announced Friday that all 13 of the Tritons' contests at RIMAC Arena in La Jolla this season will be broadcast live by ESPN3. Click here to read the full press release.

About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles, and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in the summer of 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's pre-eminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.

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