Match No. 21
No. 15 UCSD (4-16, 2-13) at No. 9 Long Beach State (10-9, 5-7)
Thursday, March 15 • 7 p.m. (PT)
Walter Pyramid • Long Beach, Calif.
Match No. 22
No. 15 UCSD at No. 13 Cal State Northridge (8-11, 4-8)
Friday, March 16 • 7 p.m. (PT)
Matadome • Northridge, Calif.
All-time series vs. Long Beach State: LBSU leads 54-4
First Meeting: 12/19/83 (LBSU 3-0)
Last Meeting: 2/15/12 (LBSU 3-1)
Last UCSD Win: 2/24/07 (3-2)
Current UCSD Streak: Lost 9
All-time series vs. Cal State Northridge: CSUN leads 65-6
First Meeting: 2/18/77 (CSUN 3-1)
Last Meeting: 2/24/12 (CSUN 3-0)
Last UCSD Win: 1/30/88 (3-2)
Current UCSD Streak: Lost 40
We’ve Got You Covered
If you can't make it to Long Beach or Northridge this week, there are several options to still follow the action live. Long Beach State will offer an audio broadcast at http://bit.ly/hWvGuP as well as live stats at http://bit.ly/eX4LB0. The match against the Matadors will be covered by live stats at http://bit.ly/zABPc9.
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Tritons Down UC Santa Barbara in Four Sets
Fred Stahl hit .611 with 13 kills and six blocks as UCSD defeated No. 12 UC Santa Barbara, 3-1, Mar. 9 on the road. Scores were 19-25, 25-21, 25-23 and 26-24. The win snapped a nine-match losing skid for UCSD. The Tritons hit under .200 in the first two sets, but turned it around in a big way and swung over .300 in sets three and four. Conversely, the Gauchos came out strong, hitting .542 in the first frame, but dropped into the negative in set two and never hit north of .300 for the rest of the match. Overall, UCSD finished at .246 (55-24-126) and UCSB was at .200 (48-25-115). Both teams were aggressive at the net as the Gauchos recorded 15 blocks and the Tritons countered with 13. UCSD had 19 errors from the service line and UCSB had 13. UC San Diego was superb in the middle. Stahl matched a pair of career-highs with the 13 kills and six blocks. His .611 (13-2-18) hitting percentage led all players. Fellow middle Sebastian Brady hit .500 with nine kills and only one error in 16 attacks. The sophomore also had six stuffs at the net. Joining Stahl with double-digit kill totals was outside hitter Vaun Lennon with 12 and opposite Johl Awerkamp with 11. Awerkamp, who has only played in eight matches this season, has had 10 or more kills in UCSD's last eight contests. Outside Carl Eberts had nine kills and a match-high 11 digs and setter Mike Brunsting amassed 40 assists. The Gauchos had won the previous four meetings between the two teams. The Tritons' last win came on Jan. 8, 2010 in a non-conference match at UCSB's annual early season tournament.
No. 1 UCLA Sweeps Tritons in Los Angeles
UCSD kept it close but was swept by No. 1 UCLA on Mar. 8 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. UCSD made 13 errors from the service line while UCLA gave away 11 points on serve errors. 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. In 2011, the two teams split the regular season series with UCSD sweeping in Los Angeles and UCLA winning in straight sets in La Jolla.
On the Beach
No. 9 LBSU enters the week with a 10-9 overall and a 5-7 mark in the MPSF, good for seventh place in the league. The 49ers hosted their annual Active Ankle Tournament on Mar. 9 and 10 and split a pair of matches, defeating IPFW 3-0 and falling to Lewis in four sets. In the MPSF, LBSU ranks second in aces (1.26/set), third in opponent hitting percentage (.249), fifth in hitting percentage (.296), sixth in digs (8.39/set), seventh in kills (12.51/set), eighth in assists (11.66/set) and eighth in blocks (2.22/set). Individually, Ryan Meehan is fourth in hitting (.455), Connor Albright is sixth in assists (10.34), Jim Baughman ranks eighth in aces (0.34/set) and Kyle McElderry is ninth in digs (1.85/set). Baughman leads the Beach with his 3.05 kills/set and 3.59 points.set averages. Long Beach plays at No. 1 UC Irvine Saturday night.
UCSD and LBSU met recently with the 49ers taking a 3-1 victory on Feb. 25 at RIMAC Arena. Scores were 25-21, 17-25, 25-17 and 25-22. UCSD had more kills on the night (51-45), but ran into 10.5 blocks and didn't help itself by committing 16 errors from the service line. After hitting .071 in the opening frame, the Tritons recovered and finished at .262 (51-23-107), which included swinging at a .440 (15-4-25) clip in the second set. LBSU hit .303 (45-19-99) for the night. The 49ers also struggled from the service line with 14 errors, but did drop in seven aces. Johl Awerkamp, playing in just his fourth match of the season, led all players with 19 kills and hit .343 (19-7-35). The opposite put forth a solid effort all the way around by adding two aces, seven digs and four blocks. UCSD outside Vaun Lennon also turned in a strong performance with 15 kills, an ace and four digs. He hit .367 (15-4-30), the best attack percentage of his career. Long Beach had nobody with double-digit kill totals as it balanced its attack among several players. Taylor Crabb had nine kills while Jim Baughman, Colten Echave and Brad Hemmerling all registered eight. Jeff Ornee chipped in with seven kills. No 49er had more than 22 attempts. Crabb also had four aces and eight digs while Hemmerling and Ornee each recorded five blocks.
Winners of four of its last six matches, CSUN enters the week with an 8-11 overall record and is eighth in the MPSF at 4-8. The Matadors are in the middle of a nine-match homestand. Theys played three matches last week, sweeping Ball State and Loyola and losing in four sets against Harvard. Northridge plays at top-ranked UC Irvine Wednesday night. In the league, CSUN ranks fifth in opponent hitting percentage (.271), fifth in blocks (2.48/set), fifth in aces (1.10/set) and eighth in hitting percentage (.260). Charlie Condron ranks fifth in digs (2.22/set), Drew Staker is seventh in blocks (1.08/set), Jared Moore is ninth in hitting (.432) and Matt Stork is ninth in aces (0.31/set).
Johl Awerkamp had a match-high 11 kills, but UCSD fell in straight sets against CSUN at RIMAC Arena on Feb. 24. Scores were 25-18, 25-14 and 28-26. It was CSUN's first road win of the season. UCSD held a slight advantage in kills with 40 compared to CSUN's 38, but the Tritons were far less efficient as they took 23 more swings than their opponent. They finished the night with a .111 attack percentage, collecting the 40 kills with 29 errors in 99 attacks. The Matadors swung at a solid .408 with 38 kills and just seven errors in 76 attempts. UCSD was out-blocked 8.5 to 4.0. Mike Brunsting and Garrett Dempsey split setting duties with each totaling 17 assists. Libero Chase Frishman led the Tritons defensively with eight digs. On the other side of the net, John Baker kept pace with Awerkamp and matched his 11 kills. He hit .500 with just one error in 20 attacks. Four Matadors hit .300 or better, including Drew Staker, who posted a .556 attack (6-1-9). Staker also had a match-best five block assists.
Tritons Break Into National Poll
UCSD found itself among the top-15 in the nation for the first time this season, coming in at No. 15 in Monday's AVCA poll. The Tritons had received votes in nine of the previous 10 polls this season.
Johl on a Roll
Johl Awerkamp has played in just eight matches this season, but has come on strong as of late. The opposite has led UCSD in kills in four of the team's last six matches, including a career-high 19 vs. Long Beach State on Feb. 25. He also had seven digs and 23.0 points in that match, both career-bests.
Middle Me That
The Triton middles have been on a hitting tear recently. Fred Stahl has pounded at a .514 (22-3-37) clip over the team's last three matches, while Sebastian Brady swung .455 (20-5-33) over that span. Stahl's .611 (13-2-18) attack percentage at UCSB last week was a career-high, as were his 16.5 points. Brady's six blocks at Santa Barbara was a season-best for him.
In the MPSF
As a team, UCSD ranks fifth in digs (8.41/set), seventh in aces (0.91/set) and ninth in kills (11.99/set). Individually, Chase Frishman is 10th in digs (1.84/set) and Mike Brunsting is 11th in assists (8.20/set) and aces (0.25/set).
Making Kerouac Proud
The Tritons are currently in the midst of a six-match road swing, their longest of the season. The stretch began at Stanford on Mar. 2 and UCSD won't play at RIMAC again until hosting UCLA on Mar. 30 and UC Santa Barbara on Mar. 31.
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