The UC Irvine women’s volleyball team travelled to Stockton, CA Friday night to play conference heavyweights the University of the Pacific.
The match was tight throughout, but Pacific came out on top sweeping the Anteaters, 27-25, 25-21, 25-20.
The first set displayed how evenly matched the two teams were as neither team ever fell behind by more than two points. The two squads went point-for-point until it came down to the last of the games. As the two were tied 25-25, UCI committed a service error putting Pacific up by one, in which Pacific capitalized. A kill by Pacific junior, Mallori Gibson put the Tigers up 27-25 and put the Anteaters away in game one.
It was an uphill battle from then on. The Anteaters entered game two of the match looking to gain some momentum over the home team and even the score at one game apiece; Pacific had other plans.
Irvine jumped out on top 10-7 and had stolen the momentum back, but Pacific. After going on a 12-5 run, Pacific had a four point lead at 19-15. The Anteaters were plagued with errors in the second set, committing six, and were never able make it back into the game. Pacific closed the game out with a kill, taking the second set 25-21.
UCI lost its moment in the third set, but made a push at the end. Pacific opened the game, getting out to a 10-5 lead and trying to pull away. However, Irvine would not let up. After some heavy hitting by both squads, Irvine was able to bring it within four at one moment, but Pacific never broke. Irvine lost the final set, 15-20 after committing five errors and nailing 14 kills.
Sophomore Kari Pestolesi led the Anteaters with 13 kills and 10 digs on the night, while junior Alexandra Filkins had a career high of 11 kills without committing an error. Junior Taryn Robertson added to effort with 33 assists, five digs and a pair of block assists.
The Anteaters dropped to 2-2 in conference play and 7-10 overall with the loss to Pacific.
UC Irvine Sweeps Davis, 25-17, 25-19, 25-21
The Anteaters rallied after Friday night’s loss to the University of the Pacific and ousted UC Davis on Saturday with some authority. The Aggies were without a win in conference play prior to the match, and UCI was determined to keep it that way.
The first game was close as both teams remained tied, even making it 16-16 at the midway point. But UCI pulled away and never looked back. The Anteaters went on a 6-0 run making it 22-16. With an overwhelming attack from both sides of the court, the Aggies were simply over-matched. Senior Luaren Kellerman finished the first match with one of her 15 kills on the night to give Irvine the final score of 25-17.
UCI dominated the second gameas Davis had no answer for the onslaught of scoring by Kellerman and Robertson. The Anteaters led throughout the set, only allowing Davis to come within three at the end of the game with Anteaters up 22-19. UCI finished similar to how it did in the first set, except this time it was senior Shannon Homan who came up big in the last points of the game with a kill and a block to help close out the second set 25-19, giving the Anteaters a two game lead in the set.
The third set proved to be the toughest for the Anteaters, but the team never gave into the Aggie pressure. Davis stepped up their attack in the third game and was leading at mid-way point 16-14, but that would not last. UCI took back the momentum and went on a blistering 8-1 run making 22-17.
Like the first two games of the match, UCI would not be stopped once they came within three points of the win. Davis committed three straight errors and Irvine went on to win the set 25-21.
The big win at Davis brought the Anteaters to a 3-2 record in conference play and 8-10 overall.
The sweep displayed outstanding play by Kellerman who led the game with 15 kills. Pestolesi posted another impressive match with a double-double, getting 12 kills and 10 digs and committing just one error. Devon Sutherland and Filkins both scooped 13 digs, while Riley Cropper rounded out the top scorers with an errorless night of eight kills on 14 attempts.
This was a huge win for the Anteaters as they continue to improve their up-and-down season. The Anteaters are set to challenge rivals Long Beach State black-and-blue on Wednesday at Crawford Hall at 7 p.m.
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