The Anteaters were able to get back into the win column after sweeping the Redhawks of Seattle University on Tuesday night, three games to none. However, this win was an exception from the previous 17, as Coach Paula Weishoff decided to insert four different players into the starting lineup: Courtney Moeller, Alexandra Filkins, Marissa Alvarez and McCall Miller.
“We needed to rest some people, so we tried to get as many players on the court,” Weishoff said.
UC Irvine’s McCall Miller led all players in kills, as she recorded a season high with 18.
“I felt pretty comfortable and confident playing outside hitter tonight,” Miller said.
The Anteaters battled hard for a first set victory that featured eight tie scores and five lead changes. The Redhawks kept the game close, as the Anteaters could not build more than a two point lead. However, The Redhawks were able to shift the momentum and the lead to their favor, as they capitalized on an Anteater miscue. Seattle University added another kill and increased their lead to 15-17, forcing the Anteaters to call a timeout. Coming out of the timeout Juliane Piggott and McCall Miller recorded two consecutive kills that knotted the set up at 17-17. UC Irvine was able capitalize on Redhawk errors and regained the lead at 18-17. The Anteaters would finish strong, closing the set at 25-19.
The Anteaters opened the second set with authority as they built a commanding 4-1 lead. However, UC Irvine saw their lead disappear as the Redhawks battled back and took the lead at 8-7. Miller and Alexandra Hauser shifted the momentum back to the Anteater side as they recorded two consecutive kills to regain the lead at 9-8. The ’Eaters would remain in the driver’s seat for the rest of the set, as they would go to win 25-22.
With a commanding 2-0 set lead UC Irvine looked to turn out the lights on the Redhawks. Tied at 10, The Readhawks shot a ball in the center of the court that was too hot to handle and gave them their first lead of the set. UC Irvine was able to recapture the lead at 17-14, which forced Seattle to take a timeout. UC Irvine was able to close out the set at 25-20.
UC Irvine 3 CSUN 0
After that sweep on Tuesday night, the Anteaters of UC Irvine were looking to for the brooms yet again against Cal State Northridge. The Matadors threw the kitchen sink at the Anteaters, but in the end UCI was able to pull off the sweep, 26-24, 26-24, 25-17.
UC Irvine’s Juliane Piggott led all players with 18 kills, while Larissa Nordyke tacked on another 11.
Although the third set was not much of a contest, it was the first and second sets that were full of drama.
Despite the fact that the Anteaters out hit the Matadors .244 to .086, CSUN was able to match UC Irvine’s intensity. Tied at 13 apiece, Larissa Nordyke recorded a kill that not only gave the Anteaters the lead at 14-13, but also gave them momentum to close out the set.
After CSUN was called for a double contact and increased the ’Eater lead to 22-17, a first set victory seemed sure thing, but that was the not the case. The Matadors did not go quietly in the night, recording three straight kills that cut the lead to 22-20, and forced the Anteaters to call timeout.
“We need to play with a sense of urgency and not take anything for granted,” Weishoff said.
Down 22-24 with their back against wall, the Anteaters went to work. Pestolesi single-handedly tied the game with a kill and a block and forced CSUN to call a timeout. The Matador timeout went for naught, as UC Irvine was able to close out the set 26-24.
The second set saw UCI maintain a consistent three point lead, but that three lead would dwindle quickly in the late stages of the game. With UCI only needing two points to close out the set, 23-20, the Anteaters would once again fail to shut the door.
The Matadors quickly countered with an ace and a kill. CSUN was able to get back into the set at 23-23, but the Matadors hit a ball into the net which gave the ‘Eaters the lead again at 24-23. Nordyke and freshman outside, Courtney Moeller, recorded the last two points and crushed any Matador hope, ending the set 26-24.
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