UCI Sweeps Santa Cruz, Falls to Bruins
UCI 3 UC Santa Cruz 0
UC Irvine swept UC Santa Cruz 3-0 (30-22, 31-29, 30-24) on Tuesday night in a non-conference match at Crawford Court.
This match presented UCI with a good opportunity for its bench to gain some experience.
Freshman Jordan DuFault led UCI with eight kills, while Jon Steller and freshman Alex DaPron each recorded seven kills. Steller sniped five aces on the night, and is tied for fifth in the UCI match record books. Sophomore Cole Reinholm added six kills, while Anthony Spittle recorded 30 assists.
Yoder and seniors Mike Ortiz and Brett Kohout ended the night with five kills. Kohout led all players with seven blocks.
UCLA 3 UCI 1
UCLA, No.4, defeated No. 9 UCI 3-1 (23-30, 30-25, 30-26, 31-29) on Friday night at Pauley Pavilion. With the loss, UCI is now 6-6 overall and 3-4 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Play.
The Anteaters were coming off a three-game winning streak against then second-ranked Pepperdine, USC and UC Santa Cruz.
However, Coach John Speraw’s return to his alma mater, where he won NCAA titles as both an assistant coach and player, was spoiled.
The Anteaters seemed to carry the momentum they built in the previous matches and took it to the Bruins in game one.
Freshmen outside hitters, Kevin Caroll and Cory Yoder, carried UCI by hitting .883 and .556 with five kills apiece. UCI took the game convincingly with a 23-30 victory.
In game two, both teams kept it close until they reached 25; then the Bruins went on a five-point rally to win the game 30-25.
UCI jumped out to a quick 12-7 lead early in game three. UCLA fought back and eventually tied the game at 20. When the teams were tied at 25, UCLA went on a tear again to close game three and won 30-26.
In game four, both teams were fighting back and forth, matching each other point-for-point. A UCI communication error let the ball hit the floor to give UCLA match point at 29-28, and a blocked UCI kill led to the Bruins’ victory.
Jon Stellar led UCI with a season-high 18 kills and two service aces. Cory Yoder continued his impressive campaign by recording a career-high 16 kills and a career-best eight digs. Libero Brent Asuka also recorded a season-high 16 digs in the loss.
The Anteaters have two crucial MSPF games this week. On Wednesday, they will battle Pepperdine at home and on Friday they host USC.