Men’s Volleyball Splits Series
Friday: UCI 3 Ohio State 0
The UC Irvine men’s volleyball team hosted and dominated 10th-ranked Ohio State in the first of two weekend series games at the Bren Events Center on Friday night.
The Anteaters swept the Buckeyes 30-23, 30-25, 30-13, but the biggest story of the match was junior Jon Stellar’s performance at the service line. Stellar tied a UCI match record with career-high six aces. Stellar’s name now sits besides Matt Webber (2004), Mike Rupp (1999) and Jarret Jensen (2002).
To go along with his six aces, Stellar recorded 14 kills. Corey Yoder joined Stellar with 14 kills to lead the Anteaters. Aaron Harrell and Cole Reinholm added seven kills apiece. Reinholm also had a match-high seven digs. Setter Ryan Ammerman fired three kills and 41 assists, and Mac Waite came off the bench strong with three kills on five attempts, with no errors.
Yoder set the tone for the first game by firing eight kills. This helped the Anteaters jump out to an early 10-3 lead, and eventually led them to an easy 30-23 victory.
The Anteaters built an early 8-4 lead in game two and used their hot hitting to bring them to a 28-21 lead. The Buckeyes would show some fight, however, by scoring four straight points to bring the score to 28-25. Following a UCI timeout, Yoder punished the Buckeye defense with a power stroke to set up game point for the Anteaters. As the Anteaters have done all season, they went to Reinholm to end that match at 30-25.
Game three was Stellar’s game, as he rocketed four of his six aces in a 6-0 run to give UCI a commanding 26-12 lead. The Buckeyes posed no problems for the Anteaters the rest of the way, as the Anteaters won 30-13, completing the three game sweep.
Saturday: Ohio State 3 UCI 2
The 10th-ranked Ohio State men’s volleyball team defeated a sixth-ranked UCI team, which was without three of its regular starters, on Saturday in the second of two games between the teams at the Bren Events Center.
UCI (10-10) was without Aaron Harrell, Brent Asuka and Corey Yoder, who were given the day off to rest. As a result, Coach John Speraw decided to bring in some new players and give other players bigger roles in an experiment against a non-conference opponent Ohio State (9-6), whom the Anteaters swept on Friday.
Jordan Default led the Anteaters with a career-high 21 kills and Kevin Carroll posted a new career-high of 18 kills. Steller added 10 kills and two aces in two games. Despite playing without top string hitters in Yoder and Harrell, Ammerman recorded career-high 60 assists. Mike Ortiz lead the Anteaters with a career-high eight blocks.
In game one, UCI lead early 9-5. However, OSU responded with a 6-2 run to tie the game at 11. The game was close until the Buckeyes built a 26-23 lead. UCI cut the deficit to 27-25 before OSU scored the next three points, highlighted by an ace by Ben Spurlock, to end the game 30-25.
The teams were tied in game two until they were all 17. UCI then showed the same determination they had in last night’s win, and comfortably won 30-23.
UCI continued its tear in game three as DeFault fired six kills on just seven attempts without any errors to lead the Anteaters to a 30-18 thrashing.
UCI began game four strong, but the inexperience in its lineup eventually played catch up. After UCI lead 10-5, OSU eventually tied the game at 16. The Anteaters’ .194 hitting on the game plagued them as OSU’s only got better (.324). The Buckeyes would take the game on 6-0 run at 30-24.
In game five, OSU continued its hot streak as it built a 7-5 cushion. It kept the lead and reached game point at 14-11. The Anteaters rallied and fired up three points, but an attack error and Buckeye kill ended the match at 15-13 and 3-2.