The No. 21 UC Irvine women’s volleyball team had an up and down week. They defeated Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo on Friday 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 26-24). The Anteaters then traveled to Santa Barbara on Saturday where they were defeated 3-2 (23-25, 27-29, 27-25, 25-16, 15-9) by the 11-2 Gauchos.
The match against Cal Poly was UCI’s first of the Big West Conference schedule. Junior Juliane Piggott led the team with a .429 hitting percentage and only two errors. Junior Kari Pestolesi recorded her ninth double-double match of the year, with 13 kills and 10 digs. McCall Miller, Taylor Smith and Riley Cropper also shined as the Anteaters stomped over the Mustangs, who dropped to 4-10 on the year.
The Anteaters could not keep the good times rolling against the Gauchos. UCI led UCSB by two sets, but could not put them away and consequently lost the last three sets and the game.
In the third game, UCI jumped ahead in a 13-5 lead. Already up two games, the match seemed in-hand, but the Gauchos staged a furious rally, scoring nine straight points to tie UCI at 19-19. UCI never regained the momentum in the match after that. Four Anteaters reached double-digit kills, led once again by Pestolesi and Piggott. Rebecca Saraceno was UCSB’s go-to player, as she had the game high of 29 kills. The Gauchos also went to Saraceno on back-to-back plays in the fifth set to seal the win.
The loss dropped UCI to 11-3 overall and 1-1 in the Big West, while the Gauchos improved to 2-0 in conference and 11-2 overall.
UCI will next take on Pacific at Crawford Court on October 2.
The UC Irvine cross-country team participated in the 36th Stanford Invitational on Saturday the 26. Rex Nelson was the top male finisher for UCI with a time of 25:19 over 8,000 meters, good for placing 42nd of 169 runners. Victor Bonilla placed 61st with a 25:40 time. Melissa Mead placed 63rd of 179 runners with a time of 22:31 over 6,000 meters. Chloe Fata was close behind with a 64th place, 22:32 time.
The men’s side finished 10th of 18 teams while the UCI girls finished 14th of 22 teams. Stanford dominated the tournament handily winning both the men’s and women’s meets.
UCI will return to action next Saturday at the Pomona College Invitational.
Compiled by David Gao and Andrew Melkonian