’Eaters Catch the Waves in Malibu
The UC Irvine Men’s Volleyball team was fooled last Thursday by No. 6 USC in Los Angeles. The Men of Troy beat No. 11 UCI, 3-2, as UCI lost its third straight five-set match and is a horrendous 0-8 in five-set matches on the year. The loss did have some bright spots, however. Carson Clark led all players with a career-high 30 kills and 14 digs. Libero Will Montgomery had a career-high 12 digs and setter Anthony Spittle recorded 65 set assists, 12 digs and four blocks.
UCI lost the first set, 32-20, but won the second (30-28) and third (30-21), and then went on to lose the last two and the match (30-22, 15-7).
UCI 3 Pepperdine 2
On Apr. 3, UCI broke a three game losing streak and recorded one of its most notable wins of the year. UC Irvine was able to upset No. 2 ranked Pepperdine in Malibu, 3-2. UCI won its first five-game match of the year and improved its record to 12-13 on the year and 7-11 in conference play. Pepperdine won the first set 30-19, but UCI took the second set, 30-24. UCI then went on to win a very tough third set, 30-28, thanks in large part to a .450 hitting clip (22-4-40). Pepperdine went on a 9-3 run to obtain an 18-13 lead in the fourth set, but UCI closed the gap to 28-26. However, an Anteater attack error and Pepperdine service ace sealed a Waves win.
The final set was a close one as both teams battled hard. UCI had a 7-5 lead, but Pepperdine scored three unanswered points to take an 8-7 lead. Jordan DuFault notched a kill to tie the score up, 8-8. Both teams traded points until a kill by Carson Clark was followed by a Wave attack error to give UCI the set 19-17 and the match 3-2.
Anteaters Clark and Jordan DuFault had 24 kills each and DuFault also recorded a match and season-high 14 digs. Cory Yoder posted nine kills, seven digs and six blocks. Jeff Schmitz recorded 48 set assists and seven digs after coming off the bench.
UCI will next take on Long Beach State at the Bren Events Center on Wednesday, Apr. 7. Gametime is at 7 p.m. in what will be a huge game for the Anteaters.