UCI 3 Beijing BAIC Motors 0
UC Irvine opened up their tournament run with a sweep against Beijing BAIC Motors. In the first set, both teams traded points until Daniel Stork served up back-to-back aces to grab a 22-20 lead. UCI took the first set 25-22.
The ’Eaters then established their momentum and dominated in the second set as they crush Beijing 25-15.
In the third set, UCI lost their 21-18 lead as Beijing managed to score three straight to tie the game up. As the Anteaters were down 23-22, Seniors Carson Clark and Austin D’Amore stepped in with a kill and service ace respectively to bring UCI at match point. Beijing scored two to keep the game going and the two teams began exchanging points. It wasn’t until Carson Clark made a kill to help UCI win their final set 29-27.
Toray Arrows 3 UCI 2
UCI suffered their first loss of the tournament in a heartbreaker as they blew a 2-0 and lost in five sets to the Japan-based Toray Arrows.
UCI managed to take the first two sets from Japan with the same score 25-22. But by the third set, the Arrows fought hard and took UCI to extra points and stayed alive by winning 26-24.
In the fourth set, UCI had a 17-15 lead until Japan pulled of a 6-0 run to take the lead. They won the set 25-20.
The Arrows blitzed to a 14-10 lead thanks to four unanswered points and won the match 15-13.
Drean Bolivar 3 UCI 1
UC Irvine dropped another game following their loss to the Toray Arrows, losing to Argentina’s Drean Bolivar 3-1. Argentina started off the first set with the lead. Irvine did not fall too far behind, but failed to lead by more than two points. Argentina ended the set with a 26-24 win.
The Anteaters’ adrenaline kicked in during the second set, grasping an early 10-5 lead. However, Argentina fought back, resulting in a 12-12 standstill. Fresh off a timeout, Kevin Carroll responded with a spike, putting Irvine back on top. Similarly, Michael Brinkley made a crucial save marking a 23-22 lead. UCI prevailed with a 25-23 win.
Argentina trailed only once in the third set, but Irvine looked tired
because of the long rallies throughout the game.. Argentina ended up triumphing the set 25-21.
Going into the fourth set, UCI tried to lighten their tension. For the first half of the game, that was exactly what the Anteaters’ did — they immersed themselves into the competition by playing smart, hard hitting volleyball. Despite their attempts, Argentina sealed the deal, 25-22, ending the match 3-1.
Head Coach John Speraw was
“a little frustrated” about the outcome, but remained positive stating that “we are learning a lot about our team because we are playing teams who are putting a lot of pressure on us.”
Quiksilver 3 UCI 0
Things have not been working for UCI’s favor as their weakness has been increasingly evident in their match with Quiksilver, which featured three UCI alumni, Paul Spittle, Taylor Wilson and Jon Steller. The Anteaters were swept 3-0 as they handed Quiksilver their first win of the tournament.
In the first set, both teams were close as they traded points until Steller scored the go-ahead point to give Quiksilver a 23-22 lead. After both teams exchanged service errors, UCI delivered a hit that travelled off the court to give Quiksilver a 25-23 win.
Quiksilver and UCI traded points in the second set until a kill by Steller and a service ace by Brandon Taliaferro gave Quiksilver a 21-19 lead. Cody Loe put away the game-winner down the middle to end the set 25-23.
UCI could not contain Quiksilver’s momentum as they jumped to a 7-3 lead and took the match 25-22.
Beijing BAIC Motors 3 UCI 1
UCI bowed out of the tournament with an eighth place finish as they fell to Beijing 3-1. The ’Eaters fielded a very young team, giving playing time to the freshmen and sophomores.
The Anteaters took Beijing on a ride with a 7-3 run to take a 17-15 lead. But Beijing managed to hold on and tied the score at 24-24. The two would swap points after and then Jeremy Dejno had a kill and block to take the set 27-25.
In the second set, UCI and Beijing were tied at 21 apiece until Beijing went on a 4-2 run to take their first set. UCI opened up the third set with a 7-3 lead but were unable to maintain the lead when Beijing went on a 8-2 to take a 11-9 lead. Beijing had a 14-11 lead but UCI managed to come back through a service error, triple block, and a service ace. However, Beijing landed three consecutive kills to lead 23-20 and won the set 25-22.
Beijing triumphed dominantly in the final set as an 8-2 run opened up a 19-13 lead. They maintained their lead and won the match 25-18.
“Well it is the preseason. I want to take a look at a lot of the guys in this time of the year [and] see what they can do in competitive situations and certainly they earned it,” said Coach John Speraw. “We served very poorly this entire tournament. Our offense isn’t that bad, our transition numbers have been fantastic. But we got to play better defense. We have to learn how to score more points.”