Beach Beaten, Matadors Murked

David Conley/New University

UCI 3, LBSU 0

 

Friday night’s “Black and Blue” rivalry game against No. 9 Long Beach State hardly lived up to its title as the ranked No. 4 UC Irvine men’s volleyball team swept to cap off a perfect week. UCI is now 12-3 overall and 8-3 in the MPSF.

 

Tillie exploded with a match-high 16 kills, a career-high eight digs, and four block assists.  Dejno recorded 10 kills and made two service aces while Clark down nine kills to go along with eight digs and two aces. McDonnell also had a career night, knocking down career-high seven blocks.

 

UCI blew a 15-10 lead in the first set by conceding six straight points to the ’49ers as they were down. The two teams exchanged points until Tillie helped UCI take the lead with two straight kills to make it 19-18. After Long Beach tied the match, Dejno and Clark scored to put UCI up 21-19. The Anteaters held onto their lead as they won the set 25-23.

 

Long Beach went on a 4-1 run to put themselves up 20-19 in the second set. Later, with the game tied at 21 apiece, Clark and Tillie scored a kill followed by a triple block from Tillie, McDonnell and junior Chris Austin gave UCI a 23-21 lead. Dejno closed the set with a kill as UCI finished with a 25-23 victory.

 

UCI scored five straight points in the final set while down 20-17 to take a 22-20 lead. Dejno finished the game with a kill as UCI took the final set 25-22.

 

UCI 3, CSUN 0

 

UC Irvine gained a solid 3-0 victory over the California State University, Northridge Matadors at the Bren Events Center on Wednesday, improving to a record of 11-3 overall and 7-3 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF). The real story, however, was junior Chris Austin’s first start of the season.

 

“All the credit should go to Chris Austin,” senior Carson Clark said. “It was his first time setting in a MPSF game and he did a great job.”

 

It was a night of career-high statistics and team effort. Austin racked up 41 assists, and enabled Clark to achieve a team record of 16 kills. Junior outside hitter Kevin Tillie had a solid game with 13 kills and eight digs, while senior middle blocker Dan McDonnell reached a career-high of six block assists in addition to four kills. Sophomore Jeremy Dejno contributed seven kills and five digs and sophomore Scott Kevorken had six kills. Freshman Michael Brinkley made his mark, achieving a career high of 12 digs.

 

“Our team hit really well offensively,” head coach John Speraw said. “Towards the end, Northridge was playing great but we made some nice defensive plays.”

 

The first set was easily handled by the Anteaters, who won 25-15. In the second set, the ’Eaters made a killer comeback after being down 16-13. They scored six straight points, leading them to win 25-22.

 

Defense played a crucial role in the last set of this face-off between the ’Eaters and the Matadors. The ’Eaters found themselves trailing 17-14 until Tillie made a key kill followed by an error charged to the Matadors. The game came down to the final match point with the ’Eaters leading 24-22. Despite the service error committed by UCI, the ’Eaters ended with a win thanks to Kevorken.

 

“We will definitely have Chris watch some video to see the choices he made whether they were good or bad in order to keep improving our offense,” coach Speraw said.