Career Nights from Dennis and DeSales Power ‘Eaters over SDSU, 3-2

Sophomore outside hitter Haley DeSales and senior outside hitter Victoria Dennis led the 'Eaters to victory Wednesday evening in a match that went on to a sudden death period. Dennis topped all players on the night with a career high 33 kills while DeSales registered 18 kills and 19 digs.

Sophomore outside hitter Haley DeSales and senior outside hitter Victoria Dennis led the ‘Eaters to victory Wednesday evening in a match that went on to a sudden death period. Dennis topped all players on the night with a career high 33 kills while DeSales registered 18 kills and 19 digs.

The UC Irvine women’s volleyball team (3-4) were slated for an eventful weekend as they play four games in four days on the road. In the weekend, the ‘Eaters would face three nationally ranked opponents in No. 15 University of San Diego, No. 7 UCLA, and No. 18 Colorado.
Before they began play in the USD Invitational, the ‘Eaters faced the San Diego State Aztecs (3-4) at the Peterson Gym. Career nights from sophomore outside hitter Haley DeSales and senior outside hitter Victoria Dennis propelled the ‘Eaters to a 3-2 win (23-25, 31-29, 25-14, 25-27, 15-12) over the Aztecs on Wednesday.

Dennis led both teams with her career high of 33 kills, hitting a stifling .520 clip. With a career night of her own, DeSales posted a double-double of 18 kills and 19 digs. Rounding up the ‘Eaters’ impressive performances was sophomore opposite Harlee Kekauoha with 13 kills and junior middle blocker Danielle Geiger with seven blocks.

San Diego State also played well collectively in the five set matchup as four Aztecs finished the night with double-digit kills.

Irvine rallied a couple of times in the first set to prevent the Aztecs from pulling away with an easy win. A kill by Dennis and a service ace by Kekauoha knotted the score at 22-22 but an ‘Eater error would ultimately cost them the set, 25-23.

After falling in the first set, the ‘Eaters would answer back with consecutive wins to take control of the match 2-1. The duo of Dennis and DeSales came up huge in the marathon of the second set as the ‘Eaters would win 31-29 of a period where neither team could find breathing room. DeSales would dominate in the third by leading the ‘Eaters with five kills and help her team cruise to a 25-14 victory.

San Diego State were able to force a fifth set after rallying down 17-13 to the ‘Eaters. The Aztecs would benefit from a 5-1 run to knot things up at 20-20 before sealing the fourth set on an ‘Eater error, 27-15.

In the concluding set, the ‘Eaters recovered from an early deficit to gain a 9-3 lead. When Irvine was able to withstand an Aztec run, they went on to win in the sudden death period, 15-12.

The ‘Eaters will continue play tonight in the USD Invitational against the host team Toreros for a 7:00 p.m. set time at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.