Sports in Brief
Fresh off two wins at the Inland Empire Classic, the No. 8 UC Irvine men’s water polo team (5-2) were able to keep the momentum going and increase their win streak to four.
Irvine would host Concordia in their season opener this past Thursday and cruise to a 13-3 victory behind a balanced attack. Eight ‘Eaters scored in the contest with sophomore Jack Trush leading the way with a hat-trick of his own. Last week’s Golden Coast Conference player of the week Matej Matijevic garnered 11 saves on the night. Matijevic became the first ‘Eater to earn Player of the Week honors for UCI in the inaugural season of the GCC. The ‘Eaters would keep the Eagles scoreless in the opening and final periods of play to capture the dominant victory.
In a more competitive matchup against Loyola Marymount on Saturday, UCI benefitted from a flurry of goals scored to edge the Lions in the fourth period. Trush once again notched a hat-trick in the contest while Matijevic continued his impressive play in between the pipes with 15 saves. It was until the final period of play where the ‘Eaters were able to create separation as they scored the opening four goals and took reins of the game.
The ‘Eaters will return to the Anteater Aquatics Complex to defend home pool against Cal Baptist Wednesday night for a 7:00 p.m. non conference game.
After suffering a loss against Fresno State last Thursday, the UC Irvine women’s volleyball team (5-9) bounced back and grabbed a pair of win as at the Roadrunner Classic this past weekend.
The ‘Eaters opened up on Friday with a win versus San Francisco that snapped their four game losing streak. UCI were able to win in three sets behind their season best .456 hitting percentage and 14 service aces. Led behind senior Victoria Dennis’s 12 kills, the ‘Eaters cruised to their opening win on the tournament (25-17, 25-18, 25-11).
Saturday morning, the ‘Eaters fell to Northern Arizona 3-2 where a number of service errors ultimately cost them the match. The ‘Eaters committed six errors in the final set and gave up a 5-2 run to lose their first game of the Roadrunner Classic.
Later on in the day, the ‘Eaters closed the tournament on a positive note defeating Cal State Bakersfield, 3-1. Behind a triple-double by sophomore Harlee Kekauoha (12 kills, 12 assists, and 13 digs) and a team high 17 kills by Dennis, the ‘Eaters were able to improve to 5-9 on the season heading into the conference season. Both Dennis and Kekauoha were recognized for their performances as they were named to the all-tournament team.
The ‘Eaters will begin conference play this weekend as they host CSUN on Thursday and rival Long Beach State on Saturday, both games having a 7:00 p.m. tipoff.
Men’s Cross Country
At the UC Riverside Invitational on Saturday, senior Isaiah Thompson once again led the ‘Eaters as the top finisher placing 14th overall.
Thompson finished 14th out of 392 runners Saturday morning with a 24:28.81 time over 8000 meters. Junior Izzak Mireles and sophomore Branden Randall garnered top-50 finishes with times of 24:39.38 and 24:57.65 respectively.
Central Arizona’s Gilbert Kigen was the first place winner with a time of 23:37.84. Cal Poly won the event with 62 points while the ‘Eaters seventh with 180.
The ‘Eaters resume competition at the Mustang Challenge on Oct. 1st in Santa Clara.
Women’s Cross Country
With a 44th place finish, freshman Anastasia Karnaze led the UC Irvine women’s cross country team with a time of 21:27.97 over 6000 meters.
Rounding out the ‘Eaters in the top-100 were senior Marisa Gonzalez placing 70th (22:06.78), senior Hannah Ruby placing 77th (22:14.94), and freshman Brenda Dorantes placing 86th (22:25.50).
Cal Poly’s Peyton Bilo won the competition with a 20:05.31 time. Arkansas won as a team with 33 points while the ‘Eaters ended 15th overall.
Up next for the ‘Eaters is the Mustang Challenge on October 1st in Santa Clara.