UCI Men’s Volleyball ranked fourthth is now 10-3 after dropping a game to the nineth ranked Pepperdine Waves, on Wednesday, Feb. 14th. The two teams met last Jan. 14th, where UCI bested the Waves 3-1. Though the waves came to Bren this Valentine’s day determined and ultimately returned the favor taking the win 1-3 (17-25, 32-34, 25-13, 16-25). Although ‘Eaters came off a 10 day game-less period to face the waves, Sophomore Matthew Youngreen said about the break “We had more practice days, and came into the game pretty rested up”.
The first point came for the waves, the ‘Eaters however had an answer. The teams traded points bringing the score to to 5-5 then Pepperdine took control as the Eaters could not not keep pace with the Waves, committing several errors, giving Pepperdine an early 5-9 lead. The Eaters only twice connected consecutive points, though they did score coming off of both timeouts called during the set. UCI’s play was plagued by errors and several Pepperdine rallies that were on the luckier side. The first set saw 6 UCI errors to 1 from pepperdine. The Set ended 17-25 Pepperdine.
The second set saw UCI take a 2-0 lead to start. Pepperdine had 2 to answer tying the game, this trend continued, as the teams trade points, never gaining a lead over 2 points, until UCI connected 3 points, punctuated by a huge block from Junior opposite Karl Apfelbach. The second Set however, really heated up once the teams were tied at 23 a piece. UCI played exceedingly well, and had set point 3 times but could not finish against the waves who seemed to have an answer to all the Eaters threw their way. Freshman Outside Hitter Joel Schneidmiller was hot, 4 points taking the Eaters from 28 to 30 points with 2 kills, followed by two more from a block and kill. Despite this, the Waves would take the set 32-34. UCI had 8 errors to the Wave’s 10 and out killed them 17-15, but could not stop the waves The score was tied 24 times during the set with 13 lead changes.
The third set saw a collected and focused UCI take control, opening up the scoring with a flurry of points,and taking a commanding 11-3 lead. The Eaters responded well to the pressure of being down 2 sets, and it showed in their play. Pepperdine had no way of coming back from the deficit, as the teams traded points, and the Eaters protected their lead, taking the set 13-25.
The fourth set also opened favoring UCI, as they took the first point, and the second on a kill from Sophomore Middle blocker Scott Stadick. Pepperdine responded with 4 points of their own. UCI could not seem to put points up on their chances, as the Waves adjusted to all the Eaters had to offer. Pepperdine went on a 6 point streak and effectively took UCI out of the running with a commanding 9-18 lead. UCI would string together 4 points in an attempt to salvage their chances, but could not best Pepperdine and lost 16-25.
UCI now 10-3 will be facing their first Big West Opponent, Hawaii, February 23.