IRVINE, Calif. – Eighth-ranked UC Irvine hit .482 and fired 12 aces as the Anteaters swept UC San Diego, 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-14) in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opener at Crawford Court.
UCI, who improved to 3-0 overall, had seven errors over three sets with 34 kills in 56 attempts. Five different players recorded an ace led by Thomas Hodges with four. The Anteaters also out-blocked the Tritons 5-2.
Senior Michael Saeta led UCI with eight kills, hitting .700 (8-1-10). He also recorded 18 set assists, and three aces. Freshman Scott Stadick had six kills and two total blocks, while Tamir Hershko, Matthew Younggren and Karl Apfelbach added five kills. Hodges had four kills, two blocks and a team-high five digs to go with his four aces.
Devin Pontigon had a match-high nine kills to lead UCSD. Ian Colbert had eight kills.
UCSD jumped out to a quick 3-0 start then Michael Saeta and Tamir Hershko each fired two aces in an 8-1 run to give UCI an 8-4 lead. Serving was key in the set as each team committed multiple errors before a Triton ace tied the score at 14-14. With the score tied at 17-17, UCI used an ace by Thomas Hodges and kills by Hershko and Saeta to move in front 20-17. The Anteaters would win the set 25-22 on a kill by Karl Apfelbach.
UCI went on a 3-0 run which included kills by Saeta and Scott Stadick and a Triton error to open some separation in the second set, 12-9. The Anteaters then went on a 5-2 run to expand the gap to 17-11. An ace by David Parker would give UCI the set, 25-16.
In the third set, Stadick was involved in back-to-back blocks following a kill by Hershko to put the Anteaters up 12-8. A 4-0 run which included two Hodges aces gave UCI the 18-10 advantage. An ace by Saeta then a kill by Parker ended the set, 25-14.
UCI will entertain Grand Canyon in a non-conference contest tomorrow (Jan. 6) at the Bren Events Center. First serve at 7:00 p.m.
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