Team Effort Gives No. 9 UC Irvine Sweep of DIII No. 2 UC Santa Cruz


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Irvine, Calif. - The UC Irvine (6-5) men's volleyball team swept UC Santa Cruz, 3-0 (30-22, 31-29, 30-24) in a non-conference match Tuesday at Crawford Court.

Game one was all UCI, opening up on an 8-2 run and never relinquishing the lead on the way to a 30-22 win. Freshman outside hitter Cory Yoder led the team with five kills, hitting .833 (5-0-6).

UC Santa Cruz (6-4) led 23-20 in game two before junior Jon Steller stepped back to the service line and fired three consecutive aces to knot the score at 23-23. The Banana Slugs opened another three-point advantage at 28-25 when Steller was the man again recording three of UCI's four kills in a 4-1 spurt to tie the score at 29-29. A block by Steller and Brett Kohout set up game point which was an ace fired by Jordan DuFault (31-29). The Banana Slugs out-hit UCI .310 to .207, but the Anteaters fired five service aces and had four blocks combined with six Santa Cruz service errors.

Game three was much like game one with UCI jumping out to an early lead and going on to a 30-24 victory.

Freshman Jordan DuFault led UCI with eight kills, while Jon Steller and freshman Alex DaPron each tallied seven kills. Steller fired five aces on the night which is tied for fifth in the UCI match record books. Sophomore Cole Reinholm added six kills, while Anthony Spittle recorded 30 assists. Yoder, and seniors Mike Ortiz and Brett Kohout ended the night with five kills with Kohout leading all players with seven blocks.

UC Santa Cruz has two players in double-figure kills led by Brad Sullivan with 12 and Bryan Shires with 10. Setter Eric Rowell had 31 assists and libero Justin Lam led all players with seven digs.

Ninth-ranked UC Irvine will travel to No. 4 UCLA Friday (Feb. 1) for a 7:00 p.m. match at Pauley Pavilion.

Article courtesy of UC Irvine athletics.

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