No. 10 UC Irvine Upsets No. 2 Pepperdine
Malibu, Calif. - No. 10 UC Irvine upset No. 2 Pepperdine, 3-1 (33-31, 30-21, 27-30, 30-27 ) at Firestone Fieldhouse Wednesday.
With the win, UCI head coach John Speraw won his 100th career match (100-59) and the Anteaters improve to 4-5 overall and 2-3 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. It is the first loss of the season for Pepperdine who goes to 4-1 overall and 4-1 in the MPSF.
UCI battled back in game one after a 17-12 deficit. The Anteaters trailed 29-27, but a Pepperdine service error was followed by a kill by Aaron Harrell in the middle to tie the score at 29-29. The teams traded points until two Wave attack errors, the last blocked by Cory Yoder gave UCI the first game 33-31.
The Anteaters took game two 30-21 behind five kills from Taylor Wilson and four kills by Cory Yoder. UCI hit .375 (17-5-32) for the game, while Pepperdine hit just .079 (12-9-38).
Pepperdine jumped out to a 5-1 lead in game three and never trailed taking the set 30-27. UCI closed within 27-26, but a kill by Cory Ricks was followed by an Anteater attempt that sailed long to give them the 29-27 cushion. Following a kill by UCI's Taylor Wilson, Pepperdine blocked a ball to end the game.
UC Irvine opened game four on a 6-2 run and never looked back winning 30-27 and the match 3-1.
UCI's Taylor Wilson led all players with a career-high 24 kills. Freshmen Kevin Carroll and Cory Yoder each added 14 kills, while senior Aaron Harrell added 10 kills. Harrell and Carroll led UCI with seven blocks, a career best for Carroll. Libero Brent Asuka recorded a season-high 15 digs, while freshman setter Anthony Spittle totaled a career-high 68 assists and a tied his career best with nine digs. Freshman middle blocker Kevin Wynne added seven kills and six blocks.
Matt McKee led Pepperdine with 21 kills followed by J.D. Schleppenbach with 16 and Cory Ricks with 13 kills each. Setter Jonathan Winder tallied 53 assists, a team-high 10 digs and five blocks.
UCI out-blocked Pepperdine, 15 to 11.5 and out-hit the Waves .308 - .203.
UCI remains on the road traveling to USC Friday for a 7:00 p.m. match in the Galen Center.
Article courtesy of UC Irvine athletics.