UC San Diego Upsets No. 7 UC Irvine, 3-1

1/19/2008

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Irvine, Calif. - The UC San Diego men's volleyball team upset No. 7 UC Irvine, 3-1 (30-25, 30-22, 31-33, 34-32) in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match Saturday at Crawford Court.

The Tritons win for just the fifth (5-27) time against UCI and snap a six-match losing streak against the Anteaters. UCSD wins its first MPSF match (1-3) and goes to 2-3 on the season. UCI falls to 3-5 overall and 1-3 in league play.

UCI trailed 25-21 in game three before going on a 7-2 run to take a 28-27 lead. The teams traded points until a UCSD service error at 32-31 was followed by a block by Cole Reinholm and Aaron Harrell to end the game 33-31.

UCI led 25-21 in game four, before the Tritons rallied to tie the score on a Russ Hardy kill. Cole Reinholm would fire a service ace to put the Anteaters up 28-26, but back-to-back kills by Tyler Kern and Frank Fritsch tied the game at 28-28. The teams traded points until Gerald Houseman fired an ace and Hardy recorded another kill to end the game and the match, 34-32.

Russ Hardy led UC San Diego with a match-high 24 kills, hitting .647 (24-2-34). Jason Spangler recorded 15 kills followed by Frank Fritsch with 14 kills. Libero Eric Leserman had a match-high 11 digs, while setter Phil Bannan recorded 51 assists, four aces, seven digs and five blocks. Tyler Kern led all players with six blocks. The Tritons dominated the net, out-blocking UCI 12.0-6.0.

Junior Jon Steller ignited UCI with a season-high 14 kills off the bench to lead the Anteaters. Freshman Kevin Carroll added 11 kills, while freshman Cory Yoder pitched in eight kills, hitting .571 (8-0-14) on the outside. Libero Brent Asuka had a team-high eight digs and freshman setter Anthony Spittle recorded 44 assists.

"We are struggling early on in the season, but it is fundamental volleyball, passing and serving that we can improve upon," head coach John Speraw said. "I didn't doubt there would be some struggles with a young team, but we just need to keep working hard and we'll be a pretty good team at the end of the season."

Article courtesy of UC Irvine athletics.

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