No. 12 UCSD Sweeps No. 9 UCLA In Front Of 906 Fans In RIMAC


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LA JOLLA, Calif. - The 12th-ranked UC San Diego men's volleyball team swept No. 9 UCLA 30-21, 30-23, 33-31 on Saturday night in front of 906 fans in RIMAC Arena.  The Tritons beat the Bruins for the second consecutive time on their homecourt, after beating UCLA for the first time in school history in 2008. 

UCSD hit at a high efficiency all night, and finished with a .380 team hitting percentage.  Will Ehrman had a match-high 14 kills on .458 hitting while Jason Spangler added 12 kills. 

 "I felt that we were able to generate a lot of energy on the court tonight," said head coach Kevin Ring.  "I thought that we never let UCLA pull away in the third set... once we tied the set, we knew how to respond to a small deficit late in the set."

The Tritons managed to outblock the taller Bruins by a 12.0 to 10.5 margin.  Calvin Ross accounted for six of UCSD's blocks.  With the win, UCSD improves to 7-9, 3-8 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, while the Bruins fall to 7-10, 4-7 MPSF.

The Tritons got much help in addition to the nights of Ehrman, Spangler and Ross.  Gerald Houseman had nine kills on .571 hitting and four blocks.  Frank Fritsch added eight kills and six digs while Eric Leserman had eight digs.  Phil Bannan had another all around game with 44 assists, three aces and five blocks.

UCLA was led by Sean O'Malley with 11 kills while Kyle Caldwell had six kills.  Jamey Ker had seven digs and Bret Perrine had two service aces.  The Bruins managed to hit at only a .120 clip for the match.

In the first set, UCSD would hit at a .517 clip and opened up a 20-12 lead.  UCSD never led the Bruins in the first set, taking it 30-21.

The second set was tied five times.  The final tie came early at 7-7.  From that point, UCSD scored four straight points on Houseman serves, including two kills by Spangler to lead 11-7.  UCLA would cut the lead down to 15-13, but the Tritons quickly responded with a run, capped by kills from Fritsch, Ross and Spangler to make the score 22-15.  UCLA would get no closer than four points the rest of the way as UCSD took the set 30-23.

The third set would feature 16 ties and seven lead changes.  UCLA was ahead in the early parts of the set, taking a 15-12 lead.  The Tritons pulled even after a Spangler ace and kill by Ehrman.  After the set was tied at 20-20, UCLA scored consecutive points on an O'Malley kill and UCSD error to lead 22-20.

After a UCSD timeout, the Tritons scored the next four points, including a key block by Ross and Bannan to lead 24-22.  With the scored tied at 28-28, Ehrman sent down a kill for match point at 29-28.  After a service error, a UCSD attack error followed and UCLA had the 30-29 lead.  A UCLA attack error followed by a Spangler kill gave the Tritons a 31-30 edge.  After the teams exchanged kills to make the score 32-31 UCSD, a Bruin attack was long and the Tritons had the sweep at 33-31.

UCSD is back in action next week when it hosts USC at Friday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m. in RIMAC Arena.

Article courtesy of UC San Diego athletics.

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