No. 10 UC San Diego Takes Down Another Ranked Opponent, Defeats No. 5 USC

3/6/2009

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LA JOLLA, Calif. - The 10th-ranked UC San Diego men's volleyball team defeated No. 5 USC 26-30, 30-25, 30-28, 30-26 on Friday night in front of 683 fans in RIMAC Arena.  It was UCSD's first win over the Trojans since the 2007 campaign. 

Will Ehrman led four Tritons in double digits in kills with 18.  Calvin Ross had a match-high 12 blocks and Phil Bannan had 46 assists, eight blocks, six digs and three aces.  "We had a very balanced offense tonight... Phil did a great job in distributing the ball," said head coach Kevin Ring.  "We served big tonight and came through with 19 team blocks," said Ring.

With the win, UCSD improves to 8-9, 4-8 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, while the Trojans drop to 12-5, 9-4 MPSF.  USC was led by Tony Ciarelli with 14 kills.

In addition to Ehrman's 18 kills, Jason Spangler added 13 kills, nine digs and four blocks.  Frank Fritsch had 12 kills and Gerald Houseman had 11 kills.  Eric Leserman had eight digs.  The Tritons outblocked USC 19 - 14 and outhit the Trojans .306 - .228.  UCSD hit at a .455 clip in the third set and a .389 clip in the fourth to secure the win.

The Tritons jumped out to a 10-6 lead in the first set.  UCSD led 17-15 but USC scored five straight points to lead 20-17 and the Tritons lost the momentum.  UCSD pulled within 23-22, but USC quickly responded with a kill and UCSD error.  USC went on to take the set 30-26.

In the second set, the Tritons took a 19-12 lead, including two Ross blocks and an Ehrman kill.  USC would pull back within 22-20, but a Bannan and Ross block stopped a run to take a three point lead.  Leading 27-24, Ross sent down a kill followed by a USC error for the 29-24 lead.  Ehrman sent down the final kill for the 30-25.

The third set was the closest of the night with 19 ties and four lead changes.  The last tie came at 28-28 before Fritsch sent down a kill to set up set point.  After a rally, Spangler sent down a kill for the set win at 30-28.

The Tritons took control in the fourth, taking a 14-7 lead after an Ehrman ace.  USC pulled back within 22-20 after a UCSD error.  USC would continue to push, coming within two points on several occasions.  With the Tritons leading 26-24, two USC errors put the Tritons in the drivers seat.  Ehrman finished off the match with a kill at 30-26.

UCSD is back in action when it hosts No. 3 Pepperdine on Saturday.  First serve is set for 7:00 p.m. in RIMAC Arena. 

Article courtesy of UC San Diego athletics.

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