Tritons finish season with back-to-back losses

The UCSD men’s volleyball team dropped consecutive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation matches against CSU Northridge and UC Santa Barbara on April 11 and April 12 to close its season 6-22 overall, 1-21 in conference.

Rebecca Drexler
Guardian file

The Tritons traveled to Northridge, Calif., with the goal of ruining the Matadors’ senior night. CSUN senior Joe Nargi had other ideas. Nargi picked up nearly half of his team’s kills with 17 while hitting .483, picked up six digs, three solo blocks, four block assists and paced the Matadors to the 30-19, 30-23, 30-28 sweep.

UCSD had most of its success on offense running through the middle with middle blocker Kevin Keyser leading the team with 12 kills. CSUN shut down the outside and limited UCSD’s leading hitter, Jim Waller, to seven kills. The Matadors also out-blocked the Tritons 18.5 to 6. Eric Perrine had a solid match for UCSD with a match-high 43 assists, but the Tritons were unable to break through.

For the second time in two nights, UCSD played guest to a senior night as UCSB celebrated the careers of their four seniors.

The home team’s celebration appeared to be short-lived, however, as the Tritons came out hitting .484 and took the first game 30-23. The Gauchos refused to be deterred by the Tritons and they came back strong, hitting .467 for the rest of the match and were able to take the 3-1 win (23-30, 30-28, 30-24, 30-22).

The loss came despite strong efforts from both Waller and Perrine, who picked up 22 kills and 51 assists, respectively. Senior middle blocker Brian Foott put up good numbers in his final collegiate appearance with 11 kills, a team-high seven blocks and a .400 attacking percentage.

While the Tritons’ season is over, they will look to retool and regroup in hopes of a better season next year. The Tritons finished last in the MPSF, but the development they showed this season and the number of close matches in which they were engaged give UCSD faithful hope that the Tritons may not be the perennial cellar-dwellers of the MPSF.