No. 13 UCSD falls to Waves on road

    The No. 13 UCSD men’s volleyball team dropped a midweek tilt with No. 5 Pepperdine, 3-0 (30-26, 30-23 and 30-25). The Tritons fall to 5-8 on the season and are 2-6 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play.

    Pepperdine came out blazing in game one, racking up 19 kills with two errors on 30 attempts for a .567 attacking percentage. UCSD lacked the firepower to keep up with the Waves’ attack. Pepperdine grabbed the early 10-6 lead and was able to glide home to the game-one victory.

    The Waves looked poised to run away with game two as they grabbed a 17-11 lead, but three of the next four Pepperdine servers committed errors, and the Tritons rallied to come within two at 22-20. One of Fred Winters’ 14 kills helped put Pepperdine back on track, however, as the Waves went on an 8-3 run to end the game, 30-23.

    It was UCSD who played the aggressor early in game three as the Tritons pushed out to a 14-9 lead on the strength of senior opposite Jim Waller’s 11 kills in the match. The Waves were not to be denied, however, as Pepperdine stormed back to tie the game at 17 apiece. The game stayed knotted as the teams traded points until 21-21. At that point, Winters came back to once again frustrate the Tritons, serving six straight points for the Waves and giving Pepperdine more than enough cushion to close the match, 30-25.

    Junior outside hitter Adam Toren led the Tritons with 13 kills and nine digs in the losing effort. Junior Nate Jones and freshman Brooks Dierdorff split time at the setter position with Jones picking up 18 assists and Dierdorff adding 16.

    UCSD returns home from an arduous road trip on Feb. 20 to face Division III La Verne at 7 p.m. The Tritons’ competition has been so tough lately that even though UCSD lost both of its matches last week, the team moved up one spot to No. 13 in the American Volleyball Coaches’ Association Division I/II poll. UCSD will return to league play at home on Feb. 21 against No. 3 Long Beach State. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. at RIMAC Arena.

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