Volleyball Winless On Road Trip

    The UCSD men’s volleyball team went on the road for two games, only to get swept again in both contests, this time to Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara.

    On March 4, the Tritons failed to collect a win against another Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opponent and dropped to 1-16 (0-13 MPSF) while the No. 6 Matadors improved to 10-7 (6-6 MPSF).

    Senior outside hitter Jon Daze posted a team-high eight kills while sophomore middle blocker John Mark Wendler had a match-high six blocks.

    UCSD kept it close in game one, even taking the lead several times. Northridge came out attacking to capture a 5-8 lead, but the Tritons battled back to lead by one, 12-11, after a setter dump by junior setter Brooks Dierdorff. The Matadors soon recaptured the lead 13-14 after an error by junior middle blocker Garret Smith. UCSD would not go away and took the lead once again 19-18 after blocking a Matador attack. The Tritons held on to the lead 22-20, until a combination of kills and aces gave Cal State Northridge a one-point advantage. After seeing that lead grow to three points, UCSD battled back to tie the score at 28-28, but a kill and a block gave the game to Northridge, 28-30.

    Game two started off close with the Matadors holding a light lead at 7-8. They went on to score nine of the next 12 points to open up a seven-point cushion at 10-17 and eventually finished the game 21-30.

    Cal State Northridge had game three in the bag from the start as the team jumped out to a 4-10 lead and would not trail the rest of the way. UCSD hit a low .069 percent during this game and managed to put up only 18 points in the loss.

    No. 8 UC Santa Barbara hosted the Tritons the night before and hit .500 to take the match in straight sets 20-30, 20-30, 29-31.

    Senior outside hitter Mike Reuter and Daze paced UCSD with 11 kills apiece, while junior opposite Evan Patak led the Gauchos with 19 kills and six aces. Junior outside hitter Derek Otte also had a solid game with 13 kills on a .550 hitting percentage.

    The Tritons came out very slowly and allowed a 3-10 run to start game one. UCSD cut the lead to four at 8-12, but UCSB went on another 3-8 run and pulled away to a 20-30 win.

    The Gauchos began game two by taking an 5-11 lead. The Tritons could not put any runs together, trailing by as much as 12 points and ultimately falling 20-30.

    With many of the Gaucho starters out in game three, UCSD jumped out to a 15-9 lead. The Tritons held on almost the whole game, but the Gauchos were able to eventually tie it at 29-29. Consecutive kills by Otte and Patak made the comeback complete, putting the match away 29-31.

    Next, the Tritons will return home for a March 8 match against unranked, nonleague opponent Quincy University. After that, UCSD must return to its challenging conference schedule, traveling to face No. 14 University of Southern California on March 10 before matching up against No. 3 Pepperdine on March 11.

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