No. 1 Pepperdine Takes Down UCSD

    ‘Both teams played well against us, and we weren’t playing our best volleyball,’ sophomore setter Phil Bannan said. ‘Pepperdine showed why they are No. 1 in the country.’

    The Tritons salvaged their first-ever win over the No. 12 University of Hawaii (4-13, 3-11 MPSF) on March 13, and followed up with a second victory over the Warriors the next night. After going 0-36 all-time against Hawaii, Fritsch and the Tritons demonstrated that this season’s squad is a legitimate contender in the league. The Tritons finished a tough home stretch in style, beating the Warriors in four sets Friday night (34-32, 30-23, 25-30, 30-19), led by an impressive Fritsch in a five-set match Saturday night (30-21, 30-27, 23-30, 23-30, 28-30, 15-13) at RIMAC Arena.

    ‘The Hawaii matches were definitely a good test for us,’ senior libero Eric Leserman said. ‘We knew winning these matches would be crucial to staying in strong contention for playoffs.’

    Saturday night, the Tritons were in command for the first two sets before Hawaii stole some of the momentum. The opponent came back strong to take sets three and four, but the Tritons would not be upset on their home court, rebounding for an overtime win in set five.

    ‘Saturday, we started off strong, faded a bit in the third and fourth, but came back with just enough in the fifth,’ Leserman said. ‘It was a great team performance with a very balanced attack. Hawaii gave us all we could handle, but we still managed to come out on top.’

    Friday night at RIMAC, the Tritons were determined to disrupt their 0-36 record against Hawaii at home. The Tritons entered the match with a newfound confidence inspired by success against conference opponents earlier in the homestand.

    The Tritons were anchored by a career-high 33 kills from Fritsch on a blistering .490 hitting clip. As a team, UCSD outhit the Warriors .382 to .205 to claim its first-ever victory over Hawaii.

    ‘Hopefully we can keep playing well at home and get some more wins,’ Bannan said. ‘Then we can have a good chance to make it into the playoffs at the end of the year.’

    The Tritons return to RIMAC April 3 to take on the University of Pacific in their final home stretch of games before conference playoffs. UCSD will host Stanford University on April 4.

    Readers can contact Cameron Tillisch at [email protected].

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    MEN’S VOLLEYBALL ‘mdash; The No. 9 Tritons suffered two disappointing losses over spring break to No. 4 University of Southern California and No. 1 Pepperdine University, coming off a sweep of the University of Hawaii.

    On March 28, the Tritons lost 30-25, 30-26, 30-27 to the Trojans at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. After falling behind 28-20 in the third set, the Tritons pulled off a furious rally but fell short in their attempt to force a fourth set.

    Junior opposite Frank Fritsch led the Tritons with 12 kills, while senior middle blocker Gerald Houseman added 10 kills on .588 hitting. The loss drops UCSD to 10-12, 6-11 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation while the Trojans improve to 15-6, 11-5.

    The Tritons took on the No. 1 nationally ranked Pepperdine Waves on March 26: UCSD was no match for Pepperdine, falling 30-26, 30-20, 30-13 at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu. The Tritons were led by junior opposite hitter Jason Spangler with 11 kills, while Houseman and sophomore middle blocker Calvin Ross added six kills apiece. Pepperdine outhit the Tritons .475 to .085, and national kills leader Paul Carroll carried the Waves with 18 kills.

    Thanks to the sweep, the Waves improved to 15-2, 13-2 MPSF.

    ‘Both teams played well against us, and we weren’t playing our best volleyball,’ sophomore setter Phil Bannan said. ‘Pepperdine showed why they are No. 1 in the country.’

    The Tritons salvaged their first-ever win over the No. 12 University of Hawaii (4-13, 3-11 MPSF) on March 13, and followed up with a second victory over the Warriors the next night. After going 0-36 all-time against Hawaii, Fritsch and the Tritons demonstrated that this season’s squad is a legitimate contender in the league. The Tritons finished a tough home stretch in style, beating the Warriors in four sets Friday night (34-32, 30-23, 25-30, 30-19), led by an impressive Fritsch in a five-set match Saturday night (30-21, 30-27, 23-30, 23-30, 28-30, 15-13) at RIMAC Arena.

    ‘The Hawaii matches were definitely a good test for us,’ senior libero Eric Leserman said. ‘We knew winning these matches would be crucial to staying in strong contention for playoffs.’

    Saturday night, the Tritons were in command for the first two sets before Hawaii stole some of the momentum. The opponent came back strong to take sets three and four, but the Tritons would not be upset on their home court, rebounding for an overtime win in set five.

    ‘Saturday, we started off strong, faded a bit in the third and fourth, but came back with just enough in the fifth,’ Leserman said. ‘It was a great team performance with a very balanced attack. Hawaii gave us all we could handle, but we still managed to come out on top.’

    Friday night at RIMAC, the Tritons were determined to disrupt their 0-36 record against Hawaii at home. The Tritons entered the match with a newfound confidence inspired by success against conference opponents earlier in the homestand.

    The Tritons were anchored by a career-high 33 kills from Fritsch on a blistering .490 hitting clip. As a team, UCSD outhit the Warriors .382 to .205 to claim its first-ever victory over Hawaii.

    ‘Hopefully we can keep playing well at home and get some more wins,’ Bannan said. ‘Then we can have a good chance to make it into the playoffs at the end of the year.’

    The Tritons return to RIMAC April 3 to take on the University of Pacific in their final home stretch of games before conference playoffs. UCSD will host Stanford University on April 4.

    Readers can contact Cameron Tillisch at [email protected].

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