UCSD Falls to No. 2 Brigham Young

    MEN’S VOLLEYBALL — The UCSD men’s volleyball team took on No. 2 Brigham Young University on the Cougars’ home court for two matches this weekend, putting up a fierce fight only to lose 3-2 on Thursday, and getting swept 3-0 on Friday.

    BYU took Thursday’s game with set scores of 25-22, 25-21, 23-25, 29-31 and 15-12. The Cougars hit .308 and the Tritons hit .298 for the game. Service errors were high for both teams, with UCSD coming in at 23 to BYU’s 26.

    “We didn’t play poorly; we put up decent offensive numbers, but we just didn’t pressure them enough,” head coach Kevin Ring said. “But I’m pretty proud of how hard we fought; we were down two games to zero and we got ourselves into a fifth game, and our goal is to give ourselves those kinds of chances.”

    Down two sets to none, the Tritons showed their fight in the third game, hitting .417 to the Cougars’ .273 and with only one error.

    “We had to get them out of system and we started doing that in game three,” Ring said. “We blocked a bunch of balls after that, slowed up their offense, and played better defense behind it.”

    The Tritons brought the momentum of game three through to game four. With 17 ties and seven lead changes, the team was able to challenge BYU to a 31-point set. The Tritons finally won the set, and in so doing forced a fifth.

    “They had a couple of serves at match point, and to win it, they would have had to side out so we had to come back with a good play,” Ring said.

    Game five was a letdown for the Tritons. Some early service errors gave the match to BYU, making the Cougars the only current Mountain Pacific Sports Federation team UCSD hasn’t beaten. Despite the loss, Thursday marked the first time the Tritons ever won more than one set against BYU.

    Sophomore outside hitter Carl Eberts and Freshman middle Sebastian Brady earned career highs in the match, with 17 and 15 kills, respectively. Brady hit .591 and added an ace and four blocks. Senior outside hitter Joel Davidson got 15 kills, senior setter Phil Bannan tallied 52 assists and seven blocks and senior middle Calvin Ross showed six kills and six blocks.

    The Tritons came back Friday night, but had a tougher time against BYU. Set scores were 25-17, 25-16 and 25-22, with BYU hitting .460 with 38 kills and nine errors in 63 attempts. UCSD hit .276, and no player reached higher than nine kills. Freshman setter Mike Brunsting hit the highest on the team with .714, and also got six kills. Service errors were down as the teams traded points with each other, committing 15 errors each.

    “We were playing the number two team in the country on their court,” Ring said. “And we were pretty competitive. We stretched to a fifth game last night so they came out very focused.”

    The Tritons once again lost the first two games, but showed some signs of life in the third set.

    “We just got ourselves into a hole early on in the first two games,” Ring said. “You’ve got to put yourself in the position to win, and tonight we only did that in one out of three games, and we still came up short, but we need to put play all our games like we did in game three tonight.”

    The Tritons come home to RIMAC Arena this weekend to play Pacific on Friday, March 4, and Stanford on Saturday, March 5. Both games are at 7 p.m.

    Readers can contact Hanna Rahimi at [email protected].


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