Triton Volleyball Continues Up-and Down-Season

    The match with USC saw set scores of 25-23, 28-26 and 25-23. While the game showed low hitting averages for both teams, with the Tritons at .181 and the Trojans at .232, USC out-blocked UCSD 12 to five.

    Sophomore outside hitter Carl Eberts and freshman middle blocker Sebastian Brady each gave the Tritons 11 kills. Eberts added six digs and Brady showed the team-best hitting average of .600.

    The Tritons took the Pepperdine Waves to five sets to snap their seven-loss slide. UCSD came out fighting and took the first set 25-22 and the second set in a 38-36 marathon, but Pepperdine came back and stole the next two with set scores of 25-20 and 25-22.

    The final deciding set ended at 17-15 as UCSD came up big at the end of the fifth game to take match.

    Eberts achieved two career-highs with 22 kills and 10 digs. Freshman outside hitter Nick Iorfino took 16 kills and freshman setter Mike Brunsting collected 14 kills. Senior middle blocker Calvin Ross showed 13 kills and five blocks, and senior setter Phil Bannan added to his school-record total with another 66 assists.

    Right after snapping their own losing streak, the Tritons turned around and snapped Ohio State’s 17-match winning streak with scores 21-25, 25-22, 25-22 and 28-26.

    “Game one, [the Buckeyes] hit really well, .433, and we did not do enough to get them out of system, we only had one stop-block in game one and we finished with 16.5,” head coach Kevin Ring said. “So in three games, games two, three, and four, we had 15.5 stop blocks and we put a lot of pressure on them.”

    Eberts got 14 more kills, an ace, six digs and six blocks. Ross showed nine kills, Brady got four, and both players matched Eberts with six blocks. The team collected good statistics across the board ending with 11 service aces to the Buckeyes’ five.

    Unfortunately, the Tritons failed to ride the winning momentum and played a weak game against UCLA, losing with set scores 25-20, 25-23 and 25-21. The Bruins showed a .346 hits and nine blocks to the Tritons .207 and six blocks.

    “We did not pressure UCLA enough from the service line,” Ring said. “We passed okay at times, but we just did not have enough fire power. Win or lose, you just want to put a better performance on the court. We just did not feel that ‘hey this is ours, this is our game to win’ and it just wasn’t our night, we did not play well.”

    Despite the loss, Eberts got 14 more kills as well as five digs and two blocks, Ross hit .556, got six kills, and showed only one error in nine attacks. Bannan served four aces, bringing the setter to 46 aces this season, eight short of breaking Eric Mai’s record of 54 in 1997.

    The Tritons are setting off for a four-match set of away games against UC Santa Barbara, UCLA, Cal State Northridge, and Long Beach State. The team will be back at RIMAC Arena to host UC Irvine Saturday April 16 at 7 pm.

    Readers can contact Hanna Rahimi at [email protected].


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