Tritons Split Sweeps With UCSB, UCLA

    The difference in performance for the Tritons was astounding; against UCSB they hit an appalling .075, dipping as low to a negative average of -.065 in the third set, but against UCLA, the team brought a solid .329 hits.

    “The match against UC Santa Barbara, I felt like we just offensively did not connect very well in that combination of connection between setter and attackers, with our middle hitter, with our left side or right side attacker,” UCSD head coach Kevin Ring said. “But we came out and we still did some things really well. We passed really well and we played decent defense. We said, OK, we know we have to play better offensively, so we took the things we did well last night and said, let’s just do that again [against UCLA].”

    The Gauchos collected 40 kills while the Tritons trailed at 24. The next night UCSD showed 39 kills to the Bruins’ 34. The match against the Bruins saw some less-seasoned players step up to the challenge, since senior setter Phil Bannan was out with an injury. Freshman outside hitter Nick Iorfino contributed 11 kills, adding two assists and four digs as well, and sophomore outside hitter Carl Eberts took 10 kills and five digs. Junior opposite Shane Veiga got eight kills, four digs, and six blocks, and senior middle Calvin Ross had seven blocks. Freshman setter Mike Brunsting took over for Bannan and totaled 31 assists, an ace, five digs, and two blocks.

    “Mike Brunsting has played some games as setter, some as opposite, and he was running the office as the only center force,” Ring said. “He managed the game as a setter, he didn’t do too much, he put the attackers in situations to be successful and they executed. That’s the key right there, so I thought he did a really nice job. The middles hit for a high efficiency and Calvin Ross was a beast of a blocker. He was the guy that actually stopped that ball, he had a really big night for us. “

    The match against UCLA marks Ring’s 50th win at UCSD and was made even more impressive since the win was on the heels of the April 1 home match when the Tritons got swept by the Bruins. Set scores were 25-21, 25-21 and 25-22. With this win, UCSD improves to 9-17 overall and 5-14 in the MPSF.

    “Even early in the game that was it, it was our game to win,” Ring said. “And we did a great job. When we had that lead late in the game, we just closed it out. We just went out and made the play and that’s a nice win out on the road; we’ve been very competitive on the road this season. To walk into someone else’s gym, get yourself prepared, and know a game player, we did a good job of that.”

    The Tritons have two more away games, with a trip to Cal State Northridge on April 7 and Cal State Long Beach on April 9. The team will return to RIMAC Arena on Saturday, April 16 at 7 p.m. against UC Irvine.

    Readers can contact Hanna Rahimi at [email protected]


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