Blocked Out


        The No. 12 Tritons were knocked out of contention for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation conference playoff last Friday night, April 13, when No. 11 Cal State Northridge defeated No. 6 Pepperdine. Despite the Tritons’ five-set victory over Cal Baptist, UCSD could not overtake Northridge in the standings to clinch the eighth seed.
        On Friday, UCSD got off to a sluggish opening set, falling 20-25 to the Lancers. The Tritons logged a sloppy 13 kills on nine errors, compared to Cal Baptist’s 11 kills on four errors.
        “We really talked about the serve and receive battle, we really wanted to serve better than they served, and we wanted to pass better,” UCSD head coach Kevin Ring said. “And I don’t think we did that in the first game.”
        The Tritons regrouped in the second set, recording a tremendous 14 of 17 on sideout attempts, while also tallying 11 kills on just two errors. UCSD took the set 15-25.
        “In the second game we had fewer errors from the serves, we passed really well, we had good sideout efficiency,” Ring said.
        The Lancers took back the lead in the third set, overcoming an early Triton lead to win 25-23.

    “We had an early lead, and that evaporated,” Ring said. “It was a disappointing game three, to be up in the driver’s seat and then watch them take over.”

    UCSD took the fourth set 21-25 to push for overtime, with the help of sophomore setter Mike Brunsting. Brunsting, who was the setter of choice for Ring early in the season, has seen his minutes drop over the course of the past few games. But against the Lancers, Brunsting came off the bench to record five big assists in the fourth game.

    The Tritons took control in the fifth set, as UCSD was perfect on its side of the net, recording 12 kills on no errors.

        Junior outside hitter Carl Eberts led the Tritons in the attack with 19 kills on five errors, while redshirt freshman Cheyne Hayes chipped in 13 kills to go along with sophomore Sebastian Brady’s 11 kills.
        “It’s nice to win again, we had a real nice win streak going in the MPSF,” Ring said. “Then we faced a couple pretty good teams on the road. We lost two at [USC] and [Pepperdine], but it’s good just to get back to winning.”
        Without hope of a postseason, the Tritons were swept by No. 2 UC Irvine in their last game of the season.
        The Anteaters downed the Tritons in dominant fashion, with scores of 25-19, 25-16 and 25-20.
        “[Irvine’s] coming in and they still had something to fight for tonight,” Ring said. “They’re heading into the playoffs next week, and they wanted to end the season on a high note.”
        The Anteaters’ Kevin Tillie, a French international, led the field with 13 kills and three blocks.
        Eberts had another strong game for the Tritons, but collectively, UCSD seemed flat in the attack, tallying just 27 kills to the Anteaters’ 43.

    “I’m definitely proud of the improvements we’ve made throughout the season. We had an early win against [BYU-Hawaii] on the road, and then kind of went through a tough patch there to be able to kind of keep our heads up, keep working in practice. I don’t think we ever get down on ourselves. I felt like we had some competitive matches. You can see signs that we’re getting better, we’re keeping ourselves in it.”

        Despite tallying 6-16 MPSF conference record, the Tritons seem poised on improvement in 2013. Without a senior on their roster, the Tritons will return next season with their entire roster intact, a group including last week’s AVCA National Player of the week sophomore Vaun Lennon, sophomore middle-blocker Sebastian Brady and junior outside hitter Carl Eberts.  

    “This is a tie for our second most wins in conference, at six,” Ring said. “So in some ways this could have been a rebuilding year, we lost some key guys, some seniors last year, new guys have stepped in and they’ve showed they can play.”

     

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $210
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $210
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal