Men’s Volleyball Sweeps in Nonconference Bout

The UCSD men’s volleyball team took a win over nonconference Hope International University on Friday, Feb. 22, highlighted by senior outside hitter Carl Eberts’ stellar 15-kill performance in the match — his new best. The Tritons beat the Royals 3–0 in Fullerton Friday night with set scores of 25–22, 25–20 and 25–23. The Tritons improve to 6–11 after the win, while the Royals sink to 5–5 in the Mid-America Men’s Volleyball Intercollegiate Conference.

Eberts led the first set with six kills, and junior Sebastian Brady recorded five. Down 2–5, UCSD got off to a slow start, but after several defensive errors by Hope International, a service ace from sophomore Cheyne Hayes and a kill by Brady, the team brought the score to an even 6–6. The Triton offense took control after that with seven unanswered points, with kills from Hayes and Eberts and a spectacular service round by junior Mike Brunsting, who brought three aces in to take the score to 16–8. The Royals came back with six consecutive points, putting the score at 19–21. After capitalizing on several service and attack errors, a kill by sophomore Nick Iorfino put the last point on the board for a 25–22 first set win.

The second frame remained close until UCSD scored five unanswered points to solidify its lead at 17–14 with three kills by Eberts and one from senior middle blocker Greg Smith. The Tritons held the lead during the second half of the set, with mini breaks at 20–16 and 22–17. Though the Tritons made several attack errors late in the set, UCSD’s strong early lead cemented its second set win, with Brunsting scoring the final point in the 25–20 set win.

In the third set, tied 7–7, UCSD took advantage of four consecutive attack errors by Hope International to take a strong 11–7 lead. The Royals would eventually tie the score as the teams went shot-for-shot from 14–14 until nearly the end of the set at 23–23, when a kill by Brady and two attack errors by Hope International gave UCSD the 25–23 victory and a 3–0 match win.

Match highlights included Brady’s nine kills, Iorfino with seven and Smith with six, as well as Brunsting’s impressive three service aces and 28 assists. Brady now has 938 career kills, bringing him that much closer to becoming just the fifth Triton to reach 1,000 kills.

“This was a good win for us,” UCSD Head Coach Kevin Ring said. “We’ve hit our halfway mark in our MPSF season and recommitted to the second half, so it was a good start tonight to come out and take care of business. We played very well in stretches, and we certainly want to be a little more consistent from the service line. I think our offense will come along in that area.”

The Tritons will return to conference play against Mountain Pacific Sports Federation newcomer Cal Baptist University in Riverside next Friday night, March 1.