Irvine, Calif. – Outside hitter Kevin Tillie had a match-high 16 kills to help No. 4 UC Irvine defeat No. 9 Long Beach State, 3-0 (25-23, 25023, 25-22) in a Black & Blue Rivalry Series presented by Duke's of Huntington Beach contest Friday at the Bren Center.
The Anteaters improve to 12-3 overall and 8-3 in the MPSF, while Long Beach State goes to 7-7 on the year and 3-6 in MPSF matches. With UCI picks up two points in the Rivalry Series.
Junior outside hitter Kevin Tillie had a match-high 16 kills, a career-high eight digs and four block assists to lead the Anteaters. Sophomore outside hitter Jeremy Dejno recorded 10 kills and two aces, while senior opposite Carson Clark added nine kills, eight digs and two aces. Middle blocker Scott Kevorken totaled six kills, while middle blocker Dan McDonnell recorded five kills and led all players with a career-high seven total blocks. Setter Chris Austin had 37 set assists, six digs and four total blocks. Will Montgomery recorded two digs and was instrumental in defense and serving.
Long Beach State was led by Jim Baughman with 12 kills and Taylor Crab with 10 kills. Kyle McElderry had a team-best seven digs.
In the first set, UCI led 15-10 on a Scott Kevorken kill before the Forty-Niners reeled off six straight to go ahead 16-15. The teams would trade points until Kevin Tillie put away back-to-back kills to give UCI the 19-18 advantage. Following a Long Beach kill, Jeremy Dejno recoded a kill and Carson Clark fired an ace to give the Anteaters the 21-19 advantage. UCI would never trail again as Tillie had the set winner, 25-23.
UCI led 18-16 in the second set before the Forty-Niners out-scored the Anteaters 4-1 to take a 20-19 lead. With the score tied 21-21, kills by Carson Clark and Tillie were followed by a triple block by Tillie, Dan McDonnell and Chris Austin to put UCI ahead 23-21.A LBSU block narrowed the margin to 24-23 before Dejno had a kill for the 25-23 UCI set victory.
Long Beach scored three unanswered and gained an 18-15 advantage on a kill by Jim Baughman. The Forty-Niners continued to lead 20-17 before UCI went on a 5-0 spurt, the last a kill by Chris Austin to take the 22-20 lead. Dejno would once again have a kill for the set winner, 25-22 and the match 3-0.
UCI will travel to Pacific next Friday (Mar. 2) at the Spanos Center.