Palo Alto, Calif. – Outside hitter Kevin Tillie recorded a career-high 22 kills to lead No. 3 UC Irvine to a 3-1 victory over No. 2 Stanford (25-21, 17-25, 25-17, 25-15) at Maples Pavilion Saturday.
With the win UCI pulls into a tie with Stanford for second place in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings at 10-3. The Anteaters are 14-3 overall, while the Cardinal is 13-4.
Tillie had a career-best 22 kills, hitting .588 on 34 swings and committing just two attack errors for the match. He also had six digs and two aces. Opposite Carson Clark and middle blocker Dan McDonnell each had eight kills, with Clark recording a match-high 11 digs. Outside hitters Connor Hughes and Jeremy Dejno had four kills apiece, while middle blocker Austin D'Amore recorded four kills and four block assists in two games. Setter Chris Austin posted 46 set assists, three kills and three blocks. Libero Michael Brinkley tallied eight digs.
Stanford was led by Brad Lawson with 21 kills and four aces. Brian Cook recorded nine kills, but hit .071. Steven Irvin had seven kills and libero Eric Shoji ended the night with eight digs.
Stanford jumped out to an 11-6 lead in the first set before UCI had kills by Scott Kevorken and Kevin Tillie followed by an ace by Carson Clark, a kill by Jeremy Dejno and a Cardinal attack error to tie the set at 11-11. A Stanford kill by Brian Cook came before two Tillie kills to put UCI ahead, 13-12. The Anteaters led 15-14 then had kills by Tillie and Clark and two blocks to push the advantage to 19-15. Stanford would score the next two to close within 19-17, but a Cardinal service error and a kill by Dejno kept the cushion at 21-17. A pair of Tillie kills gave UCI the set 25-21. Tillie had nine kills in the set and hit .533.
Stanford had an 11-4 lead in the second set, scoring eight of their points on UCI attack, block or service errors. The Anteaters would never get close as the Cardinal won 25-17.
Stanford led 9-5 in the third frame, but UCI rallied with a kill from Chris Austin and Clark as well as two from Austin D'Amore to tie the set at 9-9. A kill by Connor Hughes and an ace by Tillie put the Anteaters up 14-12. Back-to-back kills by Tillie extended the UCI lead to 21-15 and they would win the game 25-17.
In the fourth set, UCI led 3-1 on a Hughes kill and extended the margin to 7-2 on three straight points from a block by Dan McDonnell and Clark followed by a Stanford attack error and a kill by Tillie. UCI would cruise to a 25-15 win and 3-1 victory.
UC Irvine will travel to No. 11 UC Santa Barbara Wednesday (Mar. 7) before taking on No.1 UCLA Saturday (Mar. 10) at 7:00 p.m. in the John Wooden Center.