No. 1 UC Irvine Hits Season-High .500 In Sweep Of No. 13 Cal State Northridge

Carson Clark

 Northridge, Calif. – No. 1 UC Irvine hit a season-high .500 and extended its winning streak to eight with a 3-0 (27-25, 25-14, 25-23) victory over No. 13 Cal State Northridge at the Matadome Wednesday.

The Anteaters improve to 17-3 overall and 13-3 in the MPSF while Cal State Northridge goes to 8-12 on the year and 4-9 in league action.

UCI hit a season-high .500 (49-8-82), committing six of their errors in the final set. Reigning MPSF Player of the Week Carson Clark led all players with 17 kills, hitting .667 (17-1-24) and firing two aces. Outside hitters Kevin Tillie and Jeremy Dejno each added 11 kills with Dejno hitting .625 and Tillie leading the team in digs with six. Middle blockers Dan McDonnell and Scott Kevorken each recorded five kills with Kevorken recording a team-high four blocks.

Cal State Northridge was led by Brandon Lebrock with 12 kills. John Baker had seven kills.    

UCI took a 5-2 lead in the first set on a Carson Clark ace and continued to lead 13-10 on a triple block by Jeremy Dejno, Scott Kevorken and Chris Austin. The Matadors would score the next three points to knot the score at 13-13 all. A Cal State Northridge kill and a UCI attack error would give the Matadors their first lead 17-16. The teams would trade points until a kill by Kevorken was followed by a Northridge attack that sailed long to give the Anteaters the 22-21 advantage. Cal State Northridge responded with three consecutive kills to regain the lead, 24-22. A pair of Kevin Tillie kills followed to tie the set again, 24-24. Each team scored a point then Dejno pounded an overpass and McDonnell put away the set winner, 27-25.

The Anteaters started the second set with a 6-1 lead and would go in to a 25-14 victory. Clark had eight kills in the set as the Anteaters did not commit an attack error and hit .636 (14-0-22).

The Matadors held a 4-3 lead in the third set before UCI had a kill by Clark, a solo block by Tillie and a block by Clark and Dan McDonnell to go ahead 6-4. The Anteaters continued to lead 10-7 before the Matadors had a kill and consecutive solo blocks by Jared Moore to tie the set at 10-10. UCI would go on a 6-1 run to push the lead to 16-11. A kill and a pair of aces by Julius Hoefer narrowed the UCI lead to 16-15, but a Tillie kill stopped the streak, 17-15. A kill by Clark gave UCI the 23-18 advantage, but the Matadors wouldn't go away tying it up 23-23. A Northridge serving error and a kill from the back row by Tillie ended the set 25-23 and the match 3-0.

UCI travels to No. 9 Long Beach State Saturday (Mar. 17) for a Black & Blue Rivalry Series showdown at the Walter Pyramid.