Irvine, Calif. – Kevin Tillie had a match-high 14 kills, while Dan McDonnell fired five aces to lead No.1 UC Irvine to a 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-17) victory over No. 9 Long Beach State at the Walter Pyramid Saturday.
The win gives UCI two points in the Black & Blue Rivalry Series presented by Duke's of Huntington Beach. The Anteaters win their ninth consecutive match and improve to 18-3 overall and 14-3 in the MPSF. Long Beach State goes to 10-11 overall and 5-9 in the MPSF.
Junior outside hitter Kevin Tillie had a match-high 14 kills and eight digs, while hitting .571 (14-2-21). Middle blocker Dan McDonnell fired a career-high five aces and hit .600 (7-1-10), while outside hitter Jeremy Dejno added 11 kills and seven digs. Senior opposite Carson Clark added nine kills and recorded three aces. Setter Chris Austin totaled 37 assists.
Taylor Crabb was the only Long Beach State player with double-digit kills at 10. Brad Hemmerling added six kills and matches Connor Olbright with a team-high seven digs.
In the first set with the score tied 9-9, UCI had a kill by Carson Clark and a pair of aces by Dan McDonnell to take the 9-6 lead. A kill and service ace by Jeremy Dejno extended the lead to 12-9. The Anteaters pulled away, 23-17 scoring three straight on a Clark kill and ace and a Forty-Niner attack error. UCI would win the set 25-19.
Long Beach State led 8-6 before scoring the next three points to open a 11-6 advantage. The Forty-Niners continued to lead 14-11 before LBSU had three straight errors to let the Anteaters tie the score at 14-14. The teams would trade points until kills from Dan McDonnell, Clark and Kevin Tillie were followed by a Forty-Niners error and an ace by McDonnell put UCI ahead, 22-17. Jeremy Dejno would end the set, 25-20 with back-to-back kills.
UCI led 11-8 on a Dejno kill in the third set befor the Forty-Niners rallied and scored three unanswered to tie the match at 11-11. Kills by Dejno and Tillie gave UCI the 13-11 lead. The Anteaters would then go on a 7-2 run, which included two aces by McDonnell to open an 20-13 margin.
UCI will take a week off for finals and return to action hosting UC Santa Barbara on Mar. 30 at 7:00 p.m. in Crawford Court.