La Jolla, Calif. – No. 1 UC Irvine hit .493 on its way to a 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-21) sweep of UC San Diego at the RIMAC Arena Saturday.
The top-ranked Anteaters push the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation's longest winning streak to eight in a row and improve to 12-3 overall and 9-3 in the MPSF. UCSD goes to 5-11 on the year and 3-9 in the MPSF.
The UCI middle blockers were perfect offensively with Scott Kevorken hitting .800 with eight kills on 10 swings and Collin Mehring hitting .500 and recording five kills. Mehring also led the team with five total blocks. Outside hitter Jeremy Dejno hit an impressive .692 on 10 kills and one error in 13 attempts. Outside hitter Kevin Tillie recorded a team-high 11 kills, while opposite Zack La Cavera had seven kills in the win. Libero Michael Brinkley recorded a team-best five digs and setter Daniel Stork posted 35 set assists.
UC San Diego was led by Cheyne Hayes with 14 kills followed by Carl Eberts with nine kills and five digs. Mike Brunsting added 27 set assists and five digs.
UCI used a kill by Jeremy Dejno and back-to-back blocks by Zack La Cavera and Collin Mehring to create a 13-9 advantage in the first half. That was all the separation they would need as the Anteaters won the opening set, 25-16.
In the second set, UCI led 17-16 and went on a 4-0 spurt which included a pair of kills by La Cavera and two Triton errors to open a 21-17 lead. UCI would win the set 25-19 on a kill by Scott Kevorken in the middle. The Anteaters hit .625 (16-1-24).
Kills by La Cavera and Kevin Tillie plus two UCSD attack errors, the last a block by Mehring and Tillie put UCI ahead 13-8 in the third set. The Tritons battled back to tie the set at 17-17 and take the lead 19-18 on a block. The Tritons held a 20-19 advantage before two straight blocks by Mehring were paired with a bad set on the UCSD side to put UCI back ahead , 22-20. Mehring would serve UCI's last two points, one an ace, 25-21.
The match lasted one hour and 11 minutes.
UCI is back in action Monday and Tuesday (Feb. 18-19) when they host Hawaii at 7:00 p.m. in the Bren Events Center. Please note that Monday is a holiday and the Bren box office will not open until 6:00 p.m. prior to the match. Normal business hours resume on Tuesday.