No. 1 UC Irvine Sweeps No. 11 Hawaii, 3-0

Kevin Tillie and Collin Mehring Photo Courtesy of Marlin Agoub

Irvine, Calif. – No. 1 UC Irvine sweeps No. 11 Hawaii, 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-11) at the Bren Events Center Tuesday to extend its winning streak to nine matches.

The Anteaters improve to 14-3 overall and 11-3 in the MPSF, while Hawaii goes to 5-10 on the year and 4-8 in the MPSF.

All-American outside hitter Kevin Tillie led UCI with 10 kills, a .467 hitting percentage (10-3-15), two aces and seven digs. Outside hitter Jeremy Dejno and opposite Zack La Cavera each added seven kills, while outside hitter Connor Hughes recorded six kills and six block assists. Middle Blocker Collin Mehring led all players with seven total blocks  and five kills. Setter Daniel Stork totaled 34 set assists and guided the Anteaters to a .408 attack percentage. La Cavera and Scott Kevorken each recorded five blocks in the win.

The Anteaters had 13.5 blocks, which is the second most this year following last night's 16 against the Warriors. UCI out-dug UH 29-19. The Warriors struggled offensively hitting just .172 (36-20-93).

Sinisa Zarkovic and Brook Sedore each had 10 kills to lead Hawaii. Joby Ramos totaled 30 set assists and a team-high five digs.

In the first set, a kill and block by Zack La Cavera followed by a kill by Jeremy Dejno gave UCI an early 6-4 lead. Behind the serving of Collin Mehring, the Anteaters scored three in a row, including an ace to open the gap to 17-13. Back to back kills by La Cavera, the last on a set by Connor Hughes extended the lead to 21-16 and UCI would win the set 25-20.

Back-to-back kills by Dejno and an ace by La Cavera gave the Anteaters the 8-7 advantage, but Hawaii would go on a 10-3 run which included four kills by Brook Sedore to jump ahead 17-11. Four UCI blocks ignited the UCI comeback in a string of six consecutive Hawaii attack errors that put the Anteaters back on top, 19-18. A kill by Scott Kevorken and another Warrior attack error gave the Anteaters the 21-19 advantage and after the teams traded points Kevin Tillie put away two kills for the win, 25-22.  UCI ended the set with 6.5 blocks.

UCI opened a 6-1 lead in the third set and cruised to the 25-11 victory. Hughes recorded five of his kills in the final set.

No. 1 UC Irvine will host new MPSF member Cal Baptist Feb. 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the Bren Center before battling BYU at the Bren on Mar. 1.

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