Columbus, Ohio – No. 6 UC Irvine had just three attack errors in a 3-0 sweep of No. 12 Ball State (25-14, 25-22, 25-19) on a neutral court at St. John Arena Friday.
The three errors are the fewest of the year and the .478 hitting percentage (47-3-92) is the second best this year.
The Anteaters win their third in a row and improve to 14-6 overall. UCI will play No. 1 Ohio State tomorrow (Mar. 11) at 4:00 p.m. PT
Freshman middle blocker Scott Stadick had seven kills, hitting .467 with two block assists, while junior Reid Dominguez tied his season-high with eight kills on a .667 hitting mark and junior Aaron Koubi had six kills. Setter Michael Saeta recorded 38 set assists, three aces, six digs and three kills. Libero Dillon Hoffman had a match-high eight digs.
Ball State (14-6) was led by Matt Szews's 11 kills. Adam Wessell and Connor Gross also had eight digs. The Cardinal hit .211 (31-15-76).
In the first set, UCI started 6-2 on a pair of Aaron Koubi kills and an ace by Michael Saeta. Two aces by Thomas Hodges helped extend the lead to 16-7. Kills by Hodges, Reid Dominguez and Matthew Younggren ended the set, 25-14.
With the score tied at 22s in the second set, three Ball State errors would give UCI the 25-22 victory.
The teams remained close in the third game until consecutive kills by Hodges and Tamir Hershko took UCI to a 17-15 lead. The Anteaters would not trail again, using two kills by Scott Stadick, a kill by Hodges and a pair of Cardinal mistakes to move out to a 24-18 advantage. Following a UCI service error, Stadick put away the match winner from the middle, 25-19.