May 5, 2007

UC IRVINE IS NATIONAL CHAMPION!!!

May 5, 2007

UC IRVINE IS NATIONAL CHAMPION!!!!!!!!!

Columbus, Ohio --- UC Irvine defeated IPFW, 3-1 (30-24, 24-30, 30-23, 30-28) to win its first men's volleyball national title at St. John Arena Saturday.

It is UCI's first national championship since the men's water polo team took the crown in 1989. The Anteaters end the season 29-5 overall, the most wins in school history and the most in the country this year. IPFW ends the year 23-8.

The Anteaters hit a blistering .724 in game one (22-1-29) on their way to a 30-20 victory. Jayson Jablonsky and Matt Webber each had six kills with Webber hitting .857 (6-0-7) in the first set. UCI jumped out to a 5-2 lead behind the serving of Webber and never let IPFW get within three the rest of the game.

IPFW controlled game two after the score was tied 5-5, the Mastodons went on a 4-1 spurt to take the 9-6 advantage. IPFW, who went onto a 30-24 victory, watched UCI hit just .155 (13-8-33). The Anteaters pulled to within 26-23 late, but UCI serve sailed long and IPFW ended the game out-scoring the Anteaters 4-1.

The score was tied 3-3 when UCI peeled off 6 straight to take the 9-3 lead. The Mastodons went on a 6-2 spurt capped by a Macias ace to narrow the Anteater lead to 20-16 capped by a Macias ace, but a Jablonsky kill stopped the roll. IPFW would get within four at 23-19, but another Jablonsky kill was followed by two Mastodon attacking errors to give UCI the 26-19 cushion. The Anteaters would take the game 30-23, hitting .194 to IPFW's .086.

Game four was tight until UCI scored three straight on a Jablonsky kill and IPFW two attack miscues to open a 21-18 lead. The Mastodons tied the score at 27-27, but a Smith kill gave UCI 28-27 before a Webber kill put the Anteaters up 29-27. Smith delayed game-point with a serve into the net. The final Mastodon attack sailed long for the game, 30-28 and match point.

Tournament Most Valuable Player Matt Webber led all players with 22 kills, hitting .457. Jayson Jablonsky recorded 18 kills, while David Smith had 13 kills and a team high four blocks. Middle blocker Aaron Harrell hit .600 (10-1-15). Setter Brian Thornton tallied 59 assists and six digs. Taylor Wilson added a team-high eight digs and six kills, while libero Brent Asuka had five digs.

Thornton, Jablosnky and Smith were also named to the All-Tournament Team. IPFW was led by all-tournament team member CJ Macias with 21 kills. Josh Stewart hit .706, recording 12 kills (12-0-17).