Wilson, Asuka Lead No. 7 UC Irvine in Sweep Over Pacific
Irvine, Calif. - Outside hitter Taylor Wilson pounded 18 kills and libero Brent Asuka picked up a season-high 13 digs as No. 7 UC Irvine swept Pacific, 30-27, 30-26, 30-24 Friday in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match at the Bren Events Center. With the win, UC Irvine improved to 3-2 overall (1-0 MPSF) and extended its home record to 31-3 dating back to Jan. 3, 2006.
Freshman outside hitters Jordan DuFault and Cory Yoder each put away nine kills apiece as the Anteaters posted a .319 hitting percentage for the match while holding Pacific to .177. Setter Anthony Spittle totaled 40 assists and just missed a double-double with nine digs while senior Aaron Harrell led UCI with five total blocks. The Anteaters out-dug Pacific 42-22 while the Tigers edged UCI in blocks 12 - 11.5.
Pacific 0-3 (0-1) was paced by Jason Borchin, who had 15 kills while Blake Gentry put up a match-high nine block assists. Setter Kris Stake totaled 20 assists and Pekka Seppanen had eight digs in the losing effort.
The two teams kept it close game one until a 13-12 Pacific lead turned into a 15-13 UCI advantage on a solo block by Harrell followed by two consecutive Tigers attack errors. UCI extended the lead to four points (24-20) as a UOP service error was followed an Anteater triple block on Jeff Hendershot. The Tigers rallied to close the gap to one at 25-24 on a UCI ball-handling error but Spittle found DuFault and Wilson on back-to-back plays for a 28-25 lead. A Tiger service error gave UCI game point and Wilson pounded a cross-court kill for the win.
UCI took an early edge in game two at 11-9 and would go on to open a six-point lead at 21-15 with a four-point rally that was capped by a kill from Wilson. UCI's largest lead of the match was at 23-17 as Wilson delivered on consecutive plays. Pacific chipped at the lead to close the gap to three points at 28-25 on an attack error by Yoder but Wilson again came through to give the Anteaters game point and Borchin hit long as the Tigers fell to a two-game deficit.
In the final set, it was UCI again breaking away from a 15-15 tie with three straight points to lead 18-15. A Hendershot kill brought Pacific to within one at 18-17 but Pacific committed a service error and the Anteater block denied Hendershot and Seppanen on consecutive plays to post a 21-17 lead. A kill from Yoder put the Anteaters at match point and Pacific's Simon Chen-Byerley's attack error would seal the match.
UC Irvine hosts Stanford Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at Crawford Court.
Article courtesy of UC Irvine athletics.