No. 2 UC Irvine Sweeps No. 1 Pepperdine in MPSF Showdown


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IRVINE, Calif. - No. 2 UC Irvine swept No. 1 Pepperdine, 3-0 (30-29, 30-24, 30-22) on senior night at the Bren Events Center in front of a season-high 2,587 fans.

UCI improves to 22-4 overall and moves into a first place tie in the MPSF standings with Pepperdine at 17-3.  The Waves go to 19-3 overall. It is the 10th win all-time versus the Waves and only the second three-game sweep of Pepperdine in the series history. The last 3-0 victory was Jan. 6, 2003.

UCI once again used a balanced attack, hitting .352 (56-13-122). The Anteaters were guided by senior setter Ryan Ammerman with 47 assists, three kills, five digs, five total blocks and two aces. Redshirt freshman Carson Clark led the team with 16 kills and had eight digs. Sophomore Jordan DuFault hit .480 from the outside with 14 kills and just two errors in 25 attempts. Senior outside hitter Taylor Wilson logged 10 kills and six block assists, while senior libero Brent Asuka had a team-best 11 digs. In the middle, sophomore Kevin Wynne totaled a match-high seven blocks, hit .538 with seven kills, while freshman Austin D'Amore hit .545 with six kills and six blocks. Senior Jon Steller fired a service ace.

The Anteaters dominated the net, out-blocking Pepperdine 16 to 6.

Pepperdine's Paul Carroll recorded a match-high 19 kills, while Matt McKee had 14 kills. Kasey Krider totaled 42 set assists and nine digs, while libero Sean Grubbs had a match-high 12 digs in the loss.

The first set saw 13 ties and the lead was never more than two for either team. With the score knotted at 29-29 a Pepperdine service error was followed by a block by UCI's Austin D'Amore and Taylor Wilson to give the Anteaters the 31-29 victory.  UCI used 5.5 blocks and six kills from Carson Clark to take the set.

The score was tied 22-22 in second set before UCI had kills by Jordan DuFault and D'Amore and a Pepperdine attack error to go ahead 25-22. The Anteaters scored the last three points of the set on a Ryan Ammerman ace, a block by Clark and Kevin Wynne and another Ammerman ace.

UCI jumped out to a 7-3 advantage in the third set and never relinquished the lead. Consecutive kills by Wynne, D'Amore and DuFault end the game 30-22 and the match.

UCI honored its six graduating seniors, Ryan Ammerman, Nick Spittle, Jon Steller, Brent Asuka, Taylor Wilson and Nick Goldsborough-Reardon in a pre-game ceremony.

With one more week remaining in the regular season, UCI is guaranteed to host a MPSF quarterfinal match on April 25. The Anteaters travel to Stanford and Pacific to close out the MPSF schedule.

Article courtesy of UC Irvine athletics.

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