No. 9 UC Irvine Clinches Post-Season With Sweep of No. 14 UC Santa Barbara

4/5/2008

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Santa Barbara, Calif. - No. 9 UC Irvine swept No. 14 UC Santa Barbara, 3-0 (32-30, 30-27, 30-20) at Robertson Gym Saturday, clinching a post-season appearance.

With the team's 10th MPSF win, UCI clinches a spot in the post-season with two regular season matches remaining. The Anteaters are 14-13 overall and 10-10 in league play. UCSB drops to 9-16 on the year and 6-14 in the MPSF.

Jon Steller and Jordan DuFault led the Anteaters with 15 kills each with DuFault hitting .542 for the match. Outside hitter Cory Yoder totaled eight kills, while middle blockers Aaron Harrell and Kevin Wynne each added five kills. Harrell also recorded a team-high five blocks and two aces. Libero Brent Asuka recorded eight digs and setter Anthony Spittle gathered 45 set assists.

UC Santa Barbara was led by Jeff Menzel with 16 kills followed by Mike Runkle with eight kills. Vince Devany recorded 34 set assists while Ben Brockman matched Runkle with a team best five digs.

The Anteaters jumped out to a 7-2 lead in game one and continued to lead 28-23. UCSB then scored four unanswered to close within 28-27. A Cory Yoder kill stopped the streak (29-27), but the Gauchos rallied again scoring three straight to take a 30-29 lead. The next UCSB serve went into the net (30-30) before Jon Steller pounded two straight kills to give UCI the 32-20 victory.

With the game tied 26-26, the 12th tie of the game, Taylor Wilson went into the game to serve and recorded a kill that was followed by two UCSB attack errors, the last a block by Aaron Harrell to give UCI the 29-26 lead. Wilson's next serve went into the net to delay game point before a block by Harrell and Steller ended the game, 30-27.

UCI led 12-10 in game three before going on a 7-2 spurt to break open a 19-12 advantage. UCI never looked back taking the third set 30-20 on a Cole Reinholm kill.

UCI will travel to Pacific next Friday and Stanford Saturday to end the regular season.

Article courtesy of UC Irvine athletics.

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