#6 UC Irvine Escapes Matadome with 3-2 Win

  0 Braden Keith | March 04th, 2017 | College - Men's Indoor, EIVA, News

Match Stats

  • #6 UC Irvine def. CSU-Northridge 3-2 (22-25, 25-19, 25-16, 23-25, 15-13)
  • UC Irvine moves to 12-6 (9-5 MPSF); CSUN falls to 12-7 (5-7 MPSF)
  • Matadome, Northridge, California
  • Attendance: 270
  • Box Score

Press Releases

Courtesy UC Irvine Athletics:

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – A triple threat of Aaron Koubi, Thomas Hodges and Tamir Hershko led No. 6 UC Irvine to a 3-2 win (23-25, 25-29, 25-16, 23-25, 15-13) over No. 12 CSUN at the Matadome Friday.

The Anteaters (12-6, 9-5) remained dominant when going the distance, extending the streak to 7-0 in 2017.

After hitting a season-low .106 at Long Beach State on Wednesday, UCI hit .410 (68-20-117). UCI also got hot again from the service line with seven aces.

Junior Aaron Koubi posted a career-high 20 kills, while hitting .455. Seniors Thomas Hodges and Tamir Hershko each added 15 kills, hitting .542 and .407 respectively. Hodges also recorded five digs and a career-best six total blocks, matching freshman Matthew Younggren for the team-high in total blocks tonight. Freshman middle blocker Scott Stadick totaled nine kills and three blocks. Senior setter Michael Saeta had five kills, 54 set assists and three aces.

CSUN (12-7, 5-7) was led by Arvis Greene’s match-high 21 kills. Dimitar Kalchev had 11 kills and seven digs and Josiah Byers totaled 10 kills, hitting .600 (10-1-15).

UCI never led in the first set as the teams would never be more than two points apart until CSUN used an Anteater service error and a kill by Arvis Greene to win, 25-22. Both teams were on fire offensively as the Matadors were errorless hitting .737 (14-0-19), while UCI was .565 (16-3-23).

CSUN started with the 3-1 lead and stayed on top until UCI took its first lead of the match scoring three straight on a kill and ace by Tamir Hershko and a kill by Aaron Koubi, 11-9. Following a Matador kill, UCI scored the next five on a CSUN service error, a solo block by Matthew Younggren, an ace by Scott Stadick, a block by Younggren and Aaron Koubi and a CSUN back row attack error pushing the Anteater lead to 17-10. Fittingly, a block by Younggren and Hodges ended the set 25-19. The Anteaters block came alive, rejecting seven Matador attacks.

Tough serving by Saeta and Hershko helped the Anteaters jump out to a 5-1 lead in the third. Back-to-back kills by Thomas Hodges extended the margin to 11-5 and a kill and ace by Michael Saeta moved the score to 14-7. UCI kept rolling with the next three on a CSUN attack error, a kill by Hodges and a kill by Hershko, 17-7. UCI would go on to win the set 25-16.

In another closely played set, CSUN would sneak ahead 10-7 on a 3-0 run. UCI rallied to tie it on a kill by Hershko, a Matador error and a kill by Hodges following a fantastic punch up from the far behind the end line by Hershko. With the score knotted at 15-15, UCI scored on a CSUN service error and an ace by Saeta to take a 17-15 lead. A kill by Koubi out of the back row and a block by Hodges and Stadick moved the lead to 19-16. The Matadors scored the next three to deadlock the set at 19-19. A CSUN attack error and a kill by Koubi followed to give UCI the 21-19 advantage. CSUN would score six of the final eight points to force a fifth set, 25-23.

In the fifth, back-to-back blocks, first by Stadick and Hodges on the right pin then Koubi and Younggren on the left pin, put UCI up 4-2. Consecutive errors by the Matadors gave UCI the 7-4 lead. CSUN would not go away and tied the set at 12-12. UCI would end the match with kills by Hershko and Stadick, 15-13.

UCI will head across the country for some non-conference matches next week. The Anteaters will visit St. Francis on Wednesday (Mar. 8) then head to Columbus, Ohio to face Ball State (Mar. 10) and No. 1 Ohio State (Mar. 11).

Courtesy CSUN Athletics:

NORTHRIDGE, CA – The 12th-ranked CSUN Matadors pushed the No. 6 UC Irvine Anteaters to the limit for the second time this season before bowing in five sets Friday at The Matadome.

Set scores were 22-25, 25-19, 25-16, 23-25, 15-13 as CSUN slipped to 12-7 overall and 5-7 in the MPSF. The win, UCI’s seventh five-set win this season, improved to Anteaters to 12-6 and 9-5.

Junior Arvis Greene posted a match-high 21 kills on .282 hitting while sophomore Dimitar Kalchev added 11 (.182) and junior Josiah Byers chipped in a season-high 10 kills on .600 hitting.

After hitting an impressive .737 in the opening set, the Matadors struggled over the next two sets before getting things back together in pulling out the fourth set. That set the stage for the decisive fifth set where the visitors were 6-0 coming in while CSUN was 1-3

“I felt like we played flawlessly in the first set but we really struggled with our passing in the next two sets,” said head coach Jeff Campbell. “I was proud of the way we regrouped and built some momentum going into set five but we made a couple of errors which turned out to be the difference. The fact that we’re completing and fighting against a team like UC Irvine which has a lot more experience than we do, I am pleased with where we are as a team right now.”

Both teams hit incredibly well in set one but CSUN had enough left at the end as Greene’s seventh kill of the set came on set point in the 25-22 win.

The Matadors then struggled to an .071 team hitting clip over the next two sets, falling by the scores of 25-19 and 25-16.
CSUN opened up an early 10-7 lead in the fourth set before the visitors came back to knot the score at 15-15. A Matador service error followed by an Anteater ace pushed the lead to 17-15 and UCI eventually led 19-16 forcing CSUN into a timeout.

Kalchev’s only ace of the night capped a 3-0 CSUN run forged a 19-19 tie when a Matador hitting error followed by a UCI kill gave the Anteaters a 21-19 advantage. CSUN would score six of the final eight points to force a fifth set, 25-23.

In the fifth, back-to-back blocks put UCI up 4-2. The Anteater lead grew to 7-4 lead before Eric Chance’s kill pulled CSUN back within one at 8-7. A Parker Maki kill tied the set at 12-12 CSUN but UCI outscored the Matadors 3-1 from that point on to pick up the road win.

Aaron Koubi had a team-high 20 kills to lead UCI while Tamir Hershko and Thomas Hodges each added 15.

CSUN plays a rescheduled match at UC Santa Barbara next Wednesday (Mar. 8) before playing a pair of non-conference matches at Long Beach State next weekend.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of VolleyMob.com. Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined SwimSwam.com as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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