Battle Of Unbeatens Goes To #2 UCLA In Sweep Of #18 UCSD

  0 Kyp Harasymowycz | January 17th, 2018 | Big West, College - Men's Indoor, MPSF, News


  • #2 UCLA def. #18 UCSD, 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-18)
  • UCLA improves to 5-0; UCSD falls to 3-1
  • La Jolla, California
  • Attendance: 671
  • Box score

LA JOLLA, Calif. – In their first match since January 10, #2 UCLA swept #18 UCSD in RIMAC Arena, 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-18). After 25 years being conference rivals in the MPSF, this was the first match between the two as non-conference opponents. UCLA also garnered a season-best 16 block assists against the Tritons.

UCLA was led offensively by JT Hatch, who pounded a season-high 13 kills, on .480 hitting, to lead the second-ranked Bruins. Dylan Missry added 8 kills on .353 hitting to go along with his 6 digs, 2 blocks and ace in the match. Middle Blocker Daenan Gyimah matched a career-high with 6 block assists, leading all defenders at the net Tuesday evening. Setter Micah Ma’a paced the offense to a .360 hitting clip, dishing out a match-high 29 assists and also dug a match-high 7 balls on the night. Ma’a also led all servers with a match-high 2 aces.

UCSD was once again led by national kill leader and senior opposite Tanner Syftestad with a match-high 14 kills on .324 hitting. No other Triton had more than 5 kills. Setter Milosh Stojcic distributed 25 assists and added a team-high 5 digs for the home squad. Alec Flowers led the Tritons with 2 blocks.

For the most part, this match was a case of UCSD not finding another terminator. Although UCLA had more unforced attack errors than UCSD (8-7), UCSD could only muster 5 kills in set 2, and averaged less than 10 kills per set, while the visitors averaged over 14 kills per set. UCLA’s aggression behind the service line (5 aces, 16 SE) kept the Tritons on their heels, despite the unforced errors.


Courtesy of UCLA Athletics

The No. 2-ranked UCLA men’s volleyball team used a season-best 16 block assists to help put away UC San Diego and win its fifth-straight match to open the season on Tuesday night in LaJolla, Calif. Senior JT Hatch registered a season-high 13 kills and hit .480 while soph Daenan Gyimah matched his career-best with six block assists. Scores of the match were 25-23, 25-18, 25-18. UCLA will now return home to host the 2018 Men’s Volleyball AVCA Showcase in Pauley on Thursday and Saturday featuring teams from No. 3 Ohio State, No. 9 Penn State and No. 13 USC. The Nittany Lions are first up for the Bruins on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.

The Bruins moved out to a 10-5 lead to start set one. UCSD went on a run to close to 12-11. The score was then even at points 16, 17. 18 and 19. A Hatch kill lifted UCLA into a 22-20 lead and a Micah Ma’a kill made it 23-20. Hatch added his fifth kill of the set for a 24-23 advantage and then Dylan Missry hit off the block to win set one 25-23.

In set two, UCLA jumped to a 5-1 edge early. The Bruins extended the margin to 11-6 before UCSD mounted another rally to get to 12-11. A Christian Hessenauer kill made it 14-11 and a Missry swing made it 20-15 for the Bruins. Gyimah’s kill pushed the lead to 22-17 and Hessenauer provided the final two kills of the set for a 25-18 win.

The host Tritons broke a 5-all tie with a mini run to take a 6-10 lead in set three. A pair of blocks from Gyimah and Hessenauer and a Ma’a sevice ace evened the score at 10. Another ace from Ma’a put UCLA ahead 11-10. The Bruins led 15-11 after kills by Hatch and Missry. A Hessenauer swing made it 18-13 and a Gyimah kill finished off the set at 25-18.

UCLA hit .360 for the match to .160 for the Tritons. Ma’a finished with five kills, two aces, seven digs and 29 set assists. Missry finished with eight kills and hit .353. San Diego natives Colin Bailey (1 kills, 1 block) and Garland Peed (5 digs) each started the match. Oliver Martin had six kills, an ace and a couple of blocks.

Courtesy of UCSD Athletics

LA JOLLA, Calif. – The University of California San Diego fell for the first time this season at the hands of the formidable second-ranked Bruins of UCLA, 3-0, in a non-conference men’s volleyball match at RIMAC Arena on Tuesday night. Set scores were 25-23, 25-18 and 25-18, in front of 671 spectators.

UC San Diego drops to 3-1, while UCLA, idle since Jan. 10, remains perfect at 5-0. The teams were Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) rivals for the past 25 seasons, but the Tritons are now in the first-year Big West Conference.

Senior opposite Tanner Syftestad, who began the week as the national leader in kills per set and points per set, finished with a match-high 14 kills on .324 hitting (14-3-34), adding four digs. It marked his 40th career match in double-figure kills.

Senior outside hitter JT Hatch paced the Bruins with 13 kills at a .480 rate (13-1-25), with five digs and two assists.

As a team, UCLA out-hit UC San Diego, .360-.160, and out-blocked the Tritons, 8.0-3.0.

The Bruins scored the night’s first two points and held a 9-4 lead at the initial timeout by UCSD head coach Kevin Ring. His Tritons battled back and tallied five of six to get to within one at 12-11 and force UCLA’s John Speraw, also the head coach of the U.S. men’s national team, to call for time.

Though the Bruins came out of that break in the action and grabbed the next three points, the Tritons used a 4-0 run to level matters at 16-16, on a kill by junior outside hitter Nathan Thalken. The last of five tie scores came at 23-23 through a combination block by seniors Alec Flowers and Milosh Stojcic. That’s when kills by Hatch and Dylan Missry gave the visitors the set.

UCLA led from start to finish in the second after earning the first three points and five of six.

The third frame was a tighter affair, with seven tie scores and four lead changes. UCSD held its first edge of the night at 2-1 early on a Syftestad kill. The Tritons blazed to a 10-6 advantage following a huge block and then a kill by true freshman Wyatt Harrison and forced a timeout, but UCLA scored the next four, including back-to-back stuff blocks by sophomore Daenan Gyimah and senior Christian Hessenauer.

Coming out of a Triton timeout, junior setter Micah Ma’a served a second straight ace to extend the run to 5-0 and put the Bruins back on top. A Harrison kill made it 11-11, but UCLA got the next four points and ultimately completed the sweep.

Stojcic wound up with 25 assists, a block assist, one kill and five digs to share the team high. Harrison provided some relief off the bench with three kills and his block.

Gyimah collected a match-best six blocks to go along with five kills and an ace. Ma’a had 29 assists, five kills on five tries, and match highs of two aces and seven digs.

UC San Diego continues a season-long four-match homestand this Friday night, Jan. 19, hosting UC Santa Cruz (6-0), ranked No. 8 in the preseason Division III poll. First serve is set for 7 p.m. inside RIMAC Arena on North Campus in La Jolla.

Triton Notes: UC San Diego was 3-0 entering the match, for the first time since 1996 … The last time UCSD and UCLA faced off without being members of the same conference, was Jan. 11, 1992, a 3-0 Bruin sweep in Westwood … The previous non-conference matchup was on Jan. 4, 2013, at the UC Santa Barbara Asics Invitational, that one a five-set decision for UCLA … Tanner Syftestad‘s 14 kills give him 888 for his career, still 10th all-time at UC San Diego, as he vies to become just the sixth Triton men’s volleyball player to reach the 1000-kill milestone … Syftestad’s 34 attacks give him 2228 for his career, eighth all-time … Milosh Stojcic‘s 25 assists give him 1912 for his four-year career, still seventh all-time, as he is close to becoming the sixth Triton ever to get to 2000 assists … UC San Diego had out-blocked its first three opponents in 2018, prior to tonight … UCLA has won the last 12 meetings.

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