- No. 5 UC Irvine 3, No. 6 UCLA 1 (17-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-23)
- UC Irvine moves to 20-6; UCLA falls to 17-10
- Irvine, California
- Attendance: 1902
- Box Score
An efficient offense and tough back court defense lifted No. 5 UC Irvine to a 3-1 win over No. 6 UCLA in the MPSF Quarterfinals on Saturday night.
The Anteaters hit at a .374 clip, while holding UCLA to a .279 effort on the night. The Bruins won the blocking battled 8.5 to 8 and served up four aces, while allowing none. In the backcourt, UCI pulled up 29 digs to UCLA’s 21.
Junior outside hitter Aaron Koubi paced UC Irvine with a match-high 19 kills, while hitting .625 on the night. Senior opposite Tamir Herschko and senior outside Thomas Hodges also posted double-digit kill tallies with 12 and 10 respectively. Freshman middle blocker Scott Stadick chipped in seven kills, while hitting .700 (7-0-10) and added a team-leading six blocks. Senior opposite Michael Saeta and senior libero Dillon Hoffman pulled up seven digs apiece.
Junior outside Jake Arnitz led the Bruins with 18 kills, while hitting at a .364 clip and adding a team-best three blocks. Redshirt junior middle Eric Sprague and sophomore outside Dillon Missry put down nine kills apiece. Sprague hit at a .727 clip with nine kills in 11 swings with just one error. Junior outside JT Hatch posted a team-leading six digs.
Three kills each by Koubi and six UCLA miscues put UC Irvine on top 12-10 in Set 1. The Bruins tied it up five times, the last at 17-all. The Anteaters scored five of the next seven to take a 22-19 lead. Two UCLA errors and a block by Stadick aided the run. The Bruins stole away the set, however, with a 6-1 run of its own. Three kills and two Missry/Stahl blocks lifted UCLA to the win.
The Bruins carried the momentum into Set 2, building a three-point lead at 14-11. Three Arnitz kills and a trio of UCI miscues helped UCLA to the advantage. The Anteaters chipped away, eventually tying the score at 20 on a Koubi kill and taking a 21-20 lead on a Bruin error. A hitting error put UC Irvine on the hill at 24-22 and a service error clinched the set.
Two kills and a block by Stadick gave UCI a quick 4-0 lead in Set 3. The Anteaters boosted the edge to six at 12-6 as Koubi downed a trio of kills. UCLA scored four straight and pulled within two three times, last at 14-12. UC Irvine led by five at 20-15 after a stuff by Stadick and Saeta. A service error made it 24-20 and a Saeta putaway gave UCI the 2-1 lead in the match.
UCLA took control early in Set 4, going up 12-8 with help from three Missry kills. The Anteaters tied it up five times, last at 17-all, before taking a 23-20 lead thanks to four Bruin errors. Kills by Hodges and Koubi sealed UCI’s spot in the MPSF semifinals.