No. 3 UC Irvine Men's Volleyball Comes Back To Defeat No. 7 USC|
March 3, 2015
The No. 3 UC Irvine men's volleyball team--behind 18 kills each from Tamir Hershko and Zack La Cavera--fought back from a 2-set deficit to defeat No. 7 USC, 20-25, 18-25, 25-19, 25-17, 15-13, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match in USC's Galen Center on Tuesday (March 3).
It was the fourth consecutive time that the Trojans and Anteaters have gone 5 sets when facing each other, with the teams splitting the matches.
UCI improved to 17-3 overall and 12-2 in the MPSF. USC, which started the season with a 7-0 record, dropped its fourth straight match to fall to 9-5 overall and 8-5 in the MPSF. It was Troy's sixth 5-set match of the season (winning 4 of them). It also was the Trojans' second 5-set loss this season after winning the first 2 sets.
Christopher Orenic had 12 kills, 6 digs, 4 blocks and 3 aces to lead USC, while Alex Slaught had 11 kills, Robert Feathers had 10 kills while hitting .667 and he added a match-high 7 blocks and Micah Christenson had 9 digs.
For UCI, Andrew Benz added 11 kills while hitting .529 and he had 4 blocks, while Michael Brinkley had 17 digs. La Cavera hit .351.
UC Irvine outhit USC (.364 to .291) and had more digs (35 to 24), but the Trojans had more blocks (11.5 to 8.5) and aces (7 to 4).
The first set was tight until USC went on a 5-point run to build a 16-11 lead and UC Irvine couldn't catch up despite outhitting Troy, .333 to .300, but the Trojans served 3 aces. USC got out to a 5-0 lead in the second set with Christenson serving (he had a pair of aces in that spurt) and built it to 8-1, and again the Anteaters could never make up the deficit as the Trojans hit .393 (UCI hit just .179) with 2 more aces and 2 blocks. In the third set, a 4-0 run gave UCI a 12-7 lead and the Anteaters held off the Trojans while hitting .538 to USC's .167. UCI scored 6 out of 7 points early in the fourth set to build a 10-5 margin and steadily built on it while hitting .700 to USC's .417. The fifth set saw both teams come back from deficits, first USC scoring 4 in a row to go up 7-5, then UCI scoring 6 of the next 7 points to go ahead 11-8 for all the lead it needed to close out the match.
USC plays again on Wednesday (March 4) in an MPSF match against UC San Diego at 7 p.m. in the Galen Center.