Bruins Fall to UC Irvine in Four in UCSB/asics Invitational Final
Jan. 7, 2012
Santa Barbara, Calif. - Senior Jeremy Casebeer led the Bruins with 13 kills in the match, but it wasn't enough as the third ranked UCLA men's volleyball team fell to the UC Irvine Anteaters in four sets in the championship match of the UCSB/asics Invitational on Saturday night.
The loss drops the Bruins' record to 2-1 on the year while the Anteaters improved to 3-0. Set scores were 23-25, 25-21, 35-33 and 25-18.
In the first set, UCLA jumped out to an early 9-2 lead and looked well on their way to an easy set victory. But the Anteaters fought back and eventually leveled the set at 15-15. The teams were deadlocked at 21-21 before senior Jack Polales and sophomore Matt Hanley gave the Bruins the 23-21 advantage and allowed them to go on and win the set 25-23. After UC Irvine took the second set, the teams would play a wild third set that saw each side fight off multiple set points. Each side traded points until the set was tied 33-33, but Kevin Carroll and Carson Clark converted back-to-back kills for UC Irvine to give the Anteaters the 35-33 set win and a 2-1 lead in the match. From there UCLA was unable to recover and UC Irvine went on to win the match in four sets.
Casebeer led the Bruins with 13 kills while seniors Weston Dunlap and Thomas Amberg had 11 and 10 kills respectively. Dunlap had a team-high .529 hitting percentage (min. 10 attempts) while Amberg hit .450 in the match and had six total blocks. Senior setter Kyle Caldwell had 42 assists in the match while sophomore Evan Mottram led all players with 13 digs. For their efforts in all three matches this weekend, Dunlap and Caldwell were named to the All-Tournament Team.
Overall, UCLA hit .242 in the match while UC Irvine hit .343. Carson Clark led the Anteaters with 17 kills.
The Bruins will return to the court next week to participate in the Outrigger Hotels Invitational in Honolulu, Hawai'i. Their first match of the tournament will be against Lewis College on Thurs., Jan. 12 at 6 pm PT.
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