LOS ANGELES – Freshman outside hitter Nick Iorfino had a match-high 11 kills to help lead No. 12 UC San Diego men’s volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-21, 25-21 and 25-22) sweep versus No. 5 UCLA on the road Friday.
The match, which lasted just an hour and 25 minutes, saw the Tritons return the favor as the Bruins had just swept them at RIMAC Arena on Mar. 26.
UCSD put up 11 blocks and held UCLA to a .105 attack percentage while hitting .329 itself, the Tritons’ fourth-highest total this season. The Bruins failed to hit over .200 in any set, and UC San Diego sided out at better than 70 percent in all three sets.
It was a major turnaround from a night prior when UCSD hit just .075 and was swept at No. 8 UC Santa Barbara.
Outside hitter Carl Eberts finished with 10 kills and five digs for the Tritons. Opposite Shane Veiga had eight kills, four digs and six blocks, while middle Calvin Ross had seven blocks. Veiga led all players with 12.5 points. Freshman setter Mike Brunsting totaled 31 assists with an ace, five digs and two blocks.
This was the fourth time this season that Iorfino tallied 10 or more kills. He added two assists and four digs and totaled 11 points on the night.
“This was a big match for us tonight for sure,” said UCSD head coach Kevin Ring, who collected his 50th win at the school. “Each game was ours to win. Everything was just going our way. It was a big night for the guys, they earned it.”
In the first set, UCSD held a lead up until a Caldwell kill gave UCLA its first lead of the match at 18-17. However, the Tritons blew up for four consecutive points, two of those coming on kills by Eberts, to take a 21-18 lead and put the set out of reach.
UC San Diego got out to a 4-1 lead in the second set and led until UCLA tied it at 14 on a Triton attack error. They took a lead and held it until UCSD scored five straight and went up 23-19. Ross had three blocks in the flurry.
The Tritons again put themselves up 4-1 to start the third set and would not trail for the remainder of the frame.
Kyle Caldwell led the Bruins with 10 kills and a match-best seven digs in the loss, good for 11.0 points, and Gonzalo Quiroga was second on the team with 8 kills to go along with four digs as well. Weston Dunlap continued to hit a high percentage in matches, leading UCLA with a .364 percentage (6-2-11), and setter Alex Scattareggia chimed in with 29 assists.
The last time UCSD had swept UCLA in Los Angeles was on Feb. 24, 2010.
The Tritons, who have won three of their last five, improved to 9-17 overall and 5-14 in the MPSF (Mountain Pacific Sports Federation). The Bruins dropped to 15-11 and 8-10 in the MPSF.