UC Irvine’s women’s volleyball team advanced to the third round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship with an exciting 3-2 victory over Pacific (25-21, 25-13, 19-25, 13-25, 15-13) at the Spanos Center Wednesday, Nov. 29.
The Anteaters won their second consecutive post-season match after only having one post-season victory in program history (2003 NCAA).
UC Irvine will continue its post season journey in Texas, taking on Texas Tech Wednesday (Dec. 6) at the TCU Recreational Center in Fort Worth, TX.
The winner moves on to face either TCU or Green Bay in a semifinal match Thursday, Dec. 7.
UCI is now 24-7 overall, tying the school record for wins, previously set in 2003 (24-10).
The Anteaters posted a season-high 11 blocks, behind an impressive performance by middle blocker Makayla Wolfe in the win last Wednesday over Pacific. The sophomore had four solo blocks, which ranked tied for sixth in the UCI match record book with three of those solo rejections coming in the fifth set. On the night, the reigning Big West Player of the Week posted a season-high nine total blocks to go with eight kills.
The Anteater offense was led by pin hitters Haley DeSales and Harlee Kekauoha. DeSales topped the squad with her 10th double-double of the season, recording 17 kills and a season-high 18 digs plus two service aces. Kekauoha followed with 16 kills and three aces.
Setter Ali Koumelis recorded 45 set assists and 16 digs, just one shy of her season high, while libero Luna Tsujimoto had a match-high 20 digs.
Pacific (17-14) was led by Emily Baptista’s 19 kills, Janie Fisher’s seven blocks and Katrin Gotterba’s 19 digs.
In the fifth set, UCI created some separation on a solo block by Wolfe and a DeSales kill to go up 5-2. Back-to-back kills by Ali Koumelis and DeSales extended the lead to 7-4. Pacific scored three in a row to creep within 11-10, but a Kekauoha kill stopped the momentum, 12-10.
After a Pacific kill, Wolfe had another solo stuff to give UCI the 13-11 cushion, but the Tigers battled back to tie the set 13-13. Another Wolfe block and a Pacific attack that flew wide sealed the win 15-13.
Men’s basketball team can’t get past Nevada
UC Irvine’s men’s basketball team could not overcome a second half surge by Nevada in a 76-65 loss to the Wolf Pack at the Bren Events Center Saturday, Dec. 2.
Nevada (8-0) shot 55.2 percent (16-29) in the second half, hitting 7 of 13 three-pointers to keep the Anteaters at bay. UCI (4-6) gave…