Tigers Begin Road Trip With Victory Over UC San Diego
San Diego, Calif. – Heading south for the second straight weekend, the No. 12 Pacific men's volleyball team continued where it left off last week, with a win over UC San Diego on Friday, February 17. The Tigers quickly downed the Tritons 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-18). The victory improved Pacific to 5-8 (3-5 MPSF) and dropped UCSD to 3-10 (1-7 MPSF).
Leading the Tigers on the evening was senior Florian Gornik's 12 kills, while hitting .269.
For most of the first set, the Tigers dominated to carry a four-point advantage late into the game. However, the Tritons would battle back to take a 23-22 lead over Pacific. The rally from UCSD forced a head coach Joe Wortmann timeout, which the squad responded to in resilient fashion to take three straight points and the game, 25-23.
The first frame was a total team effort assisted by senior Dylan Walker, junior Taylor Hughes and sophomore Chrisitian Ahlin. The trio combined for nine kills in the opening set. Seniors Sean Daley and Gornik added two kills each, with a block. Daley finished the frame with a perfect hitting percentage. Junior setter Patrick Tunnell added nine assists in the game, while sophomore libero Javier Caceres collected three of his eight digs for the night.
Pacific rode the momentum of the opening frame to take an early 6-2 lead in second game. The quick burst forced UCSD to burn its first timeout. Out of the break, the squads traded points, but Pacific would seemingly seize control of the set after five-straight winners. Three kills off the heavy right arm of Gornik led the five-nil swing.
However, as they did in the first game, UCSD would rally back and grab the 15-14 set advantage. UCSD took the lead behind the second 5-0 run of the frame. Out of a Pacific timeout, the Tigers would come out firing to go on a 5-2 run and not look back, eventually taking the game 25-21.
Gornik led the second set with eight kills, while Daley contributed two additional blocks. Tunnell would add 11 of his 31 total assists in the game. Walker also added another three points to the Tigers offensive cause.
The third set was close until the Tigers went on a 7-1 run to grab the set advantage after trailing. Pacific would eventually go on to win the game and match 25-18. Hughes led the Orange and Black in the final frame with four kills. Daley would tack on another two blocks to bring his match total to six.
Leading the Tritons for the match was Carl Eberts, Cheyne Hayes and Fred Stahl with 7, 6 and 6 kills, respectively.
Wortmann was glad to see his team work together tonight saying, "this was a great overall effort, especially the leadership shown by our seniors Florian [Gornik] and Sean [Daley]. We all played together in our system, which showed with a great blocking night."
The Tigers continue play and look to make it three-straight victories tomorrow in a match against MPSF foe No. 2 UC Irvine.