Stockton, Calif. – No. 11 Pacific Men's Volleyball returned to Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) action with a 3-1 victory over UC San Diego. The Tigers downed the Tritons 25-22, 17-25, 26-24, 25-17.
Leading Pacific on the night was senior Taylor Hughes with 12 kills and a pair of blocks.
The victory improves Pacific to 5-3 and 3-3 in conference play, while the loss drops UCSD to 4-9 and 2-7 against MPSF foes.
In his first set back in two weeks, senior setter Patrick Tunnell was crucial in the Tigers 25-22 opening game victory. With the score knotted at 17, Tunnell turned back a UCSD swing with a solo block to give the Tigers its first lead since it was 5-4 in favor of Pacific. Then just two points later, Tunnell dumped a kill in the middle of the Tritons defense that gave Pacific a 20-18 lead it would not surrender.
For the opening set, Hughes paced the Orange and Black with four kills and a block. Sophomore middle blocker Tommy Carmody and Matthew Houlihan also picked up three and one kill, respectively. Tunnell finished the first game with seven assists, while junior libero Javier Caceres added six digs.
UCSD thwarted a mid-set rally by Pacific in the second game to down the Tigers 25-17. The Tritons hit .323 in the second game. Junior Adam Troy added a team-best four kills in the set, while Houlihan and Hughes each tallied a pair of kills.
The Tigers were down 23-21 late in game three before Carmody sent down a solo block and kill to knot the score and force a UCSD timeout. The Tritons picked up a point out of the break, but Carmody would again tie the match with a devastating kill to the hardwood. After another UCSD timeout, Hughes finished off the set with a kill to give Pacific a 26-24 set victory.
Houlihan hit .333 for five kills to lead Pacific in the third game, while Troy, Carmody and Hughes each added three kills. Tunnell had another stellar set with 13 assists and a dig.
The fourth game was all Pacific with the Tigers picking up the 25-17 set victory. Topping Pacific in game four was Troy with four kills. Also, adding multiple kills in the frame was Hughes (3), Tunnell (2) and Carmody (2). Tunnell finished the final set with 11 of his 40 total assists.
UCSD was led by Cheyne Hayes with 15 kills on 38 swings.
The Tigers return to the court tomorrow, February 9 at 7:30 p.m. or following the women's basketball game in the Alex G. Spanos Center against UC Irvine.