UC Irvine Falls 3-1 To Texas Tech In NIVC Quarterfinals
UC Irvine ended its season with a 3-1 loss to Texas Tech in the quarterfinals of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship at The Rickle in the TCU Recreation Center.
The Anteaters end their record-setting season, tying the school mark for most wins at 24-8. UCI also recorded a program-best two postseason wins in the first postseason appearance since 2004.
UCI's offense could not get going, hitting just .140 (45-26-136), the second lowest hitting percentage of the season. The Anteaters were out-blocked 10.5-1.
Junior Haley DeSales led UCI with 14 kills and 11 digs, her 11th double-double of the year to go with two aces. Following DeSales, Harlee Kekauoha had13 kills, while Brianna Montgomery recorded seven and Idara Akpakpa and Danika Ferguson each had five kills. Senior libero Luna Tsujimoto closed out her career with a match-best 17 digs.
Five consecutive UCI miscues gave Texas Tech a 14-5 advantage in the first set. The Anteaters could not recover after that stretch, basically trading points the rest of the way giving the Red Raiders the 25-14 win.
Back-to-back aces by Haley DeSales gave UCI an early 4-1 lead in the second set. UCI would use a 5-0 spurt to gain a healthy 14-5 afvantage. Texas Tech would use a pair of kills and an ace to narrow the lead to 19-17, but a kill by Brianna Montgomery would stop the Red Raider momentum. Two Tech errors helped UCI to a 22-18 cushion and they would go on to the 25-21 victory punctuated by a DeSales kill.
Texas Tech held a 17-13 lead then UCI had six straight errors in a 7-0 run to extend the margin to 23-13. A UCI service error gave Texas Tech the set 25-16.
In the fourth set, a 6-1 run, which included five Anteater errors gave Texas Tech a 15-9 lead and the two more errors followed to make the score 17-10. Trailing 23-17, UCI would attempt to rally recording points on kills by Idara Akpakpa and DeSales and an ace from Luna Tsujimoto to get to 23-20, but two Emily Hill kills secured the match for Texas Tech, 25-20.