Pacific Mens Volleyball: Tigers Drop Match To Third Ranked UCLA
The Pacific men's volleyball team resumed Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) play at No. 3 UCLA on Saturday, Jan. 21. Despite a valiant effort, the Tigers fell 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-20), which dropped them to 3-3 on the season and 1-2 in the conference. The victory improved UCLA to 7-0 and 2-0 in the MPSF. Junior Taylor Hughes and sophomore Adam Troy's nine kills each led the Pacific attack. Senior Florian Gornik added seven kills, while hitting .583 for the match.
After trading points to a 4-4 tie in the first set, the Bruins rallied off seven straight winners, taking the 11-4 advantage. The early deficit was too much for the Tigers to erase despite Troy's four kills. Gornik and Hughes added three kills a piece for the game.
The second set was tied at seven before UCLA collected four straight points and took an 11-7 game lead. However, Pacific would battle back to bring the score within two, but could never erase the entire deficit. Leading Pacific's offense during the frame was Gornik's four point finishers, while junior setter Patrick Tunnell collected 11 of his 27 match assists in the second game.
Despite trailing two games to none, the Tigers would not quit bringing the third set to a 20-20 tie. The 20th point came on Pacific's only block of the night, which was recorded by Tunnell. However, the Bruins would close out the set and match winning five straight points.
Leading the Bruin offense was Weston Dunlap and Thomas Amber with 12 and 10 kills, respectively. UCLA finished the match hitting .422 with just seven attack errors.
The Tigers return to action next week as they travel to Columbus, Ohio for the Ken and Dave Dunlap Invitational. Pacific will take on the defending national champion Ohio State Buckeyes on Jan. 27, followed by Penn State on the 28th.