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Waves Drop a Tight One Against UC Irvine

March 19, 2006

IRVINE, Calif. - No. 1 UC Irvine recorded its 21st win of the season defeating No. 4 Pepperdine 3-1 (28-30, 34-32, 30-28, 30-27) at the Bren Events Center Saturday, setting a school record for wins in a season.

A Bren crowd of 2,223 watched the Anteaters improve to 21-3 overall and better the previous school mark of 20 set in 2003. The team goes to 14-2 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play and wins its 15th consecutive match, which is longest streak in the nation. It is only the seventh win all-time (7-34) against Pepperdine and snaps an eight match losing streak against the Waves.

UCI junior opposite Matt Webber led all players with 24 kills and four total blocks. Outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky totaled 17 kills, three service aces and nine digs. Senior outside hitter Paul Spittle had 12 kills and nine digs, while middle blocker Aaron Harrell pounded 10 kills, hit .474 (10-1-19) and had five block assists. Setter Brian Thornton had a match-high 65 set assists, eight digs and five block assists. Middle blocker David Smith led UCI with seven total blocks and libero Brent Asuka topped the squad with 13 digs.

Pepperdine (13-5, 13-5) was paced by John Parfitt's 19 kills, 12 digs and four block assists. Paul Carroll recorded 17 kills, while Andy Hein hit .600 on 14 kills, two errors on 20 attempts. Hein also added seven block assists, Setter Jonathan Winder tallied 56 set assists, eight digs and three block assists. Libero J.D. Schleppenbach had a match-high 17 digs in the loss.

Game one was all Pepperdine as the Waves jumped out to a 10-5 lead and never looked back taking the set 30-25.

UCI trailed 19-13 in game two before rattling off six straight points to knot the score at 19-19. The teams traded points until the score was tied 32-32. UCI's Jayson Jablonsky put away consecutive kills to give the Anteaters the game, 34-32.

In game three, UCI led 24-21 when the Waves went on a 4-1 spurt to catch the Anteaters 25-25. A Pepperdine service error put UCI up 26-25 momentarily before a Pepperdine kill by Tanner Sutherland evened the score at 26-26. UCI took a two point advantage on kills by Jablonsky and Aaron Harrell (28-26). The Waves used a kill by Tom Hulse and a UCI attacking error to deadlock the game at 28-28. A UCI kill by Matt Webber was followed by a Paul Spittle kill on an overpass to give UCI the game 30-28.

In a closely contested game four, UCI used a Pepperdine attacking error followed by a Webber kill to give the Anteaters a 26-24 cushion. Following a Pepperdine kill, UCI rejected back to back Pepperdine attempts to go up 28-25. The teams traded service errors before John Parfitt had a kill for Pepperdine to delay match point. UCI's Paul Spittle ended the match with kill from the left side.