San Diego, Calif. – The Pacific men's volleyball team fought off match point in game four and came back to defeat UC San Diego in five sets. The Tigers defeated the Tritons 3-2 with the set scores of 17-25, 25-19, 34-36, 26-24, 15-19.
Senior Matthew Houlihan hit .333 and finished with 20 kills and five digs. Adam Troy and Taylor Hughes added with 17 and 16 kills, respectively. Hughes also led the Tigers with 14 digs, while Troy tallied 10 digs. Senior setter Patrick Tunnell collected 55 assists, while junior libero Javier Caceres added nine digs.
At the net, Pacific recorded eight blocks, including five block assists by freshman middle blocker Marty Ross. Also, adding multiple blocks was Hughes with four, Troy with three and senior middle blocker Christian Ahlin with two.
Pacific improves to 8-17 and 5-16 in MPSF play, while UC San Diego drops to 7-19 and 4-17 in conference play.
The Tritons took the first set 25-17. With the game tied at eight, UC San Diego used a 8-2 run to break open the set. Houlihan paced Pacific in the opening game with three kills. Also, adding multiple kills was Ross, Hughes and Ahlin.
Pacific bounced back to take the second set 25-19. The Tigers biggest lead came at the 17-10 mark. Houlihan and Troy both added five kills in the set victory. Troy collected his five kills on just six swings.
The third set was the longest of Pacific's season with the teams playing 70 points. After trading points, UC San Diego edged Pacific 36-34 in the tight battle. Houlihan had his statistically best set in the third game with sight kills on 16 swings. Troy and Hughes also added five kills each in the long set.
The Tritons had match point at the 24-23 mark in game four, but Pacific stormed back to take the game 26-24. The Tigers tied the match at 24 on a kill by Hughes, then after an attacking error by UC San Diego, Ross clinched the game with a kill from the middle. Hughes took over in the fourth set with seven kills on 15 swings to hit .333. Also adding a pair of kills in the set was Tunnell and Ahlin.
The Tigers jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the final game to force a UC San Diego timeout. Out of the break, Pacific seized control of game winning six of the next nine points, and eventually winning the set and match 15-9. Troy's five kills on six swings highlighted the final game. Houlihan also added three kills on four swings.
The Tigers travel to UC Irvine for tomorrow's match beginning at 7:00 pm.