STOCKTON, Calif. – The Pacific women's volleyball team dropped just its third contest at home this season after falling in five sets (21-25, 13-25, 25-19, 25-13, 13-15) to UC Irvine in the second round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) Tournament Wednesday night at the Alex G. Spanos Center.
The Tigers conclude their 2017 campaign with a 17-14 overall record, which included the program's best West Coast Conference finish since 2014.
Andie Shelton earned her fourth triple-double of the season with 16 digs, 15 assists, and 12 kills against the Anteaters. The Stockton native also hit a team-best .321 after committing just three errors in 28 total attempts.
Defensively, seniors Katrin Gotterba and Janie Feldsher were outstanding. Gotterba was key in leading the Tigers off the block. The libero collected 19 digs against UC Irvine to bring her career total to 1,867, which currently ranks second on the all-time digs list. Feldsher had a hand on seven of Pacific's 10.5 team blocks.
UC Irvine took a lead to start the match, but the Tigers answered back by tying the game at 3-3, 6-6, and 8-8. Pacific was able to obtain its first lead on three-consecutive service aces by Emily Baptista, giving the Tigers a 14-13 edge. The two teams were tied four more times before the Anteaters went on a 4-0 run at 21-21 to snag the 25-21 set one victory.
In the second set the Anteaters were in complete control. UCI took a quick 8-3 lead, but Pacific challenged back with a 5-1 run of their own to come within one point of the Anteaters (9-8). UC Irvine then rode a 13-1 run to put the set out of reach (21-10).
Heading into intermission it looked as thought the Tigers season was coming to a close, but Pacific had other plans in mind as they came out with a 10-3 lead to start the third set. The Anteaters has some short runs, but the Tigers were able to hold at least a three point lead throughout the set and finished with a comfortable six-point win (25-19).
Pacific took its momentum into the fourth set, going 11-6 to start and forcing UCI to take its first timeout. Pacific would only allow the Anteaters another seven points in the set. At 18-12 the Tigers went on to win seven of the next eight points to force the program's eighth five-set match this season.
The Anteaters took a small lead in the deciding match and the Tigers played behind nearly the entire set, until an attack error by UC Irvine's Haley DeSales tied the set up at 13-all. Consecutive Pacific attack errors handed the Anteaters the victory and a berth to the third round of the NIVC tournament.