Tuesday, 21 March 2023

NCAA Mens Volleyball

University of California, Merced – Bobcats Fall to Westcliff in Five-Setter

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Men’s Volleyball – Fri, Mar. 10, 2023 at 9:45 PM

MERCED, Calif. – Three Bobcats recorded at least 13 kills but the University of California, Merced men’s volleyball team fell in five sets to Westcliff University on Friday night, 3-2 (22-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-21, 15-11) inside the Joseph Edward Gallo Gymnasium.

The Bobcats (7-10, 4-3) have now gone the distance in back-to-back matches, marking the first time since 2018 UC Merced has played two consecutive five-set affairs.

Ryan Kilgore led the Bobcats with a career-high 16 kills and a season-high three solo blocks. Both totals one-upped his previous high. Kilgore’s three solo blocks gives him 12 on the year, marking the most by any Bobcat since the 2020 campaign.

Chris Morikawa finished with 15 kills on a .333 hitting percentage, his third consecutive outing with at least 15 kills and a .333 success rate. Morikawa also tallied seven digs, two service aces, and a solo block for the second straight game.

Jared Guglielmana rounded out the Bobcats three-headed attack with a season-high 13 kills in addition to recording nine digs for the second time in as many matches.

Setter Toby Miller ran the Bobcats offense with 48 assists and added eleven digs to earn his first double-double of the campaign, second of his career. Miller added four kills to his double-double performance.

Jozef Lingenfelter was good for seven kills on a .417 success rate, six digs, two blocks, one solo, and a service ace.

Other individual notables include six digs from CJ Blankenship, four kills and four digs from Brennan Taylor, and five digs from Kaikoa Soma.

Westcliff was led by Mohammed Llias Lazaar’s 24 kills and Gabriel Pizza’s 23 kills.

Looking to avenge a loss on Wednesday night, the Bobcats took it to Westcliff in the first set and led for every rally after breaking a 5-5 tie. The Bobcats grabbed a four-point lead at 10-6 and were also able to lead by four points later on at 21-17. Westcliff pulled within a point, 22-21, before a series of Warrior attack errors followed. Miller would ultimately score set point via his second kill of the frame.

UC Merced led 18-16 in the second set before falling victim of a 9-3 set-ending run from Westcliff. Westcliff scored five of their nine points in the game-changing run via a block or a kill. Westcliff’s setter Pawel Tuz scored set point with a service ace, officially evening the match at one game apiece.

Head coach Ai Prachumsri‘s team utilized a 7-3 run in the third set to gain momentum back and the…

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