Men’s Volleyball – Fri, Feb. 17, 2023 at 11:55 PM
MERCED, Calif. – The University of California, Merced men’s volleyball team knocked off Simpson University in four sets on Friday night to win the California Pacific Conference Opener, 3-1 (19-25, 25-23, 26-24, 25-19) inside the Joseph Edward Gallo Gymnasium.
The Bobcats (4-6, 1-0) have now started 1-0 in Cal Pac play in two of the last three years.
Chris Morikawa led three Bobcats in double figure kills and tied his season-high with 15 kills on a .343 hitting percentage. Morikawa’s second straight 14+ kill performance was supported by four digs, two blocks, one solo block, and a service ace. The Bobcats senior eclipsed 700 career kills in the victory and passed Jose Leon Gomez for ninth in program history with 86 career blocks.
Ryan Kilgore turned in a season-high eleven kills to go along with five digs, three blocks, and a service ace. Kilgore scored match point for the Bobcats with one of his two solo blocks on the night.
Jared Guglielmana registered his first career double-double tallying a season-high eleven kills and a career-high ten digs. Like Morikawa and Kilgore, the Madera, Calif., native also had a solo block.
Toby Miller quarterbacked the Bobcats offense for the entirety of the match finishing with a career-high 43 assists. Aside from setting up seven different Bobcats for at least one kill, Miller recorded nine digs, three kills, and two blocks, one solo.
Kaikoa Soma joined his teammates with a career-high of his own as he was credited with 16 digs, becoming just the fifth Bobcat in program history to hit that mark in a single-game and just the third to do so in Cal Pac play.
Jozef Lingenfelter pitched in six kills without an error on ten attempts and a career-high 12 digs.
Other individual notables include five kills and a season-high three blocks from Brennan Taylor, a career-high eight digs from CJ Blankenship, and two blocks from Lingenfelter. Sebas Moreno recorded his first service ace of the season.
After dropping the first set, the Bobcats won the second and third frames behind .300+ hitting percentage’s. Also impressive, the Bobcats had to come from behind in both those sets to take a 2-1 match lead.
In the second set, the Bobcats trailed 15-12 before back-to-back kills pulled them within one. After a Simpson score, the Bobcats put together two more consecutive kills to tie it, 16-16. The two teams traded points in the ensuing rallies before the Bobcats were able to jump on top 20-19 after…
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