Men’s Volleyball – Mon, Feb. 27, 2023 at 12:20 PM
MERCED, Calif. – The University of California, Merced men’s volleyball team won their fifth consecutive match with a four-set victory over Pacific Union College on Saturday night inside the Joseph Edward Gallo Gymnasium, 3-1 (25-12, 22-25, 25-12, 25-19).
The Bobcats (6-6, 3-0) winning streak is their third longest winning streak in program history and all three five+ match winning streaks have come under head coach Ai Prachumsri. Also of note, the Bobcats are 3-0 in California Pacific Conference play for the second time in the last three seasons.
Sophomore setter and reigning Cal Pac Setter of the Week Toby Miller led the way with a career-high 46 assists and quarterbacked the Bobcats offense to a .355 success rate. The Clovis, Calif., native also had four digs and two blocks.
Chris Morikawa, the latest Cal Pac Attacker of the Week, pounded out 13 kills on a .379 hitting percentage. Saturday marked Morikawa’s third straight match with 10+ kills while hitting over .340. The Bobcats senior added seven digs and a solo block to his offensive efforts.
Javy Larranaga joined Morikawa in double figures with a career-high 12 kills while operating at a stellar .556 success rate (12/2/18). Similar to Miller, Larranaga had five digs and two blocks, one solo.
Jozef Lingenfelter turned in an all-around performance consisting of seven kills on a .429 hitting percentage, four digs, three service aces, and three blocks, one solo.
Ryan Kilgore and Jared Guglielmana each had five kills, two blocks, and a service ace. Kilgore extended his service ace streak to three consecutive matches, while Guglielmana’s ace marked his first ace of the campaign and second of his career.
Max Niederberger added four kills on eight attempts without an error and three blocks. Libero’s Ashton Wooldridge and Sebas Moreno were good for ten digs and two service aces, respectively. Wooldridge more than doubled his career-high with his ten digs.
Overall, UC Merced neared season-high’s with 50 total kills, 49 assists, and ten blocks. The Bobcats held Pacific Union to a .135 hitting percentage.
The Bobcats beat the Pioneers by double figures in two of the four sets, including a 25-12 win in the opening stanza highlighted by a match-best .588 hitting percentage (10/0/17). UC Merced pulled away with a 16-3 run which turned a 6-6 tie into a set-high 13-point lead. Morikawa had four kills in the run, while Lingenfelter had two of his three service aces.
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