Men’s Volleyball – Thu, Mar. 9, 2023 at 12:10 AM
MERCED, Calif. – The University of California, Merced men’s volleyball team fell in five sets to 14th-ranked Dordt University, 3-2 (30-28, 17-25, 24-26, 25-22, 15-10) on Wednesday night inside the Joseph Edward Gallo Gymnasium.
The Bobcats (7-9, 4-2) five-set affair was their first of the year and their longest match against a nationally ranked opponent since March 5, 2022.
Chris Morikawa highlighted the Bobcats efforts with a season-high 21 kills on an impressive .447 (21/4/38) hitting percentage. The Yorba Linda, Calif., native also had a season-high 14 digs to complete his second double-double of the season and the sixth of his career. Out of all his double-double’s, Wednesday night marked his second career double-double with at least 20+ kills and 10+ digs. His efforts officially put him over 800 career kills and 400 career digs. Morikawa rounded out his performance vs. Dordt with two service aces and a solo block.
Ryan Kilgore pounded out a career-high 15 kills. Kilgore also had two solo blocks, marking his second time this year with double figure kills and multiple solo blocks.
Jared Guglielmana had ten kills on a .296 (10/2/27) hitting percentage and neared his second double-double of the season with nine digs.
Toby Miller ran the Bobcats offense with a career-high 53 assists to go along with a career-high five kills, four digs, and a solo block. Miller’s 53 assists are good for eighth on the program’s single-game record list.
Middle blockers Brennan Taylor and Jozef Lingenfelter were good for five kills. Taylor tallied his five kills on just nine swings. Taylor also had a solo block, while Lingenfelter recorded eight digs.
CJ Blankenship registered a career-high eleven digs. Sebas Moreno delivered a season-high three service aces.
The opening set finished as the second longest set in a Bobcats game this season, but the squad fell 30-28 in the frame. Playing at home for the first time in ten days, the Bobcats jumped out to a 7-3 lead and remained in front until Dordt clawed back to tie it at 16-16. A little later, UC Merced led 23-20 behind a couple key scores from Kilgore. Dordt followed with three points in a row to pull even and then staved off a Bobcats set point to extend the game. UC Merced was then forced to stave off Dordt’s set point, successfully doing so on four occasions before a UC Merced service error followed by a Dordt ace ended the set.
Head coach Ai Prachumsri‘s team won the second set…
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