IRVINE, Calif. – Coming off its first win of the season, California Baptist University got another stiff test in the form of seventh-ranked UC Irvine on the road Saturday night.
Despite putting up a valiant fight in the first set, the Lancers could not turn their first win into their first winning streak of the year in a three-set loss to the Anteaters (25-21, 25-16, 25-13). CBU falls to 1-4 on the year, 1-3 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, while UC Irvine climbs to an even 4-4, 1-3 in conference.
Brett Anderson kept up his solid play at the setter position for CBU and notched 23 assists. Three Lancers had at least seven kills, with Jonathan Tuttle posting a team-high eight and Amir Lugo-Rodriguez and Kristopher Johnson both adding seven kills.
Johnson logged two blocks and a .636 attacking percentage in the process, converting on seven-of-11 kill attempts without an error. Tuttle also contributed on the defensive end with a team-high eight digs.
The Lancers opened the match strong and played to seven ties in the opening set, with the last coming at 9-9. UC Irvine took the first multi-point lead of the match with a 4-1 run, fueled by two Andrew Benz kills.
Down 22-18, the Lancers put together a small rally on a kill from Johnson and UCI service error to pull within two points and force timeout from the Anteaters. A kill from Jeremy Dejno put UCI back in control as the Anteaters claimed the first set 25-21.
CBU kept things close early on again in the second game and played to three ties, but UCI began pulling away with another 4-1 run that gave it a 16-11 cushion. The Lancer wouldn’t come any closer in the 25-16 loss.
The Anteaters kept up the momentum and took a 6-1 lead in the third set, en route to a match-clinching 25-13 victory.
CBU will look to defend its home court again when it returns to the Van Dyne Gym Thursday for a 7 p.m. match with Pacific.