April 19, 2003
STANFORD, Calif. -
Sixth-ranked UC Irvine (20-10) defeated fourth-ranked Stanford University (17-12) 27-30, 30-28, 30-24, 31-29 in the quarterfinals of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Men's Volleyball Tournament on Saturday night at Burnham Pavilion.
The Anteaters, who improved to 20-10, advanced to the MPSF Semifinals on Thursday night against the winner of the Pepperdine/Long Beach State quarterfinal match. The Cardinal concluded its season at 17-12.
Jimmy Pelzel led the Anteaters with 29 kills, 10 digs and a .431 (29 k-7 e-51 ta) hitting percentage. Monte Tucker added 14 kills, 11 digs and a .545 (14-2-22) hitting percentage, while David Kniffin chipped in 69 assists and five digs.
Senior All-American Curt Toppel (Pacific Palisades, CA) had 22 kills, four digs, four blocks and two service aces for Stanford, while senior William Strickland (Malibu, CA) added 14 kills, seven digs and four blocks. Senior Paul Bocage (Princeton, NJ) chipped in 13 kills, six blocks and a .458 (13-2-24) hitting percentage.
As a team, UC Irvine out-hit the Cardinal .414 (78-20-140)-.380 (68-16-137). The Anteaters had 10 service aces to the Cardinal's four, while Stanford won the blocking battle 12.0-5.5.
Stanford started out strong by jumping out to an 18-12 advantage in game one. The Anteaters closed within two at 29-27, but Bocage wrapped up the game with a kill.
The Anteaters took back the momentum by taking a 14-8 lead in game two, through Stanford came back to tie it at 26-26. UC Irvine scored three straight points for a 29-26 lead, and after the Cardinal scored back-to-back points, the Anteaters claimed the game on a kill by Nic Vislay.
UC Irvine broke open a tight third game with a 9-2 run that stretched a 19-17 advantage to 28-21. The Cardinal could get no closer than five points the rest of the way. UC Irvine out-hit Stanford .563 (21-3-32)-.433 (14-1-30) in game three.
The visitors ran out to leads of 13-7 and 17-12 in the fourth game, but Stanford took the lead back at 26-25 on the strength of a 6-2 run. UC Irvine re-took the lead at 29-28, but the Cardinal survived the first match point on a kill by Toppel. The Anteaters then used a Pelzel kill and a Stanford attacking error to close out the match and post their 20th win of the season.