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|Siena Heights (12-9)||17||16||25||20||1|
|UC-Merced||Indv. Leaders||Siena Heights|
|#9 Cole Smith - 13||Kills||#8 Matthew Dugan - 17|
|#2 Jacob Shelton - 6||Blocks||3 Players - 2|
|2 Players (#9,#4) - 12||Digs||#4 Emilier DeJesus - 11|
|3 Players - 1||Aces||#4 Emilier DeJesus - 2|
|UC-Merced||Team Statistics||Siena Heights|
The University of California, Merced men's volleyball team made it three wins in four matches Wednesday afternoon when they defeated the Siena Heights Saints 3-1.
It doesn't get much more well rounded than how UC Merced played in the victory. Four of the six starters hit double-digits in kills, five of six starters hit over .250, three different players recorded ten or more digs, and seven players had either a solo block or a block assist in the victory.
It was a sloppy start to the first set, as the home side Saints jumped out to an early 6-3 lead, but UC Merced righted the ship and finished the set on a 9-4 run to take it 25-17.
Trailing 6-7 to start the second, the Bobcats came alive at the net on the shoulders of Jacob Shelton. On consecutive plays, Shelton had a kill (7-7), block assist (8-7), kill (9-7), and a block assist (10-7). It would spark a massive run that ultimately put UC Merced up 14-7 at the time, and 25-16 at the end of the set. Also helping spark the run in the second set was Tyler Cobian, who recorded four kills, an assist, and a block assist in the set.
The momentum came to a halt in the third set, unfortunately. Other than a brief 2-1 lead to start the third, the Bobcats never led again in the set and fell relatively quickly 25-17.
Ultimately that set would be the only prayer that was answered for the Saints, as UC Merced stormed back in the fourth to reassert dominance. The Bobcats hit a powerful .500 in the fourth and final set to walk away with a 25-20 set win, and 3-1 match win.
UC Merced starters dominated in the victory, combining for 53 of the team's 57 kills. They were led by Cole Smith, who bounced back from a subpar performance last night to record 13 kills, 12 digs, and three block assists.
Joining Smith in double-digit kills were Shelton (12 kills, game-high five block assists, one solo block), Samuel Hala'ufia (ten kills, one solo block, one block assist), and Cobian (ten kills, four digs). The other two starters, Matthew Pelfini and Matthew Lostetter, were no slouches either. Pelfini handed out 44 assists in the win while also tacking on two kills, eight digs, and three block assists, while Lostetter had a strong six kills on a .400 hitting percentage. He also added 11 digs, a solo block, and a block assist. Ben Nilsen also made major contributions, recording 12 digs and adding three assists.
UC Merced hit .358 overall in the win while holding the Saints to just a .152 hitting percentage.
The Bobcats finish up their Ohio/Michigan road trip tomorrow with a matchup against Adrian College in Adrian, MI. That match is scheduled to start at 4:00 PM PST.