The Anteaters playing mostly backups for the majority of their final match were unable to avoid a last-place finish at their preseason tournament.
UC Irvine lost to Beijing BAIC Motor 25-27, 25-23, 25-22, 25-18 in the seventh-place championship match Saturday to finish the Irvine International Volleyball Tournament in eighth place.
Outside attacker Jeremy Dejno was the lone Anteater who had significant playing time last season to play most of the match against Beijing.
Dejno led UC Irvine (1-4) in the opening game with a kill and an ace in overtime to give the Anteaters a 27-25 victory. The sophomore also had two aces in third game to give UC Irvine an early lead before Beijing closed out the game on a 22-15 run.
Along with Dejno, sophomores Connor Hughes, Colin Mehring and Daniel Stork and freshmen Zack La Cavera and Michael Brinkley had significant playing time against Beijing (1-4).
The Irvine International Volleyball Tournament was a weeklong, eight-team preseason event at UC Irvine. It is the only tournament pitting a college men’s volleyball team against professional teams from around the world.
With this loss, the Anteaters finished their home tournament on a four-match losing streak.
UC Irvine’s lone victory in the tournament was in its pool-play opener against Beijing. The win was the Anteaters second victory in the three-year history of the Irvine International Volleyball Tournament.
The Anteaters finished the 2011 NCAA regular season in fourth place in the MPSF and advanced to the conference tournament semifinals. The team has three returning starters for the upcoming season, including All-American outside attacker Carson Clark.