UC Irvine, Lewis to meet for second straight year in season opener

Coach Dan Friend has once again made Lewis’ non-conference schedule challenging right from the start of the season.

For the second consecutive year, Lewis and UC Irvine will play in the nation’s first college men’s volleyball non-conference match of the season as the Flyers will play a road match against the Anteaters.


Both Lewis and UC Irvine ended last year ranked in the national coaches poll and return a majority of starters for the upcoming season.

Lewis last season became the second Midwest team in the 45-year history of the NCAA Tournament to receive an at-large bid. The Flyers’ increased non-conference schedule that included matches against the other five teams in the NCAA Tournament field contributed to Lewis earning the final at-large bid.

Along with these non-conference matches, Lewis opened its 2014 regular season at home with a four-game loss to UC Irvine.

UC Irvine as the defending-NCAA champions last season reached the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals. In addition, among the starters returning for the Anteaters include All-American libero Michael Brinkley and opposite Zachary La Cavera, who were both selected this summer to the U.S. roster for the Pan American Games.

The non-conference meeting between UC Irvine and Lewis on Jan. 5 will open a three-match West Coast road trip for the Flyers. Lewis later that week also will play Stanford and BYU at a non-conference invitational Palo Alto, California.

UC Irvine following its season opener against Lewis will travel to Hawai’i to participate in the annual Outrigger Invitational.