It was only fitting that outside attacker Aaron Koubi would deliver the match-winning kill for No. 5/5 UC Irvine in its biggest match of the season.
Koubi had a match-high 19 kills on a .625 attack percentage as UC Irvine defeated No. 6/6 UCLA 23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-22 in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals on Saturday in Irvine, California.
Koubi was one of three Anteaters to finish the postseason match with double-digit kills. All-MPSF outside attacker Tamir Hershko had 12 kills and hit .304, while opposite Thomas Hodges contributed 10 kills.
All-MPSF setter Michael Saeta guided the UC Irvine offense to out-hit .374 to .259, including having more than .450 attack percentage both of the final two games.
UC Irvine won the match despite for the second time this season not having an ace. The Anteaters, though, had 16 service errors — five fewer than the Bruins.
Outside attacker Jake Arnitz in the loss had a team-high 18 kills and was the only UCLA player with double-digit kills.
UC Irvine as the No. 4 seed will advance to play the No. 1 seed Long Beach State in the conference tournament semifinals on Thursday. The MPSF regular season champions Long Beach State defeated the No. 8 seed USC in the conference tournament quarterfinals.
Check out the video highlights of the UC Irvine and UCLA match filmed by Off the Block special contributor Jonathan Bates.