UC Irvine was unable to close out its opponent and now its chances of making the semifinals at its preseason international tournament will come down to the pool-play finale.
UC Irvine blew a two-game lead and lost to the Toray Arrows, a professional team from Japan, 22-25, 22-25, 26-24, 25-20, 15-13 on Tuesday at the Irvine International Volleyball Tournament.
The Anteaters won the first two games with late-game kills from middle attacker Scott Kevorken and All-American outside attacker Carson Clark. Kevorken scored the final two points in the opening game on a kill and a block, while Clark had the game-winning in kill the second game.
Clark also had a kill in the third game to give UC Irvine a match-point at 24-23. However, the Toray Arrows (1-0, 1-0 Pool B) scored the next three points to win the game in overtime and begin its two-game comeback.
The Anteaters (1-1, 1-1 Pool B) entered this pool-play match in first place in Pool B after winning its tournament opener against Beijing. A victory against Toray Arrows could have clinched UC Irvine a spot in the semifinals.
The top two teams in the two pools of the eight-team tournament will advance to the semifinals.
For UC Irvine to make the semifinals it will now have to defeat a previous tournament champion Drean Bolivar from Argentina in its pool-play finale on Wednesday.
This is the third year of the Irvine International Volleyball Tournament. It is the only preseason tournament that pits a college men’s volleyball team against professional teams from around the world.
The Anteaters have never advanced to the semifinals in the first two years of their tournament.