[Editor’s note: Off the Block conducted a postmatch interview with UC Irvine coach David Kniffin following the season-opening victory. Listen to the full interview embedded above.]
A new setter but still the same productive UC Irvine offense.
Redshirt freshman setter Patrick Vorenkamp making his college debut guided the offense to a .316 attack percentage as No. 8 UC Irvine swept No. 10 Princeton 25-23, 25-15, 25-20 on Sunday in Irvine, California, in the nation’s inaugural match of the 2020 season.
Vorenkamp was among the three new starters for the Anteaters after the program finished last season narrowly missing an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. In addition, the .316 attack percentage in the season opener matched exactly what the Anteaters hit last season that ranked ninth in the nation.
Opposite Alexandre Nsakanda led all players with 11 kills while hitting .500 and had two aces in the sweep against the defending EIVA champions Princeton.
Nsakanda was one of two Anteaters to hit at least .500. Preseason All-American middle attacker Scott Stadick to go along with his match-high six blocks added six kills on a team-best .556 attack percentage.
Preseason All-American outside attacker Joel Schnedimiller also contributed eight kills and a match-high three aces.
Princeton was held to a .163 attack percentage, including hitting less than .100 in the final game.
Outside attacker Parker Dixon in the loss had a team-high 10 kills. Opposite and middle attacker hybrid George Huhmann, the 2019 EIVA Player of the Year, led the Tigers with three aces but was limited to six kills on a .200 attack percentage.