UC Irvine beats professional Chinese team to open international tourney
For the second time in the event’s three-year history, UC Irvine won a match at its preseason international tournament.
UC Irvine swept Beijing BAIC Motor 25-22, 25-15, 29-27 on Monday in its pool-play opener at the Irvine International Volleyball Tournament.
The Anteaters had aces late in the first and third games to close out Beijing. Setter Daniel Story had back-to-back aces in the opening game to give UC Irvine a 22-20 lead, while middle attacker Austin D’Amore had an ace in the third game to help force overtime.
The Irvine International Volleyball Tournament is the only preseason tournament that pits a college men’s volleyball team against professional teams from around the world.
This is the first time the Anteaters have won their opening match at their preseason tournament. UC Irvine went winless at the inaugural tournament in 2009 and went 1-3 to finish in fourth place last year.
UC Irvine (1-0, 1-0 Pool B) and Beijing (0-1, 0-1 Pool B) was the lone Pool B match on the opening day of the tournament.
UC Irvine continues the three-match pool-play round with a match against the Toray Arrows from Japan at 5 p.m. (PST) on Tuesday. If the Anteaters win this match it can possibly clinch a spot in the semifinals.