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UC Irvine men’s volleyball wins second national title

The Anteaters defeated USC on Saturday in Provo, Utah in five sets for the championship.

By Steve ChurmPublished: May 11, 2009 02:15 PM

What a week for UC Irvine. First, the university received a $21 million cash contribution to help complete the new hospital in Orange and now the men's volleyball team has captured its second national championship in three years by defeating USC on Saturday in dramatic fashion. At the Final Four in Provo, Utah, UCI rallied to knock off the Trojans in an emotional five-set match, 26-30, 30-23, 26-30, 30-17 and 15-12.

"That was an epic battle," says head coach John Speraw. "When we were down 2-1 some teams would pack it in, but this team didn't."

The win was huge on several levels for UCI, long recognized for its academic excellence, but now striving for athletic notoriety as well.

Under Athletic Director Mike Izzi, the university is building a reputation as force in several sports, part of a larger campus wide strategy to build image, attract dollars and stir student buzz by winning on the playing field.

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