Women’s Volleyball Struggles in Road Matches against Humboldt State, Sonoma State

Tritons suffer first-ever loss against Lumberjacks on Thursday, fall again to Seawolves on Saturday.

Photo by Carina Cornejo
Photo by Carina Cornejo

This past week was an ordeal for the UCSD women’s volleyball team as they were defeated both Thursday and Saturday nights on the road, losing to Humboldt State and Sonoma State, respectively, in very close five-set matches. After these losses, the Tritons’ season record fell to 8–7 overall and 4–3 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, tying them for fifth place in the CCAA.

GAME ONE

The loss to Humboldt State was a rough one for the Tritons, as this was the first time they had ever blemished their record against the Lumberjacks. In 19 games, this was the first time the Lumberjacks were able to take down the Tritons. The Tritons fell in five sets: 19–25, 26–24, 21–25, 25–22 and 15–13.

The Tritons came out strong as they were able to take home the first and third sets.The Lumberjacks stole the second game after an incredibly disputed set and fought hard to win the fourth and fifth sets. The fifth and final set was highly competitive, with strong input from both teams tying the set at 13–13. The Lumberjacks were able to pull through and win with back-to-back kills to end the match.

“We had trouble giving up leads; there were too many runs of points by Humboldt that we didn’t stop,” UCSD Head Coach Ricci Luyties told the UCSD Athletics Department. “We need to figure out how to get out of those situations and stay poised when teams are making good plays against us.”

Junior outside hitter Meagan Wright brought the heat for the Tritons as she led with 19 digs, 19 kills and 20.5 points, all team-highs for the night. Seniors setter Heidi Sierks and senior outside hitter Danielle Dahle followed with double-doubles of their own, with 50 assists and 11 digs and 15 kills and 18 digs, respectively. Sophomore middle blocker Alyssa McNeely contributed with 10 kills, and fellow sophomore middle blocker Rebecca Seaberry finished with five block assists.

The game was extremely close in terms of points and sets, and neither team hit all that well with Humboldt State at 0.157 (62–31–197) and UCSD at 0.155 (63–33–193). This was also UCSD’s second five-set outing this season, having first lost in a five-set match to Point Loma in early September.

GAME TWO

UCSD’s next game on the road, played on Saturday night against Sonoma State, was also a similar disappointment as the Tritons lost in another five-set match. The sets were even closer this time, with scores resulting in 28–26, 21–25, 21–25, 25–22 and 15–12, in favor of Sonoma State.

“It was a tough road trip, losing two five-set matches,” Luyties told the UCSD Athletics Department. “I feel like all of our losses this year have been matches that we had chances to win.”

Dahle and Wright both played exceptionally and had huge statistical outputs, scoring double-doubles once again. Dahle finished the match with 19 kills, 19 digs and 22 points, and Wright followed only half a step behind, finishing with 19 kills, 18 digs and 21 points. They both were able to contribute to four blocks apiece, with Dahle being credited for two solos as well.

Senior middle blocker Kameron Cooper also dominated, scoring 20.5 points on 17 kills and six blocks, with one being credited as a solo. Seaberry finished the night with seven blocks, and Sierks amassed 52 assists along with 20 digs.

The net was highly prioritized during the game, with Sonoma State totalling 16 blocks and UCSD ending with 14 blocks.

“If we can figure out how to finish off some of those close matches, they’ll get the confidence that they can beat anyone,” Luyties told the UCSD Athletics Department. “We have to put this behind us because we have Cal Poly Pomona coming up, and they’re playing as well as anyone in the conference.”

UCSD will be hosting three CCAA teams this upcoming week for the second time this season: Cal Poly Pomona on Oct. 6, Cal State East Bay on Oct. 9 and San Francisco State on Oct. 10, all starting at 7 p.m.