In their final two home games of the season, the UC San Diego Tritons swept both of their California Collegiate Athletic Association opponents — the California State University, Los Angeles Golden Eagles and the California State University, Dominguez Hills Toros — winning 3–0 (25–19, 25–17, 25–17) against CSULA on Friday and 3–0 (25–21, 25–23, 25–20) against CSUDH on Saturday.
Through all three sets against CSULA, UCSD got ahead early and held onto its lead through the end of the set. The closest the game match got was in the first set, which had five ties and three lead changes. Early in the first set, the score was tied up at 6–6. The Tritons were able to capitalize on mistakes by the Golden Eagles to take the lead; good blocking by senior middle blocker Jessica Rieble and junior setter Isabela Dobra helped UCSD extend their lead to 11–7. For the rest of the set, the Tritons held onto the lead, winning 25–19. UCSD won the other two sets 25–17. Sophomore outside hitter Trinity Castaneda led the team on offense, recording 16 kills on 24 attempts and just 1 error. On defense, junior outside hitter Emily Hubbard and Dobra put together strong performances, tying for a team-high of 8 digs each.
UCSD faced stiffer competition in the match against CSUDH but was still able to put the game away in three sets. In the third and final set of the game, the Tritons resisted a strong comeback attempt by the Toros with a kill by Castaneda and set by Dobra that put the set and match away. Castaneda put up another impressive performance: 14 kills on 30 attempts and 1 error. Hubbard contributed all over the court, adding 17 kills on 46 attempts and 13 digs.
The Tritons are on a four-game win streak. In each of those games, UCSD has beaten its opponent in three sets. The players and coaches are optimistic going into the end of their regular season. “We’ve had four wins in a row, definitely exciting. We are really peaking at a really good time. Beating LA last night and beating Dominguez Hills tonight was a great way to end our last two home games and I think we are in a good place going into our last regular-season game and into the CCAA tournament,” senior libero Alyson Penrose said to UCSD Athletics.
With the pair of weekend wins, the Tritons more than secured their spot in the CCAA playoff tournament, and they’ll surely be one of the hottest teams around heading into it. Next week, the Tritons are set to play California State University, San Marcos in a road game for the final 2019 regular-season game.
Photo by Hannah Rosenberg.