Sports

Women's Tennis Off to a Smashing Start

The UCSD women’s tennis team earned its second victory in a row after defeating Grand Canyon University 8-1 at UCSD’s north courts on Friday. David Pilz Guardian The match against Grand Canyon displayed the dominance UCSD has in the singles portion of matches. The Tritons took five of the six singles matches, with clutch three-set performances from No. 1 freshman Ashley O’Neil and No. 3 junior Lyndsey Tadlock. No. 4 player Kristina Jansen, a freshman, and No. 6 player Jaime Walker, a senior, cruised to easy victories in their single matches 6-1, 6-1 and 6-0, 6-4 respectively. In the doubles competition, UCSD made a clean sweep of it. Tadlock and Stephanie Moriarity defeated Point Loma’s team of Robin Jaeger and Christina Klokinis 8-6. No. 2 team Julie Westerman and Melisa Liao defeated Christine Liwanpo and Sarah Mitchell 8-6; and the combo of O’Neil and Jansen defeated Denia Combs and Katie Robins 8-4. All of the elements that hurt them against Long Beach State University seemed to work against Point Loma. “”The Long Beach match was more of a practice for us, just to see what kind of tennis is out there,”” Liao said. “”We knew going in that the match was going to be really tough, and the team basically used it to get a feel for the competition in Division I.”” On Jan. 30, the team from Point Loma Nazarene came to town and seemed no trouble for UCSD. Last year the Tritons won two matches against Point Loma, one with a score of 7-2, dropping only the first two singles matches. On Tuesday, the team won a comfortable 6-3 victory. In that match, UCSD’s No. 1 player O’Neil had a tough time handling Anna Sieczka from Point Loma and lost in a tough three-setter. Overall the singles portion favored the Tritons, as the remaining five players won their matches, capped by Westerman’s romp over Point Loma’s Julie Krause 6-1, 6-0. “”Against Point Loma, the match itself wasn’t too hard because we were psyched to rebound from the Long Beach loss,”” Liao said. “”We have been practicing so hard, trying to build some confidence and adapt to having a new team. We only have three returnees from last season, so we needed the victory to gel as a team.”” With only three returnees, senior Walker, junior Tadlock, and sophomore Liao, the team must get used to the difference in play quickly to stay in the playoff hunt. “”It was hard at first to adapt to such new faces, but we knew we had to learn each other’s style quickly as the new season got underway,”” Liao said. “”I think the most important thing was that we took the time to know each other and have that team chemistry instead of making it individualistic. I think the young players will make strides in their game and become accustomed to the college game.”” As they look ahead at the upcoming season, it is clear in the minds of the players that UC Davis is the team to beat. They are ranked first in the CCAA, and they have yet to play a conference game. The second seed is UCSD, with Sonoma State closely behind. Neither of these teams has lost a conference game. Thus, the weekend of March 3 will be the real key to the season, as the Tritons travel to Sonoma and Davis to face their bitter rivals. “”Davis is the team we want to beat,”” Liao said. “”We have such a positive attitude toward the chance to defeat the No. 1 team, and I feel that we have the team to do it. Our doubles are really strong and can be the difference between a loss and a win.”” ...

Pro Bowl is Anti-Climactic Season Ending

Yesterday, the NFL held its annual exhibition of all-star talent, the infamous Pro Bowl. The prevailing question for many people, including me, during this compelling sporting event was “”Why?”” The Pro Bowl is not like other sports’ all-star games. It comes at the end of the season because it is too risky to play in the middle of the season as other sports do. By the time the game is finally played, no one really cares any more. The ultimate game, the Super Bowl, has already taken place. After that, everything else is anti-climactic. The Pro Bowl is an honor, but a small one compared to other all-star games. Every year, a rash of mysterious injuries appear just before the game. This is because the players just don’t care. Sure, they enjoy the free trip to Hawaii for the game, but after that, they just want to have fun. They have just played 16 games — more if they made it to the post season. By the time of the Pro Bowl, the season is over and the players are ready to move on. Baseball and basketball are a little different. They both have all-star games that are much better than football’s equivalent. Baseball’s all-star game has got to be the best. The matchup between the National League and the American League is a sports classic. It is truly an honor to be selected. It is also a welcomed break in the middle of a grueling season. Players come, they fraternize, and then each play only a couple of innings on a nice July evening. Sure, there are some dissenters who get “”injured”” before the game, but not nearly as many as the NFL. Plus, baseball has the home run derby, which is always a fan favorite. Basketball’s mid-season get-together is also fun. Just watch the players; you can tell that they’re having fun. Sure, the game is not that great, and that can be argued of any NBA game, but the players are not taking it seriously. As in baseball, they are just hanging out, enjoying the midseason break and the chance to play with the best players around. Basketball also has the three-point shootout and the dunk contest, which brings even more fun and excitement. What should the NFL do? I don’t know. They should not scrap it. It is still fun to see some of the league’s best perform. They should move it to the middle of the season, but tone it down a little so there is less risk of injury. Then they could get rid of that bye week once the league expands to 32 teams. People would pay a lot more attention to what was going on if the game were in the middle of the season instead of after the season. Right now, no one cares. ...

UCSD Baseball Wins First Contest of the Season 10-3

After having its season opener rained out, the UCSD men’s baseball team crushed California Baptist University, 10-3, at the Triton baseball field on Tuesday. Lyon Liew Guardian With over a hundred people in the crowd, the Tritons took an early 2-0 lead after the second inning. Tyler Sullivan singled to right field to bring in David Hawk and Eric Thorpe. California Baptist cut the deficit in half with an RBI from Oscar Enriquez that scored Dan Mahaffie in the third inning. Then the Tritons took over in the bottom of the fourth inning. First, Chad Addison got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, driving in Tyler Sullivan. Ryan Larson then singled into center field to drive in Matt Smith and Blair Suzuki. Nathan Bestul drove in the final run of the inning with a pop fly into right field to score Addison. Thus, after the forth inning, the score read 6-1 in favor of the Tritons. California Baptist added a run in the top of the fifth inning, but another four-run inning in the seventh by the Tritons put the game away. In that inning, Eric Thorpe drove in Larson and scored off an RBI from Sullivan. Suzuki drove in David Hawk to cap off the four-run inning. All the California Baptist players could muster for a comeback was a measly run by Sterling Winans off an RBI from Mike Roddy in the eighth inning. The win gave the UCSD men’s baseball team its first nonconference win in Division II for the 2001 season, as well as its first California Collegiate Athletic Association win of the season. Sullivan drove in three runs with 3 hits out of four plate appearances. Junior pitcher John Beaven got the win for his first of the season in as many chances. Many players, such as senior Jess Warrington, believe that this season will be promising for the newest team in Division II. “”We have lost some key people from last year’s team for various reasons, including our starting shortstop, who we were expecting to get back,”” Warrington said. “”We have had many people on the team that have had to step up into key roles, and judging by yesterday’s game, it looks like a promising season.”” The upcoming schedule seems favorable for the Tritons. They play Vanguard University this Saturday, Feb. 3. The Tritons have had success against Vanguard; last year’s ball club romped Vanguard 11-0 at the Triton baseball field. After that, it’s on the road to University of Redlands on Friday, Feb. 9th. Then comes a game against Concordia University in Irvine on Saturday, Feb. 10th. After that comes a double-header at UCSD against California State University San Bernardino, the weekend of Feb. 15 to Feb. 16. Be on hand to see UCSD’s top swingers in action. ...

UCSD Club Sports

Women’s Rugby The UCSD women’s rugby team split a pair of hard-fought games this weekend. On Saturday it fell to the University of Arizona, but on Sunday regrouped to down Arizona State University. UCSD was confident heading into the tilt against the University of Arizona. It did hold strong during the first half behind excellent play by Ali Ref. The defense also held strong for UCSD, and things looked good heading into halftime. The second half was a bit different. Injuries have plagued UCSD recently, which was missing six players during that game, and it caught up with the team. That, combined with a strong Arizona defense, kept the UCSD offense at bay. The UCSD defense tired out late in the game, allowing Arizona to get the upper edge. This is only Arizona’s second year with a women’s rugby program, but it has proved to be legit. Things were different against Arizona State, but UCSD had reason to be nervous heading into the game. It has had only one successful try against that squad. This all changed Sunday. UCSD was victorious 16-12. The offense played as a whole, striking Arizona State with some deadly scores. Tiffany Torres and Abby George were both successful at scoring tries. Even on the kicking end, with which UCSD has struggled as of late, the team did well. Tina Evangelou and Nene Britt both had successful days. UCSD still has an opportunity to win the league if it beats Arizona the next time it faces the team, and if it downs UCSB. UCSB comes to pay a visit Sunday at Warren field at 11 a.m. Men’s Rugby The UCSD men’s rugby team had a barn burner of a game last weekend at UCLA, winning by the narrow margin of 25-24. The score was supposing, as UCSD was heavily favored, having already knocked off its rival to the north 48-24 earlier this year. This game was different as UCLA pulled out to a surprising first-half lead of 12 points to the UCSD goose egg. UCLA looked to run away with the game, but UCSD’s Nick Serratto made sure that didn’t happen. Serratto, a flanker, got possession of the ball, rumbling 30 yards for a score. Brian Kennedy scored on a second try and kicker Shane Maguire kicked a conversion to tie the game at 12-12 heading into halftime. UCSD continued to score, again with Maguire successful with a try. Courtney Geigle got in on the UCSD action, scoring another try for a 25-12 lead. UCLA battled back, scoring 12 unanswered points again to pull within one point. That is as close as UCLA would get, making UCSD close winners. The win improves UCSD’s league record to 1-1. Next up for the team is a battle against the University of San Diego on Saturday. The game will be held at Warren field, if the playing surface is dry. If not, the match-up will take place art Dusty Rhodes Park. Ice Hockey Last weekend, UCSD faced its toughest competition of the year, Fresno State. Fresno made some serious problems for UCSD last year. It was the only blemish on an otherwise perfect year for the team. It was Fresno in the final trying to keep UCSD from the title also. With all of this considered, UCSD was looking for a tough match-up. Fresno is not the team it once was, however, as UCSD had its way with its foes, winning 6-3. UCSD jumped out to an early lead. Garen Gervey and Stephen Cohen each knocked in goal for UCSD, giving the team an early 2-0 advantage. In the second period, Fresno State scored to close the game to 2-1. That was all the motivation UCSD needed. In the second period, Keith Davis and Erik Borman both scored to extend the lead to 4-1. Before the end of the second period, Fresno State scored again to pull to within 4-2. In the third period, Keith Davis and Chris Davis each scored a goal to extend its league to 6-2. Fresno would score once more, but it was too little, too late, as UCSD wins 6-3. Things are looking up for UCSD, as it is in the driver’s seat this season. Next week they will do some traveling, heading to Sacramento State and UC Davis. Upcoming Events Friday, Feb 2 Ice hockey at UC Davis Saturday Feb. 3 Equestrian English Competition at Clark’s Ranch Men’s rugby versus University of San Diego at Warren field, 1 p.m. Men’s lacrosse scrimmage at RIMAC Field, 7 p.m. Ice Hockey at Sacramento State Women’s lacrosse at Cal Poly Sat.-Sun., Feb. 3-4 Women’s ultimate at Arizona Sunday Feb. 4 Women’s rugby versus UCSB at Warren Field, 11 a.m. –Compiled by Robert Fulton ...

Six Enter Ring of Honor

This weekend the UCSD men’s basketball Ring of Honor will get a little larger with the addition of five players and one coach. The five players to be inducted are Rick Batt, Darvin Jackson, Gordon McNeil, Chris Moore and Tim Rapp. The coach to be inducted is Tom Marshall. The new members will join the seven existing members Paul Trainer, Mallory Mitchell, Tom Eright, Bob Goodman, Brandon Nixon, Brian Backens and Greg Kamansky. All of this weekend’s inductees were together at some point from 1987 through 1993. During that span, the Tritons made three NCAA postseason appearances, had three 20-victory seasons, and had a national ranking of third in 1992, fourth in 1991 and 15th in 1990. The induction ceremony will take place Saturday at halftime of the Tritons’ matchup against UC Davis. The game starts at 8 p.m. Preceding the game will be the alumni basketball game at 3 p.m., and the UCSD women’s basketball team will face UC Davis at 6 p.m. ...

Big Game was Anything but Super

Well, on Sunday another football season culminated with the Baltimore Ravens beating the New York Giants to win Super Bowl XXXV, or MXVZ, or whatever the stupid number is. Perhaps culminated isn’t the right word. It’s more like the drab, uninspiring football season gasped and sputtered its way to a standstill with about as much excitement and fanfare as the Absolutely Awesome Abs informercial on at 2 in the morning ($19.99 video cassette). And it’s about as predictable, too: “”How do you get such great abs? Sit-ups, every day!”” Well, how do the Ravens win the Super Bowl? Score at least one offensive touchdown and rely on their defense, which they took care of early in the first quarter. The Baltimore defense played as expected, the Giants’ offense played as expected, the coaches coached as expected, the cheerleaders pranced around as expected, and even the waterboys fulfilled their expected roles. When the whole affair had ended (the actual game was over in the first quarter), all I could think of was suing the NFL so I could get back the four hours of my life it stole from me. Maybe last year’s Super Bowl spoiled me. Now that was a game. The Tennessee Titans, after performing a miracle just to get to the Super Bowl, comes within inches of tying the game as the clock runs out. There were stories behind the scenes — of Kurt Warner going from working at a grocery store to Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, of Dick Vermeil proving to all his doubters that he could win it all. This Super Bowl had the storylines, but not the conclusions. Trent Dilfer had a chance to harangue the franchise and fans, who after six years of abuse in Tampa Bay sent him packing, but all he could say was how he didn’t have any hard feelings. Yeah Dilfer, it’s easy to say that when you’ve got the Lombardi Trophy in your hand. Kerry Collins came into the game with the chance to prove he had merely been underachieving his whole career and finally shake off the alcoholic stigma attached to him. Sorry Kerry, and you can’t even drown your sorrows away like you used to. Well hey, your next Zima is on me buddy. However, there was one story that came to fruition. Ray Lewis, as congratulations for breaking his streak of killing people on Super Bowl Sundays, was presented the award for MVP by the NFL with a hearty handshake and a “”Thanks for not killing anyone today, Ray.”” He then took his plaque and proceeded to beat the Disneyland representative into a bloody pulp for choosing Dilfer to represent Disneyland instead of Lewis. OK, that last part didn’t happen, but if it had, there would have been at least some excitement associated with the Super Bowl. Even the commercials weren’t that great, although Budweiser had a couple decent spoofs of its let-it-die-already “”Wazzup”” commercials. But come on guys, think of something else. However, after watching punt after punt after punt (there was a Super Bowl record 21 of them in the game), the commercials were almost a welcome relief from the two offenses competing to see who could be worse. This is not how the Super Bowl is supposed to be. In its first year in competition with the XFL, this is not a good thing for the NFL. It’s a battle of sport versus entertainment, and the Super Bowl certainly showed that pure sport isn’t always exciting. If the XFL can deliver any football with its entertainment, then the NFL might have to start exploring new possibilities. Hey, I could dig a Super Bowl XXXVI between the NFL champion and the XFL champion. And to make things a bit more fair, Lewis could even bring his knife. In the XFL stabbing is only a five yard penalty. ...

Time to Get Your Scrum On

The year was 1823, and a young ruffian named William Webb Ellis grew tired of conforming to the simplistic, one-dimensional rules that dominated the game of soccer at the time. So this brash young visionary plucked the ball from the pitch and ran downfield with the ball tucked snugly beneath his arm. The other players stared on in disbelief at this hooligan’s actions, wondering if perhaps he had been patronizing the local pub prior to the game. What they were unaware of was that they were witnessing a special moment in the history of sport. A whole new game had just been laid bare before their very eyes. It was to be named after the very school at which they were playing. That school was the Rugby School of England. Yes, rugby — the brutal, eye-gouging, scrum-busting sport came to be on that very square of pitch that very day. The game of rugby soon caught on at a much larger scale as Cambridge University adopted the sport and created a local set of rules. By 1871, the sport had been formalized, when a professional league was established in London. From there it spread across the globe like the bubonic plague, intriguing toned athletes and bloodthirsty prisoners alike. Here in the United States, the game initially caught on primarily on the West Coast. It slowly established itself and looked on course to join the mainstream sports such as baseball, when a pixellated tragedy killed any hopes of an American pro league. Violent photographs of a rough-and-tumble tilt between Swarthmore and Pennsylvania were brought to the attention of President Theodore Roosevelt. His outrage resulted in the alteration of the rules of the traditional rugby game, which led to the introduction of the forward pass and other changes, until it finally morphed into the game of football that we know today. While the true game is still played elsewhere around the globe, one of the only places that you will find the game stateside is on the green grass of its college campuses, including one tucked away down in La Jolla, Calif. The UCSD rugby program has enjoyed a long and storied history. The fact that the sport could be played with no more of an investment than the purchase of the ball was what first made the game appealing to the Tritons, but it was the intense game play, ample scoring and the opportunity for anyone to play that helped it stick around. UCSD boasts both men’s and women’s rugby teams. The men’s squad has been around since 1966 and the women started playing in 1972, but faded away by the late ’70s before returning with a vengeance in 1996. Wearing cleats and lacking pads, these fearless souls each do battle about 10 to 15 times a year, from the warm grass of Warren field to the warmer grasses of the Bahamas and Jamaica. The men’s team is one of the oldest club sports on campus and has achieved many things over its heralded tenure. In 1975 it captured the collegiate championship at the Santa Barbara Tournament, which, at the time, was the largest rugby throwdown in the West. Over the years it has traveled near and far with spikes in hand. It has visited the aforementioned green fields of Jamaica, and the not-so-tropical locale of Houston, all in an effort to spread the good word of Triton rugby. In 1987, under the charge of Coach Tom Sertic, UCSD grabbed the first of its three successive college division rugby championships. In 1989 the Tritons moved up to the university division, where they took home bragging rights by sweeping the University of San Diego and San Diego State to take home the “”King of the City”” title. In the late ’90s, the UCSD program once again came into prominence. In 1996 it auspiciously took home the college division runner-up flag, and two years later, the Tritons took it all home — winning the 1998 Division II National Championships. Looking to repeat its victory in 1999, the Tritons came up against a fierce Chico State squad. Losing by two tries at halftime, the situation for UCSD looked grim. Yet the team came out in the second half to take not only the lead, but also its second consecutive Division II National Championship. After back-to-back championships at the Division II level, the Tritons felt a need for a more serious challenge, so this year they have moved to Division I. Here they hope to experience the same success that they have had at various other levels since the ’70s. The UCSD women’s rugby team is also looking to make a name for itself. At the moment, rugby is the fastest-growing collegiate women’s sport, and interest in women’s rugby is at an all-time high. At UCSD this is readily apparent, as the women have seen a renewed interest in their matches. They have had big plans since being reinstated in 1996 and they look to see some of these well-laid hopes come into fruition in 2001. If you are in the mood for some raw, hard-hitting, volatile sports action, you should head over to Warren field and check out the game for yourself. Upcoming matches include Saturday’s battle versus USD for the men, and a women’s tilt on Sunday against UCSB. The women hit the field at 11 a.m. sharp. The men suit up at 1 p.m. Be on hand at one of these sure to be thrilling matches to see the bastard child of William Webb Ellis in all of its glory. ...

Men Continue to Struggle

It was a rough couple of days for UCSD men’s basketball coach Greg Lanthier. On Wednesday, UCSD trekked out into the middle of the desert to face off with Grand Canyon University, and then hosted the lowly Antelopes two days later. Lyon Liew Guardian Both face-offs resulted in Triton losses. Despite overcoming an early 24-point deficit, the UCSD men’s basketball team could not seal the deal in the Wednesday game. The match was an up-and-down affair for the Triton squad. It fell behind 13-0 to open the game, and was down 40-16 at the end of the first half before coming back in the second. Capitalizing on some key GCU miscues, the Tritons pulled within one. But that was as close as they got, as the game ended with the Antelopes winning 84-75. GCU was led by Eddie Turner, who sparked a late 15-7 run to lock up the victory late in the game. He finished with 15 points to go with his 10 rebounds and three blocks. Toure Knighton also came up big for Grand Canyon in the win, notching a team-leading 21 points. The Tritons were led once again by the stellar play of Cole Miller, who had 21 points, going five for eight from three point land. Ryan Swed also continues to impress, scoring 13 points and pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds. Kyle Moyneur made the most of his limited playing time, notching 10 points in 11 minutes. Cameron Jackson was also solid for the Tritons, scoring seven points and dishing out six assists in the loss. When the squads met again in the gleaming hulk of metal and glass that is RIMAC Arena Saturday night, the end result was the same as when they met out in the wastelands of Arizona, with GCU once again taking home the victory by a score of 74-66 in front of a boisterous home crowd of 562, including the very audible and supportive men’s track and field team. However, the beginning was quite the reverse of the previous game, as the Tritons came out strong against Grand Canyon as they strayed from their usual three-point attack and dominated the Antelopes inside en route to a 15-6 advantage. However, Grand Canyon would eventually battle back. This time, though, it was Jovian Dobrzenski who stood out on the floor for the Antelopes. He had 24 points on eight of 12 shooting and and five for five perfection from the free-throw line. Kenny Mullins was also a key contributor, knocking down 15 points, while Chris Costello chipped in with 10 and Knighton pulled down nine boards for the victorious GCU squad. UCSD was led on the court by the exploits of senior guard Nick Christensen, who sparked the team with 17 points. Miller was once again a factor, draining 14 points, while Sam Higgins had 13 of his own. Those points were especially significant for Higgins, as it put him over the 1,000-point plateau for his career. His 1,010 points place him among only eight other players who have amassed 1,000 or more points while wearing Triton blue and gold. While history was made, the Tritons would rather have picked up a victory or two, especially against GCU, whose record, with the two wins over the Tritons, improves to a meager 5-7 in league play and 5-11 overall. No team is a walkover in the strong CCAA division though, as the Tritons and their 1-11 record will attest. They hope to pick things up a notch or two Friday night, when they will go head to head with a strong Chico State team at 8 p.m. at RIMAC Arena. ...

XFL Offers More Than Just Football

A new television experience will be brought to life next week. It will be entertaining. It will be ruthless. It will involve cutthroat tactics. No, I do not mean “”Survivor II.”” I am talking about the Extreme Football League, or XFL. The XFL is being brought to us by those fine folks at NBC and Vince McMahon, he of World Wrestling Federation fame. See, NBC got outbid a couple of years ago to air the NFL. Now all the network has is NBA basketball, in addition to the occasional Olympics. So, without the NFL, NBC decided to create a league of its own. McMahon was more than happy to get on this. He is, seriously, a marketing and entertainment genius. I am not a wrestling fan by any means, but the industry makes millions of dollars a year, has scores of adoring fans, and even I know who The Rock is. The XFL promises to be football at its best. It is supposed to be a purer form of the game. See, the NFL has become somewhat of a sissy league. I am not calling the likes of Junior Seau and Ray Lewis sissies (I’m not that stupid), but there are a number of things in the game that have taken away from its toughness. One example is the “”in the grasp”” rule. This means that if a quarterback’s progress is impeded, if a defender has an arm on him and the guy can’t move, then the play is over without the quarterback ever being tackled. Yes, for an “”in the grasp,”” they remove tackling. I think that is ridiculous. If the quarterback is too fragile to get thrown to the turf, then he should take up golf. Another rule in the NFL is the fair catch. When a ball is punted, the guy receiving can call a fair catch, meaning he can catch the ball without getting hit, but the play is over. Again, taking the violence out of football. Sorry guys, but football is violent. It isn’t checkers. The XFL promises to play real football. Hitting, tackling and some violence will return to a violent sport. Also, the XFL will allow celebrations. The NFL, or “”No Fun League”” does not allow touchdown celebrations. Good sportsmanship or something like that. Not in the XFL. If you’re good, you can flaunt it. If you stink, get off the field. The XFL will be filled with a lot of gimmicks. Announcers in the stands. Cameras everywhere. God knows what else, we’ll just have to wait and see. And the cheerleaders. Have you seen them? They look like strippers. Not to say that’s a bad thing. I don’t know if the XFL will be more sports or entertainment. It can’t be all football, or it will go away like the USFL or the World League (which is still around but not stateside). We have football already. We need football and something else. I do hope that there is at least some football in the XFL, that the nonfootball entertainment does not take away too much from the game. I will watch a game or two, give it a fair trial. It will be fun, if McMahon has his way. I just hope it isn’t too stupid. ...

Men's Volleyball Overcome by Pepperdine

The UCSD men’s volleyball team hosted the Pepperdine Waves Friday at RIMAC Arena for a night of rock ’em, sock ’em volleyball action. However, the Pepperdine players were less than gracious guests, putting the hurt on the Tritons in their own house in front of the 298 spectators in attendance. The men’s volleyball team got a taste of a new game format, as it now uses rally scoring on every point, with the first four games played to 30 points, and the fifth game, if necessary, played to 15. It only took the Waves four games to down the Tritons, en route to rolling up a 3-1 victory over the home team. UCSD got out to an early lead, winning the first set 30-28. This marked the first winning set of the season for the Tritons, but this was all they could muster, dropping the next three by scores of 30-18, 30-21 and 30-22. Matt Shawley led the Waves with 14 kills in the match. Teammate Fred Winters had 12 kills, while Brad Keenan and Scott Wong had 10 kills each. Their attack was made possible by setter Keith Barnett, who compiled 50 assists in the tilt. The Tritons were led by the exploits of 2000 MVP Donald Chen, who had 16 kills in the effort. Griffin Cogorno, in his first year playing for the Tritons, also exhibited inspired play, knocking down 15 kills and notching 10 digs. Senior Zach Hite added 10 kills of his own, while Eric Perrine hooked his teammates up all night long, compiling 47 assists. These fine efforts just weren’t enough to topple the Waves, though, who came out firing on all cylinders after dropping an extremely close first set. At this early juncture in the season, a few key players have emerged to lead the Triton club. Chen, one of the team’s more seasoned veterans, is leading the club in kills with 35, and blocks with 10. Fellow senior Hite has also made his presence felt on the hardwood with 28 kills. Cogorno, recruited from Orange Coast College by coach Ron Larsen, is also steadily becoming an impact player. His 17 digs lead the team, and his 33 kills place him second. Another new face on the Triton team, Brian Foott is also proving to be a force, as he’s second on the team in blocks with nine. The team’s record does not truly reflect the skill and drive of these Triton athletes. Competition at this new level of play is extremely fierce, and once they get acclimated to going up against these big-time, scholarship-waving schools, their record and numbers will undoubtedly begin to climb. Rome wasn’t built in a day though, and with the loss to Pepperdine the Tritons’ record fell to 0-3 in both the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and overall for the season. The Waves upped their record to 2-1 in league and 5-1 overall. The Tritons will next go toe to toe with perennial volleyball powerhouse Long Beach State up in the LBC Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. before returning home to face Princeton on Thursday night. The Tritons will be looking to build on the progress that they have made to date and start notching a few checks in the win column. Check out all of the action Thursday at 5 p.m. in our very own RIMAC Arena. ...