Sports

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright In the Forests

Tiger Woods is bigger than the PGA. This is a straight-up fact, and to extrapolate upon this a little further, Woods is bigger than just about anything out there, except maybe a Barcelona versus Madrid soccer match. Sorry to all those basketball and baseball and football prima donnas, but Woods overshadows just about any athlete, if not any event or personage around. Woods has captured the imagination of the country and of people around the world, and all through a sport such as golf. Golf is a great sport and it is fun to play, but conversely, how much fun is it to watch? Golf is usually just a bunch of tubby, pasty white men huffing around a golf course, each in pursuit of one of those enormous purses that golf tournaments provide. There is no action in golf like there is in football, basketball or baseball (though some people might disagree with me there). Despite golf’s innate disadvantage in the area of excitement, Woods, like The Bear before him, has transcended the sport of golf and has come to represent something better than just his sport. He is part of that new class of athletes, who have come to save us from the egos that so pervade America’s professional athletics system. In baseball we have Derek Jeter and Nomar Garciaparra. Football gives us Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner and Jevon Kearse. These are some good guys. Sorry about basketball, but all of those guys are still just whiners and show boaters. The above athletes have class and respect, which is more than can be said for a good portion of the athletes in professional sports, and Woods leads all of these people; He is the head of the class. I remember seeing Woods on “”Scholastic Sports,”” an old ESPN show, when I was about 12 years old, which would make him somewhere around 15 or 16. Even then, the guy had it in him, and you could tell he was going to be great. I just didn’t know that he was going to be this spectacular. He is winning major tournaments like they’re miniature golf at the local put-put and taking event after event from the best golfers in the world, relegating them the place of candyless, screaming babies. This year alone he has won 10 tournaments and collected over $12 million in prize money. By the way, as long as we are talking about money, let’s not forget the $54 million he will be making in endorsements this year. At the same time, he wins with class. He gives deference to those who have gone before and to those who will come after him. He has studied his game and plays it with edict. He had such a good start, no slip ups, no gargantuan sporting ego taking the place of his fragile perch atop America’s current sports heroes. We should have known, though, that the days where a man can stay atop forever are gone, if they even existed at all. Even Joltin’ Joe went through a phase of disdain when he became the first million-dollar man in baseball. But here is Woods, this year alone, $66 million richer, and he hints that because of his popularity, he and only he in this day and age should be entitled to more money: specifically some of the TV money that will be negotiated next year, because of the number of people that he attracts to the tournament. When asked if he thought he was entitled to more money than other players, Woods responded, “”Philosophically? In a perfect world I would be. Arnold [Palmer] would be. All the great ones would. Arnold is the one who got it all started.”” Right you are, Tiger, and good job maintaining your image of young upstart deferring to the greats, but as Dave Anderson of The New York Times points out, “”Palmer and Nicklaus helped resolve the Tour’s financial structure a quarter century ago, but they were acting on behalf of the other touring pros, not just themselves.”” Note to Tiger: This is not what you are doing. Furthermore Tiger has been complaining about how the commissioner of golf, Tim Finchem, doesn’t talk to him enough, saying, “”The only time he talks to me is when he wants me to do something for him — to play in this tournament or that tournament. It’s not like he comes up to me and asks me how I’m doing.”” What is he, 5 years old? I am sure Bud Selig is calling up Barry Bonds and Mike Piazza all the time just to shoot the breeze. Why don’t you grow some cajones and learn to survive on your own? The commissioner’s job is not to make you feel better, Tiger, but to make the sport that he presides over better for all the players in it. Finchem probably goes up to Phil Mickelson and David Duval once a week and asks them how their day is going. Wait, I forgot — those players don’t matter, do they. It is only Woods and his $66 million-plus that should matter to the PGA. Maybe this is just a stage. Tiger could be tired of the hype; I would be. All day every day, followed, harangued and accosted by anyone and everyone. Maybe this is his way of lashing out, and I hope so, because if that is what it is, then it is not that bad. He could be punching cameramen, like certain movie stars have been known to do. However, if Tiger has any common sense left in that brain, which seems to have been swelled by the sweet nectar known as feeling God-like, he will just get back to playing and retire 30 years from now as possibly the greatest sportsman the United States has ever produced. ...

College Bowl Format is Complete Bull

The college football season is winding down, and by the time we all return from our glorious winter break, the winner of the national championship will have been decided at the Orange Bowl in Miami. And if you believe that, I have some swamp land to sell you, also located in Florida. The way that college football decides on its national champion is ridiculous. Instead of a playoff format that would pit all deserving teams against one other, a special few are selected in what is known as the Bowl Championship Series. The Bowl Championship Series takes a school’s record, various polls, strength of schedule, how much it has outscored its opponents, the meaning of life, its mom’s age divided by the number of No. 1 Beatles songs, combines that with some fuzzy math, and voila! It magically comes up with the best college football team in the nation. Right now, Oklahoma stands at No. 1 because it is the only undefeated school. Fair enough. But what about second place? Who should be ranked second is not quite so clear. So far, Florida State looks like it will be second. Miami is ranked third and Washington is fourth. Even though Miami defeated Florida State and Washington knocked off Miami and each has only one loss, they are ranked in reverse order. Why is this? Well, first off, people back East don’t like any team that is not from the East, especially those from the West Coast. Also, football “”experts”” are infatuated with schools from Florida, especially Florida State. I don’t know what it is, but the football people in this country love Florida State. Another question arises: What if Oklahoma loses to Kansas Sate this weekend in the Big 12 championship game? That would leave a plethora of teams with only one loss. The top team will be determined by some computer, run by some guy who has never ever been within a mile of a football field. Boy, that’s fair. If Oklahoma loses this weekend to Kansas State, which very well may happen, Florida State will become No. 1 and Miami will be No. 2. The two teams will duke it out in the Orange Bowl, played in Miami. So, a pair of colleges from Florida will play in a bowl game in Florida. Whoopdee freakin’ doo. What is needed is a playoff format. Take the top 16 teams and start a tournament the first weekend in December, and have it run until New Year’s Day. Yes, there will be a lot of argument when it comes to who should be the 16th team, but at least this guarantees that the top elite eight or 10 schools will all be given a shot at playing in the national championship. This is the only sport to act so absurdly. Professional football has playoffs. College basketball has one of the biggest playoffs in the nation in their much-hyped Road to the Final Four. Football would be just as big, if they would only do it. Why don’t they? The sponsors of the bowl won’t let them. There is a lot of money involved in this business, but just as much can be made with a playoff. The powers that be must realize this. College football needs a playoff format to legitimize itself. Until then, it will wallow in the bullshit of polls and computers, with each year culminating in nothing more than a mythical national champion. ...

Is there a championshipin the house?

The Triton water polo team is going to the NCAA Final Four,after sweeping the competition at the Western Water Polo Association Championships two weeks ago. Lyon Liew/ Guardian It will compete with UCLA, Navy and USC. Although USC lost to Pepperdine in the first round of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament, it was awarded an at-large berth based upon its regular season record. UCSD dominated the WWPA tournament with its defense. It allowed fewer than five goals in each game. For his efforts, Glenn Busch, Triton goalkeeper, was named to the all-WWPA second team. “”Our defense really re-emerged this tournament and led us to the win,”” said head coach Denny Harper. The Tritons’ first game in the tournament was against Chaminade, and it was a laugher. UCSD made it look like second graders with a bed-wetting problem and took it down 17-4. Air Force was UCSD’s next opponent and the toughest of the tournament. In the end, though, UCSD proved too strong and won 6-4. The last game against Loyola Marymount was close, but UCSD pulled away to win 10-5. Jonathan Samuels, who has been a rock for UCSD all season long, rose to the occasion at this tournament and annihilated opposing defenses, shredding any front thrown at him. Samuels was named the all-WWPA Most Valuable Player. “”[Samuels is a] man amongst boys,”” Harper said. “”All season long he has lead the team and has been the dominant player in the pool.”” Justin Wylie and Samuels were named to the all-WWPA first team. Joining Busch on the second team were Jason Boettner and Vladimir Djopic, each outstanding contributors in the Tritons’ run to this year’s Final Four. “”Who lead us through this tournament were our seniors,”” Harper said. “”[Vladimir] Djopic, Jason [Boettner], Ken Woodruff, Justin Wylie and Glenn Busch really emerged and gave it their all and helped us win.”” UCSD will face tough competition in the first round of the NCAA championships. It will play USC, which just barely squeaked by the Tritons 7-5 at Canyonview Pool earlier this season. The Tritons had a chance to beat USC, but gave up a couple of goals from 9 meters, which doomed them. Despite their year-end slump, the Tritons seem to have regained the confidence and form that allowed them to start the season on a tear. They ranked as high as fifth in the nation, a position that they held for two weeks. If the Tritons can retain this form and eliminate the kinds of mistakes that belayed their loss to USC, they have a serious chance to overcome the Trojans. “”The Trojans might be looking past us to UCLA,”” Harper said. “”They have such a rivalry there and after their earlier loss they have a lot of emotion invested. With the way we are playing that is going to play to our advantage.”” The NCAA Final Four will be played this weekend in Malibu. The UCSD vs. USC game will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The winner of this game will play UCLA or Navy in the championship game at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The third-place game will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday. ...

UCSD Men's Basketball Falls To Cal Poly

The UCSD men’s basketball team faced another tough opponent last Monday when it squared off on the road against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The Mustangs gave the Tritons more than they could handle, winning 89-67. UCSD did make it a game early on, down only 10-9 after a pair of Sam Higgins’ three-pointers. Later, the Tritons’ Cole Miller hit a three-pointer to give his team a 17-16 lead. It was all Cal Poly after that. The Mustangs went up 45-30 at halftime and led by as much as 25 at one point. The Tritons did rally back to pull to within 13 points, but that would be as close as they would get en route to the loss. Cameron Jackson led UCSD with 18 points and four assists. Higgins chipped in with 14 points and Miller finished with 12 points and five rebounds. The Mustangs sported four players scoring in double-digits, including Scott Jamaal with 20. The win was the first game of the year for Cal Poly, while the loss made UCSD fall to 0-2. After playing a two tough games against a pair of Division I schools, UCSD looks to pick up a victory on Wednesday when it face Christian Heritage College at 7 p.m. at home. ...

Despite it All, America is Still Beautiful

Here in San Diego, there is much to be thankful for, as we are among the luckiest of the lucky to be not only smart enough to get into a high-faluting institution of knowledge endowment like UCSD, but also wise enough to choose a place where we can still drive our car to school (or the local tavern) without shoveling heaps and heaps of snow. There are many people in the world who would sacrifice one of their more valuable limbs for just a glimmer of our pleasant SD paradise. I spent last Thanksgiving in some cold Parisian pub tucked away in the hulking shadows of the Eiffel Tower, with only a few other Americans with whom to share my plight. As our families back home feasted on succulent turkey with all the flavorful trimmings, warm, moist mashed potatoes and ears of corn glistening with butter, we sat and drank warm beer on uncomfortable bar stools, with a bunch of non-American freaks frolicking about us prattling on in their ridiculous tongues. It was about that moment when I realized America is beautiful. Despite its many and varied flaws, America rules, and those wacky foreign people, obsessed with snooty cricket and riot-inducing soccer, can all just bow down and prostrate themselves before our mighty nation. No matter how many chads are impregnated or ballots vomited on, there is nothing that can shake my faith in our grand system. At least there wasn’t until I opened the sports section a week or so back and read about how the devil, known above ground as agent Scott Boras, was attempting to destroy our beloved American pastime. He was demanding, on behalf of his client, superstar shortstop Alex Rodriguez, numerous and extravagant luxuries, the likes of which have never been fathomed by mere man, all in exchange for Rodriquez’s baseball-playing services. The list of demands included private jets, office buildings and an island chain in the South Pacific. Of course, this was in addition to the $20 million or so in salary that this cretin pulls down each season. All to play a wondrous game, a game that makes me proud to salute the red, white and blue. As I fell retching and trembling to the floor, I realized that our nation, which is set apart from all other by this grand game, is losing its grip, with dictator-like players overrunning the game in a quest for land and riches. With mongrels like that dominating our grand old pastime, maybe it’s time to break out the wickets and bowl us a cricket match. Cheers! ...

UCSD Cycling Team Wins Home Event

The UCSD cycling team hosted a race on the par course behind RIMAC on Nov. 19, and won by scoring 298 points. The weather held true for the race while UCSD faced San Diego State University, Chico State, Cal Poly San Louis Obispo, Stanford, and Cuesta Community College. The race featured two events. The first was a one-lap time trial and the second a short-track cross country competition. Each event was then divided into five races: men’s A, B and C, and women’s A and B. Race director Pete Knudsen was in charge of controlling and setting up this grandiose race. “”It was a lot of work setting up the race, but I had some help, and it was worth it,”” Knudsen said. “”When you get six teams together and have a good turnout like we did here, and when the team performs well, it makes the race fun.”” Knudsen also participated in the men’s A division race and helped lead UCSD to wins in both the time trial and the cross country race. He placed first in the time trial and was one of four riders to break the course record, which he previously held. Knudsen finished with a time of 6:28 and was closely followed by Jesse Beck, also of UCSD, who finished in 6:29. The last two riders to break the old course record were Anthony Medaglia of SLO at 6:35 and Eric Wicker of SDSU at 6:43. The men’s team continued its cycling dominance in the B and C divisions of the time trial event. Eric Mellers won the men’s B in a time of 7:13, just edging Gerry Elbert of SDSU in what was a mad-dash finish. In the C division, UCSD captured three of the top four spots and was led by Brian Flock, who finished first in a time of 7:27. Flock destroyed the rest of the field as the second place finisher, Eric Hermawan from SDSU, clocked in at a distant 8:00. The women’s team was not able to field a time trial in the A or B squad. However, Triton Sara Peetz did take the women’s B cross country race over Kim Klemintowski from Chico. The Tritons outclassed the opposition in the cross country race as well as the time trial. “”As a team, we performed incredibly well,”” Knudsen said. “”Even though the event used an outdated scoring system, which favored participation over place, we still won six of the 10 races.”” UCSD won every event it entered except the men’s C team short-track. Mark Lunden of SDSU won that, but the Tritons captured the next three spots in the race to assure them of an overwhelming victory. “”Everyone was excited to have a race at home and I think we came out and showed that by performing the way we did,”” Knudsen said. In the short-track, the same two A-team riders captured the top two spots. The only difference was that Knudsen and Beck switched places as Beck captured first and Knudsen second. Dirk Van Ulden also had a strong performance for the Tritons, placing sixth. In the B and C divisions, UCSD again showed its strength, winning the B division and capturing places 2 through 4 in the C division. Mellers won the B division and Flock, after tiring himself out by winning the men’s C time trial by a mile, finished second in the men’s C cross country to an energized Mark Ludin of SDSU. Team president Jason Goldberg placed a solid fourth in both the time trial and short track B division. The winner of each race, instead of being presented with medals, was given tropical plants and propeller guns. “”We just tried to make things a little bit more relaxed out there, and besides, wouldn’t you rather have a propeller gun or cool plant than a dinky medal?”” Knudsen said. As it goes, the team performed well and the event as a whole was a success. “”Everything worked out,”” Knudsen said. “”We had generally fast times and overall the event was satisfactory. I think most people enjoyed themselves out there.”” ...

David Dunbar Has Made His Mark

When cross country head coach Ted Van Arsdale was looking at recruits for last year’s squad, one local athlete in particular caught his eye. “”I thought [David Dunbar] would be advantageous to the school,”” Van Arsdale said. Dunbar was enthusiastic to come to UCSD. “”I really liked the area and I really like the coach,”” Dunbar said. “”I knew a number of guys on the team and I knew the program here was strong.”” Fast forward to this year and Van Arsdale looks like a genius. Dunbar recently became the first male in UCSD history to make it to nationals for the Tritons in Division II. His time of 33:19 placed him 52nd out of over 90 runners and ninth among West Region runners. What makes this achievement even more commendable is that the national championship is comprised of top runners from about 400 Division II schools. To top it all off, Dunbar is only a sophomore. “”By the time [Dunbar] is gone, he’ll have established himself with the other running legends from UCSD,”” Van Arsdale said. Dunbar appears to be well on his way to doing just that. “”I just liked running,”” he said of his decision to join his high school’s cross country team five years ago. “”And I was good at it. It was fun.”” Coming into this season, Dunbar set three goals for himself: to place in the top 15 at the conference championships, to be named All-Region, and to make nationals. A good performance in nationals assures strong consideration for All-Region honors. Dunbar came in 16th in conference, just short of his goal, but still respectable considering he ran while he was ill. “”It was a big race; we have a pretty big rivalry with the other schools in our conference,”” Dunbar said. “”I just took one for the team.”” Van Arsdale sees Dunbar as more than just a physical specimen. “”His mentally competitive attitude is an important strength,”” Van Arsdale said. “”He has the desire to see how good he can be.”” Dunbar’s determination is an example for the other runners, including his younger brother, Jonathon. “”He’s shown the way [for the young runners],”” Van Arsdale said. Dunbar downplays his leadership role to his brother. “”I help him out a little,”” he said. “”But usually I let him do his own things.”” He is also modest about his championship run. “”I think it was pretty good, although I wanted to run a little faster,”” he said. Van Arsdale has a different impression. “”He was absolutely fantastic at nationals,”” he said. “”It would be tough to improve on this particular race.”” They both attribute Dunbar’s performance to a grueling training plan, in which Dunbar ran over 80 miles per week from the beginning of summer until late October. “”The difference between this year and last year is a result of [Dunbar] sticking to the training plan,”” Van Arsdale said. “”It allowed him to complete the season strong.”” This was vital, since this was Dunbar’s first year in Division II and his first year of running 10,000 meters. Division III meets were only 8,000 meters. Dunbar is far from finished. Next year, his goals are to finish higher in nationals, as well as make the Division II All-American team. He has started to train for the track team, in which he competes in the 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter races, as well as the steeplechase. “”My main goal is to make it to nationals, which is harder in track,”” Dunbar said. Dunbar has no intention of slowing down after school, either. “”I’ll definitely be running after college,”” he said. “”He’s a hardcore runner,”” Van Arsdale said. For Dunbar, there appears to be no end in sight and that seems to be just fine with him. ...

Here We Aren't Now, Entertain Us

The role of athletics, as associated with school spirit, should be one of importance. That is not to say sports should be of more importance than academics or quality of life at the school attended, but it should be of some importance. Sky Frostenson/ Guardian UCSD boasts a top-notch athletic program, full of national champions and All-Americans, and with its move to Division II, the Tritons are showing that they have no problem adjusting to the new level of competition and that they will continue to produce A-list athletic teams. If both these assertions are to be believed, then the question must be posed, where do athletics stand in relation to school spirit at UCSD? The answer to this question is simple: There’s no relation. Triton Assistant Athletic Director Ken Grosse said “”Athletics do not play as much of a role in school spirit as we, meaning the athletic department, wish it would.”” David Pilz/ Guardian Athletics, outside of the athletic community at UCSD, plays no role in the UCSD student body’s conception of itself as Tritons. “”As an athlete on the volleyball team, the other guys on the team and I make an effort to go out and support the other teams,”” said Marshall sophomore Bill O’Connor. “”For instance, we went to the State game last week. I just don’t see that effort from most students here at UCSD.”” If athletics play little or no role in school spirit, then what forms the core of a Triton? It seems as if the focus of the administration at UCSD is on the academic aspect of student life. This creates an atmosphere in which it is very hard for students to come together outside of the stressful arena of the quarter system. There seems to be an invasive malaise that has seeped into the very pores of this La Jolla campus that makes it impossible to have fun while attending school here. Is it really impossible, are classes that hard, or is the student body just apathetic? Now, going to a basketball game or a water polo game is not a cure-all for this elusive malaise, but at the same time, it does give students something to do and it brings students together in a community that fosters unity. There is a purpose to being at that game and the purpose is to cheer on UCSD, to support YOUR school. “”Athletic events create a critical mass, a place where students can be brought together,”” said men’s basketball coach Greg Lanthier. “”Bringing students together is what creates school spirit. The chance to become a part of this campus is there and is provided for students. All they have to do is get up and take advantage of it.”” Why sit around and complain about how boring life is as a Triton, as many UCSD students have been known to do, when there are usually between one and four home games a week featuring one or more of UCSD’s 23 NCAA teams? One group that certainly does care about Triton athletics is the pep band. The pep band is made up completely of volunteers, as opposed to most schools of comparable size and athletic stature, where the band is fully funded by the music department and is offered as an actual class. Even though they are volunteers, the band still manages to make it to at least one game a week where they play anything from jazz to rock to pep band classics like “”Louie Louie.”” The pep band makes a deliberate decision to go to the games, and the student body could do the same thing, so why don’t they? For some, the choice to go or not to go is hamstrung by their schoolwork. “”I would love to check out a basketball game or go to a soccer match,”” said Muir freshman Kirk Miller. “”But half the time I’m either too tired or too busy with a job and schoolwork to go.”” However, this is not the only reason students don’t go to the games. For many, sports are obscured in anonymity. “”Most of the time I just don’t hear about the games. If the advertising for the games was better, and I knew when and where they were, I would definitely show more often,”” said Roosevelt junior Adam Taylor. The move to Division II could alleviate this problem. “”In the CCAA, we play doubleheaders and it makes it much easier to advertise and much more spectator-friendly since in Division III, many of our games were played during the break,”” Grosse said. Athletics can offer an outlet for the student body, and it can help form UCSD’s vision of itself. Events present times and places for students to come together and, if even just for the hour it takes to play a water polo match, feel like they are part of something more than a study group for their Chem 6A class. How to make this happen is a hard question to answer, but the tools are there. We have a great athletic program and students who want to get out and be a part of something, but do students want athletics to be that something? UCSD cyclist Pete Knudsen said “”One of the reasons I came to UCSD was because we didn’t have the rah-rah attitude of other schools, and I like the balance we strike here between athletics and academics.”” Students need to realize that UCSD is lacking in school spirit. In order to make this campus a better place to go to school and in order to foster a sense of school spirit and unity, both the students and the administration need to let athletics or another aspect of campus life rise up and become equals with that masterful slave-driver, academia. ...

Diving Goes to USC Invitational

The UCSD diving team made a sojourn to USC this weekend to compete in the three-day Trojan Diving Invitational. The invitational ran from Nov.16 to Nov. 18 and showcased 13 different teams. From California were UCLA, UC Irvine, UCSD, Redlands, San Diego State, Fresno State, San Jose State, UC Berkeley and Stanford. From outside the state were Arizona, BYU and Colorado State. The Tritons only had two people competing in the meet, Tare Van Arsdall and Emily Quon. Each competed in the 1-meter springboard and faced stiff competition at this meet, as many of the top divers in the nation were there. Diving in the meet were USC two-time All-American Kellie Brennan, and Trojan standout freshmen Raymond Vincent and Nicci Fusaro. Additionally, UCSD was diving against Division I-level competition. Considering the fact that UCSD has only just moved up from Division III, this is a huge jump. UCSD’s two divers competed on the first day of the Invitational in the women’s 1-meter springboard. Despite strong performances, neither one was able to advance past the preliminary rounds. Fusaro ended up taking the 1-meter by a slim margin over Erin Sones of Stanford, 281.95 to 266.30. Omar Ojeda took the men’s 3-meter on the first day by demolishing the rest of the field by over 100 points. He finished with 609.90 points to beat Justin Wilcock of BYU, whose final tally was 503.95. Ojeda dominated not only the 3-meter springboard but the rest of the Invitational as well. He took the 1-meter on the second day of the competition by making the rest of the field look ridiculous, as not a single diver was within shouting distance of his 376.50 points. On the third day of competition, he did not win the 10-meter platform event but finished second to teammate Rubin Vaca. USC’s Fusara also took the 3-meter event. ...

Volleyball Loses in the First Round

The UCSD women’s volleyball team knew it had its work cut out for it heading into the first round of the 2000 NCAA Division II Women’s Volleyball Pacific Regionals, held at Cal State Los Angeles. The team had been mired in a rotten slump as the season slowly squeaked to a halt, dropping its final two regular season matches and looking uninspired on the floor. The two losses dropped the team from sole possession of second place in its division to fourthbehind Cal State Los Angeles, which finished in first, and Cal State San Bernardino and Cal State Bakersfield, which tied for second. The Tritons were then given the sixth seed in the tournament and were slated to face their dreaded rival, Cal State Bakersfield, in their first-round game. The Bakersfield squad had taken home the first two meetings between the two teams in four sets apiece, so things were looking dark indeed for the Triton side. The team traveled to the tournament site, the Eagles’ Nest in Los Angeles, on Thursday night with hopes of changing the tide by breaking out of its late-season rut with a victory over Bakersfield and advancing to the next game. These hopes were dashed, however, by a pumped-up and impressive Bakersfield performance. Cal State Bakersfield came out strong early, connivingly winning the first set 15-7 in front of the 400-person crowd at the Nest. The Tritons did fire back in the second set, showing a lot of heart and grit to overcome an early deficit and taking the set 15-13. It was all downhill from this point, though, as the Tritons would not win another set this night in November. In the end, they were ousted from the tournament after exhibiting feeble third and fourth-set performances, and losing by scores of 15-3 and 15-6, respectively The night was not without its highlights for the blue and gold, as many of its key players once again gave solid performances. The team’s sole first-team All-CCAA selection, Laura Santerre, once again excelled on the hardwood. She led the Tritons with 18 kills while picking up 9 digs. Leslie Punnelli, a second team All-CCAA selection, along with teammate Christine Kueneman, had an impressive night defensively for UCSD, compiling a game-high 25 digs while adding 9 kills. Kueneman also stood out with 17 digs. Jamie Woods stepped up with 15. Jennie Wilson was another bright spot for the Tritons, with 15 kills and 7 digs. But these quality performances were just not enough to stop Cal State Bakersfield, which, led by Amy Wade’s 22 kills and 22 digs, continuously kept the momentum throughout the night, quickly quelling most would-be Triton rallies. Stephani McNaughton also had an outstanding night for Cal State Bakersfield, notching 18 kills and 12 digs in the win. Brooke Jolley had a hand in the victory, contributing 15 kills and 12 digs, as did Jessica Slayton with 10 kills and 17 digs. The Tritons, despite the loss, should have few regrets about their first Division II season, as they put together an impressive inaugural record of 15-7 in conference play and 21-20 overall. Laura Santerre led the team with 346 kills for the season. Jennie Wilson had more notches in the block category than any other Triton, compiling 104 over the duration of the season, and Leslie Punnelli was the team’s dig maestro, with a whopping 397 on the season. These performances, as well as the team’s overall season-long effort, should be applauded by all, as the team made the jump to Division II with typical aplomb, and once there, established the UCSD women’s volleyball team as a powerhouse competitor and a force to be reckoned with in the coming years. ...