Volleyball Grabs Win

In its last week of play, the UCSD men’s volleyball team took on California Baptist University and the University of La Verne, both at RIMAC Arena.

Lyon Liew

On Wednesday the Tritons hosted Cal Baptist University. The match went to five sets as the No. 1 team in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics pushed UCSD to the limit. The Tritons were down 2-1 but pulled out crucial plays and rallied together in the next two sets to get the win over the visiting Lancers.

Senior Donald Chen led the way for the Tritons with 25 kills, helping UCSD to a 19-30, 30-19, 28-30, 30-20, 15-13 victory.

To close out the 2001 season, UCSD took on La Verne in a nonconference match on Saturday night. Its matchup against La Verne was the second meeting between the two teams this season. In the first meeting, La Verne swept UCSD in three games, 30-25, 30-28, 30-23. Fortunately, the Tritons were able to return the favor the second time around.

On Senior Night 2001, seniors Chen, Zack Hite, Kevin Flynn and Todd Tarplee played their final game in Triton uniforms. With a good crowd in attendance at RIMAC Arena, the four seniors made the most of their opportunities and guided UCSD to a commanding win over the top-ranked team in Division III.

The Tritons battled in a close match for three sets, but in the end, UCSD was just too much for La Verne. The first game was tight most of the way, but the Tritons were able to break loose and win 30-23.

The second game proved to be a more easy task than the first, with the Tritons coasting to a 30-21 win. Sophomore Eric Perrine came through with some crucial kills and finished the match with a total of seven.

The third and final game proved to be similar to the first game. Each team had shifts in momentum, but eventually UCSD contained the Leopards and closed out the match with a 30-24 score.

To end the game, Cogorno made an impressive block to thwart a sure point and seal the victory with an exclamation point. The Leopards fell to 11-16 with the loss.

Three Triton players were in double digits in kills as Chen, Hite and junior Griffin Cogorno had 15, 13 and 10 respectively. Chen’s 15 kills were a match high. For La Verne, Nate Michael led the team in kills with 12.

The Tritons’ four seniors were able to end their careers on a high note. Although Chen’s collegiate career is over, his volleyball endeavors will continue, as he was invited to compete for a national team spot. He will be joining other collegiate players in Colorado Springs, Colo. after graduation to try out for the United States team, which will compete in the World University Games in Beijing at the end of August.

Although the Tritons went 0-17 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation competition, they showed resilience against Division I powers such as UCLA, Pepperdine, Stanford and Hawaii. Throughout the season, they were unable to win an MPSF match but were able to take games from No. 6 Pepperdine, No. 5 Stanford and No. 3 UCLA.

Al Scates, longtime head coach of UCLA and perhaps the most successful men’s volleyball coach ever, lauded the good competition that the Tritons provided the Bruins on April 6 when UCSD took the first game 30-26. Scates knew that the Tritons were capable of beating any team in the MPSF.

UCSD finished the 2001 campaign with a 6-21 overall, 0-17 MPSF record. Its six wins came against Princeton, UC Santa Cruz, New York University, Quincy-Illinois, Cal Baptist and La Verne.