Triton volleyball falls to CSU San Bernardino

    The UCSD women’s volleyball team enjoyed sole possession of first place in the California Collegiate Athletic Association following a Sonoma State upset of California State University Bakersfield on Friday night.

    Unfortunately for the Tritons, that position was short-lived following a defeat at the hands of No. 6-ranked California State University San Bernardino on Saturday night in San Bernardino.

    UCSD, which fell to 6-1 in the CCAA and 11-3 overall, now finds itself in a three-way tie for the top spot in the CCAA with Cal State Bakersfield and Cal State San Bernardino.

    The loss was the end of an otherwise strong week of CCAA action for UCSD, which had earlier defeated Cal Poly Pomona and Grand Canyon University in convincing fashion.

    Saturday night’s match against the Coyotes was billed as a clash of the titans. It was the No. 6 team in the country, Cal State San Bernardino, versus the No. 21 team in the country, the Tritons. Though the Tritons put up a solid fight, the Coyotes proved too much for UCSD, winning the match 3-1 at Coussoulis Arena.

    Cal State San Bernardino, which improved to 8-1 in the CCAA and 16-1 overall, jumped out early and took the first game 30-26. The Tritons rallied back for a 30-26 win in the second game before the Coyotes slammed the door with 30-27 and 30-23 victories in the final two games.

    “”Every single player has stepped up their play to a higher level,”” said Cal State San Bernardino head coach Kim Cherniss. “”They played with poise and intensity.””

    In the absense of All-American middle blocker Kim Morohunfola, who is sidelined for the next two to four weeks with a knee injury, the Coyotes received a huge game from sophomore Kim Ford. Ford recorded an amazing match-high 31 kills to go along with 22 digs to lead Cal State San Bernardino. Setter Amy Pope added 58 assists to the winning effort.

    The 31 kills put Ford second on the Coyotes’ all-time single-match kill list, just one behind the mark of 32, set by Nicole Wasson against Chico State in 1995 and equaled by All-American Jamie Liefveld in 2000.

    UCSD was led by freshman Stacy Dunsmore, who had team-highs of 15 kills and 15 digs. Freshman setter Teresa Ohta contributed 35 assists. Ashley Peterson and Laura Santerre chipped in with 14 and 11 kills, respectively.

    Just a night earlier, the Tritons earned a big road win with a 3-1 victory over Cal Poly Pomona in Darlene May Gymnasium.

    The Broncos, who fell to 2-6 in the CCAA and 4-12 overall, jumped to the early lead with a 30-25 win in the first game. UCSD rebounded and closed out Cal Poly Pomona, winning the final three games 30-21, 30-27 and 30-22, respectively.

    The Tritons were led by Santerre’s 10 kills and Jessica Bartter’s 27 assists. Jennie Wilson also added seven blocks for UCSD.

    Melissa Ameluxen led the Broncos with 13 kills. Marisa Wilkerson added a game-high 29 assists in the losing effort.

    In Wednesday night’s CCAA action, the Tritons breezed past the usually tough Grand Canyon University 3-0 for the road victory.

    UCSD won convincingly in all three games 30-25, 30-23 and 30-24. The loss drops the ‘Lopes to 3-2 in the CCAA and 7-5 overall.

    The Tritons were led by Santerre again, who came through with 13 kills and a solid .480 hitting average. Ohta had a team-high 38 assists. Senior Kathleen Hentz also added 10 kills in the win.

    Grand Canyon University was led by Kelly Weiss’ game-high 17 kills. Natalie Jandreau had added a game-high 43 assists for the ‘Lopes.

    UCSD will be back in action Friday night with a game at Chico State University. The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

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