Volleyball comes up with huge home victory

    The UCSD women’s volleyball team picked the right time of year to catch fire. The Tritons, winning eight of their last 10 matches, continued their stellar play with a 3-0 spanking of 20th-ranked California State University Bakersfield on Tuesday afternoon at RIMAC Arena.

    Tyler Huff
    Guardian

    The game was a crucial California Collegiate Athletic Association match and made up for a game originally scheduled for Sept. 14 but postponed after the Sept. 11 tragedy.

    UCSD head coach Duncan McFarland was very pleased with the victory.

    “”This was a very big win for us,”” McFarland said. “”This win does a lot for our confidence.””

    UCSD, which improved to 15-4 in the CCAA and 20-6 overall, came out blazing and set the tone of the match early. The Tritons laid the smack down on the ‘Runners with a convincing 30-20 win in the opening game.

    Cal State Bakersfield, which fell to 15-5 in the CCAA and 18-8 overall, struggled throughout the match, allowing UCSD to falter in the second and third games but still prevail.

    “”[The ‘Runners] were off of their game,”” McFarland said. “”They made a lot more errors than they typically do. It is usually [they] who are playing good volleyball and putting pressure on other teams.””

    The Tritons kept it together and finished off the sweep with 30-24 and 30-28 wins in the final two games of the match.

    “”When we saw that they were having trouble, we had problems maintaining our intensity,”” McFarland said. “”We struggled in games two and three, but we were able to finish them off. That is a big confidence-booster for us to know that we can win against a good team even when we are not playing our best.””

    UCSD freshman Stacy Dunsmore led the team with a match-high 14 kills to go along with a team-high 11 digs.

    “”[Dunsmore] has been playing very steady since our match against Grand Canyon,”” McFarland said. “”She has been very solid.””

    Teresa Ohta added a match-high 39 assists in the win. Kathleen Hentz and Katie Hogan each had nine kills for the Tritons.

    Cal State Bakersfield was led by Jessica Slayton’s 11 kills and Lisa North’s 35 assists.

    The win was crucial for UCSD’s playoff future. The Tritons are attempting to continue their hot play and secure the second seed in the regional tournament, which would give the team a first-round bye.

    “”It looks like everyone on the team is starting to peak at the right time,”” McFarland said. “”It’s been a long season for us, but we are playing very well heading into the playoffs. I hope that we can keep this momentum into the playoffs. “”

    UCSD’s final games of the season will be home matches against UC Davis and Chico State. The Tritons will square off against the Aggies on Friday at 7 p.m. before hosting the Wildcats on Saturday at 7 p.m. for Senior Night. Both matches will be at RIMAC Arena.

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