UCSD Volleyball continues to roll on

    The women’s volleyball team began to find its groove again last week with victories against Grand Canyon University, Chico State and UC Davis. The Tritons improved to 13-3 overall and 7-2 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, putting them in a second place tie in the CCAA and earning them a ranking as the 10th best team in Division II.

    Sarah M. Stauch
    Guardian

    Coming off a loss to top-ranked Cal State San Bernardino the previous weekend, the Tritons went into their Oct. 22 match with the Antelopes of GCU looking to turn things around. Establishing a pattern that would last the entire week, UCSD did just that in the first game. The Tritons attacked an incredible .425 as a team, compared to the Antelopes’ .075. The score was equally lopsided when UCSD took an easy 30-17 victory.

    The Tritons played well enough in the second game to roll to a 30-19 victory, thanks in large part to the impotent Grand Canyon offense, which managed only nine kills and committed nine errors for a hitting percentage of .000.

    In game three, UCSD held on for a 30-26 victory, in which the team seemed to grow somewhat lackadaisical in its play against the lesser opponent.

    Sarah M. Stauch
    Guardian

    Despite the lack of parity, Triton head coach Duncan McFarland maintains that his team can still benefit from these types of matches.

    “”We were working this week on our team chemistry,”” he said. “”We wanted to work on loosening up and being more confident on the court, and getting our offense running faster and better than it has been.””

    Whatever adjustment to the offense that was made had a definite effect on Friday night against the Wildcats.

    The Tritons opened with a dominating first game, and Bonnie Wilson, Katie Hogan, Stacy Dunsmore and Jennie Wilson got on their way to double digits in kills while rolling 30-20. UCSD continued its dominance in game two with a 30-23 victory. With the same inability to close the match that plagued the Tritons the previous night, UCSD lost the third game 29-31, but the team sealed the match with a 30-24 win in game four.

    The night was statistically notable for UCSD, which boasted several incredible performances. Bonnie Wilson established a season-high for the team with 26 kills, while sister Jennie Wilson added 19. Defensively, UCSD racked up the digs when Denelle Smalley, Jennie Wilson and Lauren Mills joined Dunsmore and setter Teresa Ohta in double digits. Dunsmore’s big night bodes well for the Tritons, whose second-consecutive solid match suggests she’s found her groove.

    “”I’m trying to get back to my old self, and it all came out tonight,”” Dunsmore said.

    Ohta also found her form with 62 assists on the night to establish a new season high. However, she gave the credit to her teammates.

    “”It means that our hitters are putting balls away,”” Ohta said.

    That job was being done just as well the following night against UC Davis when the Tritons opened quickly, again winning the first game 30-20 with Hogan killing eight balls early to pace her team.

    The Aggies made an attempt to play competitive volleyball, but UCSD had no problem finishing them off in the final two games (30-25, 30-25).

    Jennie Wilson led the team with 16 kills, and Dunsmore added 11 kills of her own, due in large part to the setting of Ohta, who racked up 52 assists in just three games. Hogan gathered a total of 10 kills and an attacking percentage of .471.

    Despite their statistics, however, the only number that will bring the Tritons success this season is 15. Every one of UCSD’s 15 players will have to come together and learn to trust each other in order for this team to play to its potential, accordingly to Hogan.

    “”I think we’ve taken a lot of time aside to try to gel as a team,”” Hogan said. “”Beyond just practice, we started finding different ways we could get together and form more unity so it’ll show on the court … I think that outside help has transferred into games and matches.””

    Next weekend, the Tritons will take on San Francisco State and Sonoma State Oct. 11 and 12. The Tritons use a growing sense of unity to attempt to bring home a pair of victories, as well as establish the momentum they’ll need to keep this run going.

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