No. 13 Tritons fall to CSULA, defeat CSUB

The No. 13 women’s volleyball team bounced back from a disappointing 1-3 loss to No. 16 Cal State Los Angeles on Oct. 6 with a narrow five-game win over Cal State Bakersfield the following day.

The Tritons (14-4 overall, 6-3 California Collegiate Athletic Association) split their CCAA road trip with the win over the Roadrunners following the loss to the Golden Eagles.

The Tritons came into the game against Cal State Bakersfield on a two-game losing streak, the first time the Tritons have had back-to-back losses all season. However, UCSD came out fighting and, with the 3-2 win, ended the streak.

The Tritons did not look like winners throughout their match-up with the Roadrunners, allowing Cal State Bakersfield to win two games and almost giving away the final game and the match.

In game one, the Tritons took a quick 11-6 lead before scoring seven unanswered points to extend their advantage to 18-6. The twelve-point lead held up and the Tritons won the opening game 30-17.

As in game one, the Tritons took an early 11-6 lead in the second. This time, the Tritons couldn’t maintain the lead and the Roadrunners went on a 10-5 run to tie the game up at 16 apiece. Cal State Bakersfield then took advantage of four straight Triton attack errors to move ahead, 16-19. The Tritons worked their way back to a 19-19 tie, but it did not last as Cal State Bakersfield scored four straight points again for a 19-23 advantage. The Tritons got as close as 26-28 late in the game, but the Roadrunners were able to hold them off for a 27-30 victory in game two and a 1-1 tie in the match.

The Tritons looked to freshman Rebecca Bailey, sophomore Amber Ries and juniors Nicole Courtney and Brianna Koche for a win in game three. Bailey’s back-to-back aces and one of Ries’ 16 kills gave the Tritons a 15-10 lead. The Roadrunners started to claw their way back with two straight points, but two aces from Courtney gave the Tritons back their commanding lead of 20-13. Koche sent down the final kill for a 30-21 win in game three and a 2-1 UCSD advantage in the match.

On the brink of elimination, Cal State Bakersfield managed to take the first significant lead of game four at 14-18. After the Roadrunners extended the lead to 15-20, the Tritons began their comeback attempt with four points on two of Courtney’s 20 kills, one of Koche’s 13 kills and a Cal State Bakersfield attack error. UCSD kept the deficit slim and even managed to take a 28-27 lead for a chance at a four-game win. A Ries kill gave the Tritons a game and match point, but the Roadrunners would not end the match, scoring three straight points for a 29-30 lead and a game point of their own. Cal State Bakersfield would not convert the opportunity and allowed the Tritons to tie the game up at 30, 31 and 32. Finally, the Roadrunners managed consecutive kills to force game five after a 32-34 win.

The Roadrunners rode their momentum from game four to an early 5-8 lead in the deciding game. With Cal State Bakersfield within three points of a win with a 9-12 advantage, freshman Kimberly Carpenter tallied one of her 17 kills. Following Carpenter’s kill, the Tritons took advantage of a Cal State Bakersfield attack error and another kill from Courtney and worked their way to a tie with the Roadrunners at 12 apiece. Another kill from Bailey gave the Tritons a slim 13-12 lead, but Cal State Bakersfield fought back to a 14-14 tie. Koche’s last kill of the night came at a perfect time to give the Tritons a match-point attempt. The Roadrunners called a timeout to delay their fate and came out in an attempt to tie the match-up once again. However, Koche and junior Kristin Halvorsen blocked Roadrunner Morgan Reed’s attack attempt for a 16-14 game-five win and a 3-2 win in the match.

The win came just a day after a tough loss to Cal State Los Angeles, which handed the Tritons their third loss in CCAA play. The Golden Eagles took four games to wipe out the Tritons and improve their record to 15-1 overall, 7-1 CCAA.

Following their tough two-game road trip, the Tritons return home on Oct. 15 to face No. 6 Cal State San Bernardino. After that, the Tritons have only eight games before the NCAA Pacific Regional begins on Nov. 17.