UCSD Sweeps Humboldt State

    At the end of last week’s victory over Cal Poly Pomona, Head Coach Tom Black told the UCSD women’s volleyball team that the win could be used as the starting point for the entire season.

    Sophomore outside hitter Sylvia Schmidt had nine kills in the Tritons’ victory over Humboldt State on Sept. 29.
    (Sanh Luong/Guardian)

    After a 30-17, 30-23, 30-21 thrashing of Humboldt State Sept. 29, it was apparent the team had taken the words as a challenge.

    “We really loved what he said,” junior captain and outside hitter Rebecca Bailey said. “It gave us momentum and taught us that we shouldn’t focus on what’s happened but look ahead at what we can still control.”

    The Tritons looked impressive in front of the large home crowd at the RIMAC Arena, where they hit the 10-win mark and moved to 4-3 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

    “The crowd gives us an adrenaline rush,” Bailey said. “We need them hopefully as much as they want to see us.”

    In game one against the Lumberjack squad, the Tritons blazed out to a 19-10 lead on Bailey’s fifth kill of the night. The lead was stretched to 23-14 on back-to-back aces by Bailey.

    Black and the team worked diligently over the past week to improve their attacking, and the focus paid off Saturday night.

    “We’ve worked really hard on our out-of-system swinging and middles,” Black said. “Tonight we were very steady and we stopped the bleeding when Humboldt got on runs.”

    Game two was riddled with errors from both sides as the Tritons and Lumberjacks traded points in the early stages. UCSD took a quick 4-2 advantage on sophomore setter Elaine Chen’s ace. The lead grew to 8-5 after another UCSD kill.

    The Lumberjacks responded with two kills and a Triton hitting error to tie it up. Sophomore middle blocker Sylvia Schmidt then landed her third kill on the night to return the lead to UCSD 11-10.

    UCSD finally found breathing room late in the game, as senior opposite Amber Ries stuffed the Lumberjack attack for a 22-18 lead and forced a Lumberjack timeout.

    Humboldt State wouldn’t go quietly though, chipping away at the Triton lead to close the gap to only one.

    That’s when Bailey took over.

    With senior outside hitter Casey Wilson on the service line, Bailey tallied three kills to supplement Wilson’s ace and give UCSD the lead 26-21. Bailey would slam down number 10 and 11 en route to the 30-23 game two win.

    “We got really aggressive with our serve in that second game,” Black said. “I really stressed that the setters needed to connect with the hitters and that happened toward the end of game two.”

    Following the trend from the first two games, neither team solidified any kind of serious advantage. Tied 8-8, the Tritons pulled away on a pair of Lumberjack errors and a Schmidt kill. Schmidt followed with an ace, giving the Tritons a 14-10 lead.

    Battling back to a one-point deficit, Humboldt State was mystified as UCSD went on a four-point run to regain the edge 18-13. Each Lumberjack attempt for a comeback was thwarted by the Triton defense as UCSD rolled to a 30-21 victory.

    “I was really pleased with the fact that we had no big fluctuations tonight,” Black said. “We stopped [Humboldt State’s] runs and played really steady.”

    With the latest win under their belt, the Tritons will embark on a three-game road trip to try and cement their spot among the best of the best in the CCAA. UCSD matches up at Cal State Monterey Bay on Oct. 5 and at Sonoma State Oct. 6 next week before taking on No. 16 Cal State Los Angeles Oct. 10. Games are set for a 7 p.m. serve.

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