Otters Still No Match for UCSD

    Junior outside hitter Sylvia Schmidt recorded six kills in the Tritons’ sweep of Cal State Monterey Bay on Oct. 25. Schmidt added 10 kills in the five-set victory over San Francisco State the previous night. (John Hanacek/Guardian)

    WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL — The No. 16 Tritons bounced back after falling to No. 14 Cal State Los Angeles last week, taking down conference foes San Francisco State and Cal State Monterey Bay respectively on Oct. 24 and Oct. 25. In the first game, the Tritons had to hold off the upset-minded San Francisco State team in five sets 22-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-18, 16-14 before coming together the following night to sweep Cal State Monterey Bay 25-17, 25-13, 25-21.

    UCSD improved its overall record to 17-4 and its conference record to 11-3, remaining in a tie for second place behind No. 2 Cal State San Bernardino in California Collegiate Athletic Association play.

    Before the game, the Tritons held a 9-0 all-time record against the Otters of Cal State Monterey Bay (7-17, 3-11 CCAA). A 10th win seemed likely after the first two sets. Freshman outside hitter Katie Condon led the way for the Triton charge, finishing the opening set with seven kills in nine attempts. As a result of Condon’s play, UCSD took an 11-8 lead midway through the first game and never looked back. Senior outside hitter Rebecca Bailey contributed a kill to extend the lead to eight points at 20-12 and the Tritons took the set on consecutive serves by redshirt-freshman defensive specialist Roxanne Brunsting.

    The Tritons dominated the second set, holding Cal State Monterey Bay to a negative hitting percentage. Redshirt-freshman defensive specialist Janessa Werhane served up two aces to give UCSD a 12-5 advantage early in the game, with senior outside hitter Kimberly Carpenter blasting consecutive kills to extend the lead to 10 points at 21-11. UCSD took the second set on an Otter ball-handling error.

    The final game was the closest of the night as the Tritons couldn’t establish a rhythm. The set featured four lead changes and 13 ties before Condon put the game away with a solo block and the final kill.

    Bailey, who finished the night with 14 kills on .387 hitting, said she felt the team worked as a cohesive unit during the victory.

    “The win was great because we really played together,” Bailey said. “We made it a goal tonight to play all out. I think we did that and put it all out on the court.”

    On Friday night, San Francisco State (11-12, 4-10 CCAA) jumped on the Tritons early. UCSD got off to a slow start in the first set and failed to put an offense together. The Tritons caught up at 21-20 and almost tied the score, but immediately gave up three straight points and lost the set.

    “It felt like six individuals,” junior setter Elaine Chen said. “We weren’t playing as a team and as a result we weren’t playing at a high intensity like we normally do — we just felt really flat.”
    UCSD finally looked to be on a roll after taking a 15-10 lead in the second game, but struggled to put the set away as San Francisco State caught up to within a point at 22-21. Following a timeout, the Tritons rallied to take the set but couldn’t maintain the momentum. Tying the score 15 times, the Gators finally capitalized on several Triton miscues and took a 2-1 lead in the third match.

    The Tritons’ two weekend victories helped UCSD hold a tie for second place in the CCAA behind No. 2 Cal State San Bernardino. The Tritons will face the Coyotes on Nov. 1 on the road. (John Hanacek/Guardian)

    The final sets for the Tritons revealed the squad’s true character. Coming together after being down 13-8 and 8-3 respectively in the fourth and fifth sets, the Tritons relied on the upperclassmen to lead the way. Bailey sent down a kill to cement a lead and Chen followed with a solo block to finish the fourth set in which UCSD rallied to finish the game on a 17-10 run.
    Behind in the final game, Carpenter served up a scoring run that orchestrated the final comeback for the Tritons. With the score tied on four consecutive points, the Tritons recovered to take the win on a block by sophomore outsider hitter Lauren Bradley and junior outside hitter Sylvia Schmidt.

    Bailey finished the night with a season-high 28 kills while Chen had 57 assists, six digs, two blocks and five aces. Netting the wins were important for the Tritons, but come Monday the team will be focused on the games ahead.

    “We are going to get back in practice and train like we normally do,” Chen said. “We need to keep the same level of intensity during practice like it was during the CSUMB game and keep doing what we’ve been doing.”

    UCSD faces tough competition in its Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 contests, taking on No. 21 Cal Poly Pomona and No. 2 Cal State San Bernardino respectively on the road.

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