Win Streak Reaches Thirteen Games

    WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL —UCSD notched two more wins last week to maintain its spot atop conference standings and solidify its No. 2 national ranking.

    In their weekend opener on Oct. 22, the Tritons defeated Cal State Dominguez Hills in three sets before beating No. 22 Cal State Los Angeles in four sets the following night — a match that saw sophomore outside hitter Hillary Williamson rack up a team-leading 15 kills and a .444 hitting clip.

    The wins improve UCSD’s record to 22-1 (14-1 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association).

    In their first set against Cal State Los Angeles, the Tritons played evenly with the Golden Eagles throughout the night, as neither team was able to pull away. Both teams displayed solid offense, but effective net play allowed the Tritons to grab an 11-6 lead in the first set, forcing a Cal State Los Angeles timeout.

    The Golden Eagles came out with renewed energy and stormed back into the match, but senior outside hitter Sylvia Schmidt pulled UCSD to the finish with impressive hitting and pinpoint serving. The Tritons ended the first set with a 25-23 first-set victory after a missed serve by the Golden Eagles.

    “It was a physical game,” senior captain outside hitter Karen Reis said. “We played well, but it could have gone either way.”

    In the second set, the two teams battled head to head, flexing their offensive muscles and consistently swapped points and lead changes. Sophomore outside hitter Katie Condon’s serves helped the Tritons scratch out a marginal advantage, and as the Golden Eagles battled back, both squads got a little rowdy.

    Outbursts from the Triton bench earned the team a yellow card — a penalty that could have proved a major distraction for UCSD. Rather than playing down to their penalty, however, UCSD came out firing to regain a small lead. The set remained up for grabs until Williamson’s kill clinched a 27-25 victory.

    “All of the games were two-point games,” head coach Tom Black said. “There was no margin of error. When you’re playing a team at the top of their game, it’s a hard game.”

    As in the first two sets, neither team was able to take control in the third, with both teams staying within three points of one another. Though the Tritons played tough, the Golden Eagles took a small lead late in the set that forced the Tritons to play catch up.

    The Tritons pulled to within 23-24, but a UCSD net violation at game point handed the Golden Eagles their first set win of the night.

    “They’re a good team,” Black said. “We just didn’t transition as well as I thought we usually do.”

    Building off momentum from their previous win, Cal State Los Angeles jumped to a quick advantage in the fourth set. The Tritons never allowed the Golden Eagles to hang around and claimed an easy 25-11 set to earn their 13th consecutive victory.

    “We really just put pressure on them in the fourth set,” Reis said.

    The night before their match with Cal State Los Angeles, the Tritons improved their all time record against Cal State Dominguez Hills to 39-1 with a three-set sweep of the Toros. In the first set, the Tritons stormed to an early lead, taking 11 of the first 15 points in the match and leading by as much as 10 throughout. The onslaught proved too much for the Toros to handle and UCSD took a 25-15 win in the first set.

    In the second set, the Tritons kept their momentum up and scored the first five points before the Toros pulled within 9-7. However, as Cal State Dominguez Hills edged closer, Williamson went on a kill streak, nailing three consecutive points for the Tritons and reclaiming a definitive hold on the match. UCSD extended its lead throughout the set, and Williamson eventually put down the game-winning kill to end the set 25-20.

    In the match’s third and final set, the Tritons faltered early but pulled together nicely with flawless play to make the score12-5, a lead that would stick as UCSD cruised to an easy 25-13 win to sweep the Toros.

    The Tritons took both games despite an unusual travel schedule that included a game at Cal State Dominguez Hills on Thursday before heading back to San Diego to host the Golden Eagles on Friday night.

    “I was a little worried about the travel schedule,” Black said. “but it was great to come out so fast and get the win so quickly.”

    UCSD travels north next weekend to face Cal State Stanislaus on Oct. 30 and Chico State.

    Readers can contact Tyler Nelson at [email protected].

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