Volleyball Cruises to 15th-straight Win

With two weekend wins over conference opponents, UCSD now holds an overall season record of 24-1 (John Hanacek/Guardian).
With two weekend wins over conference opponents, UCSD now holds an overall season record of 24-1 (John Hanacek/Guardian).

WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL — Building on an already successful season, the No. 2 UCSD women’s volleyball team brought home two victories following a Halloween weekend road trip.

The Tritons defeated Cal State Stanislaus on Oct. 30 and No. 25 Chico State on Oct. 31, improving to 24-1 on the season and boosting their current win streak to 15 games.

It was the first time in three years that the Tritons beat Chico State on the road.

“It’s great to get a victory there,” head coach Tom Black said. “We played really well. It’s a really tough stadium and the city rallies around the school, so it’s a really tough place to play in.”

On Friday night, senior captain outside hitter Sylvia Schmidt recorded 19 kills against Cal State Stanislaus, tying her second-highest season total as the Tritons swept the Warriors 25-16, 25-22, 25-21.

In the first set of the night, the Tritons scored 12 of the game’s first 14 points. Throughout the match, Cal State Stanislaus could not muster itself within more than seven points of the Tritons, with UCSD holding a steady lead of as much as 11. The Tritons closed the match with a kill from sophomore outside hitter Katie Condon.

“We really focus on playing one point at a time,” Schmidt said. “We’re really supportive of each other. We are all playing together and have confidence in each other.”

In the second set, the Warriors took off running, seizing a 10-4 lead before a UCSD rally helped regain momentum. Soon after, Schmidt notched four consecutive kills, tying the set 14-14.

After swapping leads for the remainder of the set, a devastating Triton kill propelled UCSD four straight points ahead to close out the 25-22 set win.

In the match’s final set, Cal State Stanislaus again jumped to a quick 7-3 lead.

However, the Tritons soon recovered, setting out on a short run to retake the lead 10-8. Schmidt’s 19th kill of the night opened up a Triton scoring spree, and the team cruised to victory from a 19-14 lead.

Black singled out Schmidt’s performance as one of the reasons for UCSD’s success, but also attributed the Tritons’ near-perfect record to outstanding team play.

“It’s great for Sylvia [Schmidt],” Black said. “She’s one of the best players in the country. But the entire team is playing really well, and that’s helping pull the team together.”

Schmidt echoed her coach.

“Everyone was playing really well and really trying,” She said. “We were getting all our serves in and working together.”

On Halloween night at Chico State — where the Tritons hadn’t seen victory since 2006 — UCSD handled Chico State as Schmidt notched another 19 kills, 16 of which came in the first two sets. Condon added 14 kills for a Triton sweep of the Wildcats 25-21, 25-23, 25-17.

It was the first time since 2005 that UCSD had swept a season series against Chico State.

Both teams played flawless offensive games in the first set, with neither team registering a hitting error. The Triton offense jumped to an 18-11 lead, but the Wildcats battled back and continued to chip away at the Tritons’ advantage, narrowing the lead to 21-19.

In the end, the Tritons held off the Wildcat charge, and used one of their 12 aces of the night to close the set 25-21.

“We were passing extremely well and working well together,” Schmidt said of her team’s first-set performance.

In the second set, the resilient Wildcats fought back, leading by as many as three points. But after an ace by senior captain setter Elaine Chen, UCSD recaptured the lead at 17-16. Chico came back to tie the game 22-22 before Schmidt got her final kill of the set to seal the 25-23 Triton victory.

Condon registered eight of her 14 kills in the third set. With the score at 10-8, Condon nailed four consecutive kills as the Tritons went on a six-point run. The Wildcats could do little to stop the Tritons in the third set, and the UCSD assault dominated play for the remainder of the match as the Tritons breezed to a 25-17 victory.

“It feels great to get another win,” Schmidt said. “We just take it one game at a time and keep playing.”

UCSD is back in action Nov. 4 when they host Cal State East Bay.

Readers can contact Tyler Nelson at [email protected].

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