San Francisco State Upsets Tritons to End Win Streak at 16

    UCSD saw its 16-game win streak come to an end after a four-set defeat to San Francisco State on Nov. 6. The Tritons now stand at 26-2, with two regular-season games left (John Hanacek/Guardian).
    UCSD saw its 16-game win streak come to an end after a four-set defeat to San Francisco State on Nov. 6. The Tritons now stand at 26-2, with two regular-season games left (John Hanacek/Guardian).

    WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL — With a resounding thud at the end of a forgettable Friday night, the No. 2 UCSD women’s volleyball team suffered its second loss of the season.

    The fall to the San Francisco State Gators on Nov. 6 ended a string of 16 straight Triton victories. Despite 20 kills from senior captain outside hitter Sylvia Schmidt, the Tritons were not able to overcome 41 kills delivered by San Francisco’s top two hitters. It was the Tritons’ first ever loss to the Gators, who are vying for a wildcard playoff spot into the NCAA regional tournament.

    Early in the first set, the Tritons kept pace with the Gators, holding the game within one point for most of the set before San Francisco went on a 12-5 run to take a commanding 18-10 lead. The Tritons could not pull within more than four points through the rest of the set, and the Gators finished it off 25-19.

    UCSD came out fast in the second set, pushing ahead for most of the match behind an impressive performance by senior captain setter Elaine Chen. The Gators did not get closer than within five points of the Tritons, and Schmidt put the set away with a kill at 25-16.

    After halftime, the Gators gained some first-set style play. With a persistent attack and few errors, the Gators went on a mid-set run to a 20-12 lead, then cruised through the rest of the set to take a 25-15 victory.

    In the fourth set, neither team could pull away from the other, and the squads battled head to head. The Gators took a match point lead at 24-23, but a kill from Schmidt and an ace by Chen gave the Tritons their first set point.

    Unfortunately for UCSD, the Gator offense soon delivered a kill to stop their run. The Tritons took three more set points, but each one was followed either by a service error or a Gator kill. When San Francisco State had its second opportunity at match point, they took full advantage with a block that sealed the upset victory.

    “We’re really clear on [what] we need to get better at,” head coach Tom Black said. “We know what we need to work on.”

    Despite the defeat, the Tritons sandwiched their loss with two three-game sweeps against Cal State East Bay, and against Cal State Monterey Bay, on Nov. 4 and 7. The victory against the Monterey Bay Otters brought UCSD’s season record to 26-2, tying Black’s all-time record for wins in a single season.

    “There’s a sense of urgency now,” Black said. “We’re getting into the home stretch. So we want to take care of the patches and focus now as we’re getting into the playoffs.”

    On Nov. 4, the Tritons cruised to a victory over the Cal State East Bay Pioneers, showing solid offense throughout the match by notching a team .316 hitting percentage. Redshirt freshman middle blocker Julia Freidenberg hit at a .500 clip and picked up eight kills on the night, as Schmidt added nine kills of her own. Sophomore outside hitter Katie Condon had four kills in the first set — her only set of the night.

    The Tritons — who had never before lost to San Francisco State — dropped a Nov. 6 match to the Gators that ended their season-best 16-game win streak. Only two games remain in the 2009 regular season for the No. 2 Tritons, who will enter the playoffs vying for their first-ever Division-II national championship (<i>John Hanacek/Guardian</i>).
    The Tritons — who had never before lost to San Francisco State — dropped a Nov. 6 match to the Gators that ended their season-best 16-game win streak. Only two games remain in the 2009 regular season for the No. 2 Tritons, who will enter the playoffs vying for their first-ever Division-II national championship (John Hanacek/Guardian).

    “We have a lot of depth on our team,” Schmidt said. “I think that Tom [Black] was trying to get everyone an opportunity to play tonight.”

    UCSD passing was slightly sub par for portions of the night, but service errors by the Pioneers helped power the Tritons through Cal State East Bay, as the Tritons took a victory 25-16, 25-20, 25-18.

    On Nov. 7, the Tritons improved to 12-0 overall against Cal State Monterey Bay with a 25-18, 26-24, 25-21 victory. Sophomore libero Roxanne Brunsting had an outstanding night, registering 21 digs and three aces — including an ace to put away the second set.

    “We’re just working toward that national championship,” Schmidt said. “I’m not saying we’re going for sure, but we’re definitely working toward it. Our goal is to be a great team, but we think by winning a national championship, it will be a great measure.”

    UCSD will host the final two games of the regular season: one against Sonoma State on Nov. 13 and another against Humboldt State on Nov. 14.

    Readers can contact Tyler Nelson at [email protected].

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