Women’s Volleyball Rely Heavily on Young Talent

    Heading into the 2012 season, six freshmen and one transfer, along with the returning underclassmen have produced an entirely different yet potentially dominant team. Of those returning, sophomore Amber Hawthorne, who averaged 5.17 assists per set last season, has more than filled the shoes of Brunsting.

    Hawthorne has stepped up as a leader on this year’s team, with 39 assists in UCSD’s victory against Cal Poly Pomona last Thursday, and 27 assists in the UCSD sweep against Humboldt on Sept. 22, she is consistently playing at the level UCSD needs to be at to progress higher in the CCAA Tournament.

    Middle blockers Lauren Demos and Sara McCutchan have also assumed leadership position for UCSD this season. Demos and McCutchan have put in impressive work on defense and offense for the Tritons, exemplified in their 35 kills and 6 block assists in the Tritons’ victory against CSU Los Angeles.

    The UCSD Women’s Volleyball team opened the 2012 season at the Grand Canyon University Invitational in Phoenix, Ariz. where they split their games 2-2. The Tritons took wins against Western New Mexico and UC Colorado Springs, but fell to No. 15 Grand Canyon University and No. 10 Metropolitan State.

    Freshman standout Danielle Dahle was named to the All-Tournament Team and has continued to prove herself an asset to the Triton offense. The La Mesa, Calif. native also garnered All-Tournament honors the following week in the Sonoma State Seawolf Spike, and has continued to play well averaging 13 kills thus far in conference play.

    Competing in Ronhert Park, the Tritons fought for promising wins over No. 13 Western Washington, Seattle Pacific and Dominican.

    With the pre-season over, UCSD began CCAA conference play with a shaky first home match against unranked CSU Dominguez Hills, falling to the Toros in three sets.

    The Tritons refocused their energy towards Cal State L.A., where UCSD showed play reminiscent of the more experienced 2011 squad. Defeating the Golden Eagles in four sets, UCSD began to climb up the CCAA rankings.

    The Tritons went on to best Cal Poly Pomona 3-1, followed by a dominant closeout victory in Arcata over Humboldt State.

    Next Friday, the Tritons face off against No. 25 ranked Chico State, who at 4-0, are yet to be defeated in the CCAA this year.

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