Post-season Race Tightens Up

    The Tritons’ first game last Wednesday, Oct. 10, was arguably UCSD’s most significant loss of the season so far.

    Traveling north to San Bernardino to face the Coyotes (7-1), UCSD tallied a total of 30 attack errors in its 3-2 loss to CSU San Bernardino.

    “We squandered a lot of opportunities to score on defense,” UCSD Head Coach Ricci Luyties said to the UCSD Athletics Department. “We had a lot of chances, but not enough swing for points.”

    Offensively, the Triton attack was led by their underclassmen. Freshman Danielle Dahle totaled 19 kills and sophomore standout Sara McCutchan finished with 21.

    Hawthorne set the pace for UCSD with 52 assists on the night.

    On the defensive end, the Tritons totaled 80 total digs.

    McCutchan — the third-best blocker in the CCAA — contributed seven blocking assists and three solo blocks.

    UCSD played well in their first set, besting CSU San Bernardino 25-18, but lacked consistency down the stretch. The Tritons took the second set 25-21, with a 47 attack percentage, but fell in the third.

    The Tritons took the fourth set with a score of 25-21.

    In the fifth and final set, UCSD tallied a notable six attack errors, costing the Tritons the fifth set.

    At home Friday and Saturday night, UCSD made fast work of bottom-of-the-conference CSU Monterey Bay (4-7) and CSU East Bay (3-8).

    CSU Monterey Bay is led by the second best kills per set athlete in the CCAA Julia Ashen.

    Ashen, who averages 3.98 individual kills per set — just above UCSD’s Dahle with 3.75.

    In a good showing of team defense, the Tritons held Ashen to just nine kills.

    With the Otters’ best athlete shut down, UCSD glided past CSU Monterey Bay. UCSD totaled 52 kills in its three-set victory. Against CSU Monterey Bay, UCSD was able to utilize talent from around the roster.

    Freshman middle blocker Kameron Cooper tallied five kills and two blocking assists, sophomore Rachelle Kinney also had five kills with three assists. Dahle led in kills with 16.

    Hawthorne had another great game with 36 assists and no errors.

    UCSD showed signs of weakness in their first set coming off the loss to CSU San Bernardino, only taking the win with a slight three-point margin.

    However, into the second set, the Tritons showed new life, logging 21 kills in their 25-13 second set victory.

    The Tritons carried the momentum into the final set where UCSD had a 75 attack percentage, to take the 25-12 victory.

    The win improved UCSD to 7-3 in CCAA, going into their game against CSU East Bay.

    On Saturday, CSU East Bay (2-9), flat-out outplayed UCSD in the first set, as the Tritons recorded an abysmal 60 attack percentage.

    After an embarrassing first set loss, UCSD came back with a more solid performance in the second with a 25-17 set win, where Tritons totaled 14 kills and a 76 attack percentage.

    Carrying into the third, UCSD topped East Bay 25-13, and then again in the fourth set 25-15.

    The win improves UCSD to 8-3 in conference play, moving the Tritons into a tie for second place with San Francisco State, while San Bernardino remains in first.

    UCSD has now competed against every team in the CCAA.

    “The league is so close right now with so many teams,” Dahle said to the UCSD Athletics Department. “We’re going to have to win all our next games before [CSU San Bernardino] to hopefully get a tie there.”

    Next Friday, Oct. 19, UCSD will face 7-4 CSU Los Angeles on the road, a team that gave UCSD a startling first loss in the Tritons’ home opener. After their game with the Golden Eagles, UCSD takes on CSU Dominguez Hills (7-4).

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