The last time the two teams met was back in March, when the Tritons fell to the Otters in the semifinal of the CCAA tournament last season. The loss was only UCSD’s second of the season, but dashed any hope of the Tritons taking home the conference title. On Friday, against Monterey Bay, the Tritons held the lead just once. Shooting just above 30 percent from the field in the previous weekend’s match against Humboldt State, Monterey Bay head coach Renee Jimenez said that the focus for the Otters was on the defensive end. The Otters took a two-pronged approach — get the defensive stops and contain UCSD senior guard Daisy Feder.
“We really stuck to our game plan tonight,” Jimenez said to the Monterey Bay Athletics Department. “It sounds like a broken record, but our defense is winning games for us right now. We knew we hadn’t been shooting the ball well, and so we had to make UCSD earn every point.”
In the face of the defensive pressure, the Tritons clearly struggled, going 17-for-55 from the field and 3-for-18 from behind the arc.
“We had a very tough game against a very good Monterey team,” UCSD head coach Heidi Vanderveer said to the UCSD Athletics Department. “Defensively, they were very aggressive. I thought we battled, but down the stretch, we needed a couple of stops that we didn’t get.”
Man-marked throughout the game, Feder — UCSD’s top scorer — was held to 13 points, seven points under her season average. Junior forward Erin Dautremont was the only other Triton to figure in double digits, stacking 10 rebounds on her 10 points. The double-double is Dautremont’s third of the season.
On Saturday, Dautremont was UCSD’s majority threat on the boards against Cal State East Bay. The junior pulled down seven rebounds, but the game was mainly won by the Triton backcourt. Feder returned back in form against the Pioneers, leading all scorers with 19 points. Senior guard Emily Osga finished with 13 points, while sophomore forward McKennan Bertsch contributed 10 points.
“We had a great response to a tough game last night,” Vanderveer said to the UCSD Athletics Department. “We came out with a tremendous amount of energy, were aggressive and really set the tone with our defense.”
With the win, the Tritons improve to 7–3 in the CCAA, tangled in a three-way tie for second place with Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State Los Angeles. This weekend, UCSD continues its six-game road trip with two more Northern California opponents. On Friday, Jan. 25, UCSD faces San Francisco State (5–5) and on Saturday, the Tritons tip-off against Sonoma State (2–8).