UCSD Ends CCAA Conference in Third Place

    UCSD Ends CCAA Conference in Third Place

    Tritons end regular season, falling to San Bernardino and Los Angeles before beating Dominguez Hills

    After dropping crucial games to Cal State Los Angeles and Cal State Bernardino last weekend, the UCSD women’s volleyball team wrapped up its regular season on Saturday with a four-set victory over Cal State Dominguez Hills at RIMAC Arena.

    The Tritons finish the season 25–5 overall and 17–5 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association — dropping from second place last week to their final spot in third place.

    “We went through two very emotional and tough losses this week”, UCSD head coach Ricci Luyties said Saturday. “We were close in both but didn’t win. I told them [before the last match] we can start a new winning streak right now. Coming back after those emotional losses is always tough, but I think they came out and played pretty well.”

    On Wednesday the conference’s top two teams clashed at RIMAC Arena. The Tritons were hungry for revenge after losing on the road 3–1 to Cal State Bernardino earlier in the season, and with enough wins last week, the Tritons still had a chance to take the conference.

    UCSD took the first two sets, but the Coyotes stormed back and won the next two. Down 14–12 a tandem block by Caitlin Brenton and Sara McCutchan, along with an attack error by the Coyotes tied it at 14–14. UCSD had match point at 16–15 but recorded an error and got blocked at the net to end the match 16–18 in Cal State Bernardino’s favor to hand the Coyotes their eight consecutive CCAA title.

    Friday, No. 12 ranked UCSD took on Cal State Los Angeles to defend the second spot in the conference. The Golden Eagles’ good hitting percentage and service pressure caused Triton losses in the first two sets in The Eagles’ nest.
    UCSD answered by out-blocking Cal State Los Angeles in the next set. The final set featured 13 tie scores and seven lead changes. The Tritons had a match point attempt at 27–26, but UCSD ultimately fell in its second straight loss after the Golden Eagles closed out the match with three consecutive points.

    Saturday the Tritons were back at RIMAC Arena for their final match of the regular season against Cal State Dominguez Hills. The Tritons, who won last time the two met, had control for most of the match. After dropping the third set 25–19, UCSD took the early lead in the final set with good serving pressure and solid blocking, to hold on to the 25–16 lead.
    Saturday marked the final career regular season match for seniors Lizzy Andrews, Rachelle Kinney, Sara McCutchan and Brittany Lombardi. All four contributed against Dominguez Hills, but Ricci Luyties took note of Lombardi’s standout senior season.

    On Wednesday, she broke the program’s single season dig record with 560 digs in 2013.

    “It has been a really year and I’m going to miss the girls”, Lombardi said after the match Saturday. “But first we are going to continue our winning streak into the playoffs.”

    UCSD will now wait until Monday, Nov. 25, when the NCAA Tournament bracket is set to be announced, to learn of its postseason fate. Regionals run from Dec. 5 to Dec. 8 while the NCAA Championships take place Dec. 12 to Dec. 14 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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