Tritons Conclude Season

    Volleyball splits on the road in final pair of matches. 

    Women’s volleyball ended the season this past weekend with mixed results. The Tritons fell 3–1 on Friday to California State University East Bay but won the following day in a sweep over California State University Monterey Bay. UCSD ended the regular season at 14–12 overall and 12–10 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

    Even with senior opposite Caitlin Brenton’s 18 kills, the Tritons could not power through East Bay’s hitting advantage. The Pioneers averaged .256 on the night to just .190 averaged by UCSD. The Tritons won the first set 25-19, dropped the following two and were just edged out 29–27 in the final set for the Pioneer win, despite outhitting them .231 to .226.

    In addition to Brenton’s standout performance, junior setter Heidi Sierks earned her 20th double-double of the 2014 season with 39 assists and 17 digs while sophomore outside hitter Makensie Bates tallied 22 digs, and freshman outside hitter Amanda Colla had 13 kills and 10 digs.

    Saturday’s victory at The Kelp Bed was the closing match of the 2014 season and marked a three-game straight sweep over Cal State Monterey Bay. UCSD easily commanded the offensive advantage through all three sets, hitting .317 compared to the Otter’s .262 on the night.

    Brenton continued her kill streak alongside junior middle blocker Kameron Cooper, who had 13 kills and freshman middle blocker Alyssa McNeely, who had 12. Sierks added a double-double with 43 assists and 10 digs, bringing her season total to 21.

    “We came into the match focused and ready to play,” UCSD head coach Ricci Luyties told the UCSD Athletic Department. “Even though we started down early, we didn’t get rattled. It was nice to see everyone respond to their good plays with confidence and know that our time would come.”

    The win marked the second time in the year the Tritons swept Monterey Bay; the first time was at RIMAC Arena on Oct. 10.

    “Everyone came up big in crunch time,” Luyties said. “They really played together as a team tonight.”

    UCSD ended the season tied for sixth in the CCAA but did not place in the top eight in the NCAA’s Western Region, effectively ending the Tritons’ 2014 campaign.

    “We didn’t finish how we wanted,” Luyties told the UCSD Guardian. “We’re always striving for the playoffs and we lost a lot of close sets and some things didn’t go our way, but we played hard all year.”

    Brenton and junior outside hitter Danielle Dahle were recognized by the CCAA for their performances this year. Brenton was selected for All-CCAA First Team honors. She led the Tritons with 337 kills, a kill-per-set average of 3.30, a hitting average of .254 and in points with 409.5 this season — placing fourth in kills and points and fifth in points-per-set for the entire CCAA. Dahle was noted as an honorable mention, holding second in kills with 278 and 310 points with nine double-doubles in 2014 while surpassing her 1,000th kill mark.

    As Brenton is the only senior, most of the team is expected to return for the 2015 season next fall.

    “We’re getting a lot of players back next year,” Luyties told the UCSD Guardian. “We’ve got a whole new team coming in and a lot of the players who were redshirted this year will make us a lot more competitive next year.”

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