Tritons Crush CCAA Foes at Home

UCSD extends win streak against Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State Monterey Bay to shift into third place in the CCAA.

Photo by Megan Lee
Photo by Megan Lee

 

UCSD women’s volleyball hosted a pair of California Collegiate Athletic Association rivals on Friday and Saturday night at RIMAC Arena. The Tritons emerged victorious in both games, defeating Cal Poly Pomona three sets to one on Friday night and blanking Cal State Monterey Bay three sets to zero on Saturday night. UCSD moved up in sole possession of third place in the CCAA with a 15–9 overall record and an 11–5 CCAA record.

Game One

The UCSD women’s volleyball team defeated Cal Poly Pomona 3–1 on Friday evening at home at RIMAC Arena. The team dominated Cal Poly 25–11, 14–25, 25–14 and 25–17, winning three sets by more than eight points.

The Tritons had a hot start, posting the highest hitting number of the match in the first set, swinging at a .433 (15–2–30). The Tritons dominated right out of the gate in the first set and disposed of Pomona 25–11. It took the Broncos one set to get going offensively as they hit .026 (8–7–38) in the first set and then hit an excellent .429 (20–2–42) in the remainder of the game. This offensive performance allowed them to take the second set 25–14 to level the game at one set each. However, UCSD continued to push and ended up out-hitting Cal Poly Pomona .280 (52–12–143) to .160 (49–23–163), taking the third and fourth sets 25–14 and 25–17.

Junior outside hitter Meagan Wright led the way for the Tritons with 19 kills and 17 digs. Wright has now put together 15double-doubles for the season. She hit .500 with only one error in 36 attacks.

Senior middle blocker Kameron Cooper had 13 kills for the Tritons, and senior setter Heidi Sierks had 46 assists and a team-leading 17 digs for her 15th double-double, just like Wright, tying her for the most on the team. Sophomore libero Amanda Colla had 11 digs, and freshman libero Kayla Evans pitched in 15.

Danielle Dahle, the reigning CCCA Player of the Week, added 12 digs, six kills, an assist and an ace.

“We have changed our mindset,” Cooper told the UCSD Athletics Department. “We came into this game specifically with a 4–0 record, and we just said, ‘This is our house, and we defend it.’”

Cal Poly Pomona was lead by sophomore outside hitter Deanna Blaine’s 15 kills and senior libero Zoe Herrera’s match-high 29 digs. UCSD maintained an 8–4 advantage in blocks.

Game Two

Wright had another great game as UCSD beat Cal State Monterey Bay in straight sets 25–13, 25–15 and 25–23 Saturday at RIMAC Arena. Wright had 19 kills and 17 digs to lead the Tritons.

UCSD, with their sixth-consecutive win, improved to a 15–9 overall record and an 11–5 record in the CCAA, solidly installed in third place in the league. Cal State Monterey Bay is in a slump as they suffered another loss, bringing their record to 5–16 overall and 4–12 in CCAA play.

UCSD continued their strong offensive performance from recent weeks. With the score tied at nine in the first set, UCSD went on a 15-to-three run to close out the first set. In the second set, UCSD distanced itself from Cal State Monterey Bay early and never let them catch up, clinching a two-to-zero set lead. In the final set, the Tritons had an early 17-13 lead but could not hold on to it. The Otters battled back, even taking a 22–20 lead over the Tritons. UCSD held strong and used a five-to-one run to clinch.

Wright was strong once again hitting .441 with only four errors in 34 attacks, along with an assist and a block assist. Wright has 16 double-doubles this season and has tallied up at least 10 kills in 22 of 24 matches played. She repeated with a game as strong as Friday’s 3–1 win against Cal Poly, adding 19 kills and 17 digs.

Sierks had 30 assists and 10 digs. Sophomore middle blockers Alyssa McNeely and Rebecca Seaberry scored with five and four kills and two and six aces, respectively.

Senior outside hitter Jessica Malcolm led Cal State Monterey Bay with eight kills, and senior libero Rachel Cookus had a match-leading 21 digs.

UCSD hit .210 (40–15–119) to Cal State Monterey Bay’s .033 (27–23–123). The Tritons had a 65–55 lead in digs.

It was senior night for the Tritons and their last regular season home game. Four Tritons were honored at the end of the game: Cooper, Sierks, libero Bailey Turk and Dahle, the all-time leader in kills for the Tritons.

“They are some of the friendliest people that I know, and they have some of the best team chemistry,” Wright told the UCSD Athletics Department. “It helps when the team is really playing well. I’m just trying to help my team in any way I can.”

The Tritons play their last four regular-season games on the road. Next week, they head to Cal State Stanislaus on Nov. 6 and Chico State on Nov. 7.