at No. 20 Cal State San Bernardino (6-4, 2-0)
Wednesday, Sept. 25 • 7:00 p.m.
Coussoulis Arena • San Bernardino
at Cal State Stanislaus (4-7, 1-2)
Friday, Sept. 27 • 7:00 p.m.
Fitzpatrick Arena • Turlock
CCAA SPLIT START
UCSD went 1-1 during its opening week of CCAA play, defeating San Francisco State (3-0) and losing to No. 18 Sonoma State (3-1), both on the road. Against the Gators, the Tritons hit a season-best .309 and held the opponent to just an .070 attack. UCSD also held advantages in blocks (10-2), service aces (4-1) and digs (51-46). Heidi Sierks had a double-double with 33 assists and a career-high 14 digs. The next night, the Tritons were limited to a .203 attack and the Seawolves finished at an impressive .345. SSU's Caylie Seitz dominated play, piling up 29 kills and hitting .562. Sierks posted her fourth double-double of the season with a career-best 42 assists and 10 digs.
HIT AND RUN
UCSD's win at San Francisco State on Sept. 20 moved the team to 9-0, equaling its best run to start a season in the history of the program. The Tritons have started a campaign with nine straight wins on several occasions, including 2011.
The Tritons are in the midst a seven-match road swing, the longest stretch the team will be away from La Jolla during the regular season. RIMAC Arena won't host its next match until Oct. 11 when Cal State East Bay is in town. The Tritons have never played seven consecutive away CCAA matches.
For the first time this season, UCSD dropped in the AVCA national poll, sliding from No. 8 to No. 10. The top three remain the same this week - Minnesota Duluth, Concordia-St. Paul and Tampa. Two other CCAA teams are in the AVCA's top 25, including Sonoma State at 16 (up from 18) and Cal State San Bernardino at 20 (up from 22).
Last week, the Tritons were one of 22 teams in the nation to be undefeated - that number has dropped to 10 this week ... UCSD has won 28 of 33 sets played so far this year ... UCSD's 10 blocks at San Francisco State were a season-high ... UCSD's eight aces at Sonoma State matched a season-best ... Four Tritons have recorded a combined 14 double-doubles, including Danielle Dahle (5) (La Mesa/Grossmont HS), Heidi Sierks (4), Sophie Rowe (3) and Amber Hawthorne (2) ... Sierks posted the team's only double-double performances this past week ... The Tritons have played a team named the Seawolves for two straight weeks - Sonoma State on Sept. 21 and Alaska Anchorage on Sept. 14.
As a team, UCSD ranks 10th in kills/set (14.36), 13th in assists/set (13.33), 35th in blocks/set (2.24), 36th in digs/set (17.58) and 41st in hitting percentage (.233). Individually, Kameron Cooper is 39th in blocks/set (1.12) and Sara McCutchan is 47th in hitting percentage (.364).
HEAD COACH RICCI LUYTIES
UCSD head coach Ricci Luyties is in his fourth season leading the Tritons. Over his first three campaigns in La Jolla, he registered a 61-26 overall record, good for a .701 win percentage. Entering 2013, Luyties has paced UCSD to a 47-19 (.712) mark in CCAA play. Prior to coming to UCSD, Luyties spent six seasons as the head coach at Southern Mississippi. A two-time All-American setter and Hall of Fame member at UCLA, he helped the Bruins win four consecutive national titles between 1981 and 1984. UCLA posted an amazing 126-7 record, which included a pair of undefeated seasons, during Luyties' career. A two-time NCAA Most Valuable Player, his No. 11 UCLA jersey was retired in 1996. A member of the U.S. National Team from 1981-88, Luyties won a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. On the beach, Luyties competed regularly on the AVP Tour and FIVB World Tour for 12 years, partnering with the likes of Karch Kiraly and Adam Johnson.
WHAT DO THE COACHES THINK?
UCSD was picked to finish second in the 2013 CCAA standings by the league's coaches. Topping the poll was seven-time defending champion Cal State San Bernardino. Following the Tritons, in order, were Sonoma State, Cal State L.A., Chico State, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State East Bay, San Francisco State, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Monterey Bay, Cal State Stanislaus and Humboldt State.
ABOUT THE COYOTES
Cal State San Bernardino (6-4, 2-0) moved from No. 22 to No. 20 in this week's national poll after a 2-0 opening CCAA weekend. The Coyotes swept at No. 18 Sonoma State and came from behind to take down San Francisco State in five sets, also on the road. Alexandra Torline leads the team with her 3.78 points/set average. Arielle McCullough is averaging 5.05 digs/set and Brenna McIntosh is averaging 1.12 blocks/set.
ABOUT THE SERIES
UCSD is 30-22 all-time against Cal State San Bernardino. The squads split the series in 2012 with each team winning on its home court in five sets. The Tritons came back from two sets down to earn their victory. CSUSB has won nine of the last 13 match-ups.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS
Cal State Stanislaus comes into Friday's match at 4-7 overall and 1-2 in CCAA play. The Warriors opened their league slate with back-to-back losses against Chico State (1-3) and Cal State East Bay (0-3) before downing Cal State Monterey Bay in five sets. All three of last week's contests were on the road. Blair Ehrlich averages a team-best 3.45 kills/set, while Sarah Crowl is averaging 5.60 digs/set and Taylor Massengale is blocking .78 balls/set.
ABOUT THE SERIES
UCSD has dominated the all-time series against CSU Stanislaus, holding a commanding 29-3 advantage. The Tritons have won the last five match-ups and have not lost to the Warriors since September of 2010 in Turlock.
ABOUT THE WILDCATS
Chico State brings a 6-4 overall record and a perfect 3-0 CCAA mark into this week. Last week, the Wildcats defeated Cal State Stanislaus (3-1) at home and Cal State Monterey Bay (3-2) and Cal State East Bay (3-1) on the road. Ellie Larronde is putting down 4.13 kills/set, Emily Duran is averaging 3.74 digs/set and Natalie Nordahl is averaging .96 blocks/set. Chico entertains No. 20 Cal State San Bernardino Friday night.
ABOUT THE SERIES
UCSD leads Chico State, 24-6, in the all-time series. The teams split the season series in 2012, with UCSD winning, 3-1, in La Jolla and CSUC winning, 3-0, in Chico.
UCSD Athletics has partnered with Advanced-Online to provide a web-based, on-demand option for UCSD apparel and merchandise. Fans have access to over 600 products that can be processed and shipped within 24 hours. Visit the site at UCSDTritonsGear.com.
THE BIG PICTURE
We want to reward you for posting your creative photos. Tweet or Instagram your pics from any UCSD Athletics event and include our #TritonsRising hashtag. At the end of every month, we'll pick our favorite photos and dole out some swag to the winners!
Looking ahead to next week, the Tritons wrap up their seven-match road trip, playing at Cal Poly Pomona on Oct. 3 and at Humboldt State on Oct. 5.