ELLENSBURG, Wash. - On the second day of the D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase, the University of California San Diego continued its winning ways, earning two more victories by defeating Azusa Pacific in four sets before sweeping Dixie State in the nightcap. The tournament is being hosted by Central Washington at Nicholson Pavilion.
UC San Diego 3, Azusa Pacific 1
Scores of the victory against APU went 25-21, 17-25, 25-15, and 27-25. The win avenged an earlier loss for the Tritons as they came up on the losing end of a 3-0 decision to the Cougars on Sept. 1 at Point Loma's Seaside Invitational.
Both squads are receiving votes in the most recent AVCA national poll.
"We competed hard against Azusa," said UCSD head coach Ricci Luyties. "We extended a lot of plays with the effort needed to beat a good team like APU. We've done a solid job this year coming back in a lot of situations where things aren't going our way. This team is learing to be resilient and that's a great quality for us to have."
The fourth and deciding set was a battle, featuring 10 tie scores and six lead changes. APU led by five points 19-14, and seemed to be on its way to forcing a fifth frame. However, UCSD scored seven unanswered points and led, 21-19, when the run was over. Kayla Evans had two service aces during the eruption. With the Tritons up 23-21, the Cougars went on a 4-1 run to get them to set point at 25-24. Again, UC San Diego rallied and took the final three points of the match on a kill by Molly Dalziel and two APU miscues - one a ball handling error, the other an attack error.
Four Tritons contributed 10 or more points in the match including Jessica Rieble (match-high 16.0), Dalziel (career-high 14.5), Amanda Colla (Carlsbad/San Dieguito Academy) (12.0), and Micah Hammond (10.5). Dalziel (11 kills, career-high 14 digs) and Colla (11 kills, 11 digs) each collected double-doubles. Alyson Penrose led UCSD with a career-high 17 digs, while Marie Paris led all players with 40 assists.
The Tritons were strong at the net, finishing with 11 team blocks. Rieble (three solos) and Hammond each had five, and Dalziel totaled four (one solo), also a career-high for the junior.
UC San Diego hit .157 (53-27-166), while Azusa Pacific hit .129 (44-25-147).
The Cougars held a 75-68 advantage in digs and had 10 team blocks. Julianne Miller led the team offensively with 12 kills, while Bailey Henington posted a match-high 18 digs.
UC San Diego 3, Dixie State 0
In just the second-ever meeting between the two teams, UC San Diego remained unbeaten against Dixie State by taking the straight-set win by scores of 25-14, 25-19, and 25-23.
Colla added another double-double to her growing list with 12 kills and 17 digs, which were both match-highs. She hit an incredible .458 (12-1-24) and also added three aces, two blocks, and an assist.
Rieble also turned in another clutch performance, hitting .500 (9-1-16) and logging six blocks (one solo). Paris had 35 assists and 12 digs and put down four kills with no errors in five swings, good for an .800 attack percentage.
The Tritons matched a season-high by hitting .272 with 44 kills and 13 errors in 114 attacks. They also continued their blocking ways, recording 10 on the night. UCSD has had at least 10 blocks in each of its last four outings.
The third set was the most competitive. With the score tied at 23-23, UCSD closed it out with two straight points on a Colla kill and a Red Storm attack error.
DSU scored the first point of sets one and two, but the Tritons quickly took over and would not trail again in either frame. In the third set, UCSD raced out to a 6-0 lead.
The Red Storm, which hit just .094 (34-22-127), was led offensively by Hannah Doonan's nine kills.
UC San Diego (6-1) completes play at the D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase Saturday with an 8 p.m. tilt against host Central Washington. The Wildcats are also receiving votes in the Sept. 4 AVCA national poll.