LA JOLLA, Calif. - Micah Hammond put away a match-high 16 kills and the Tritons totaled 12 blocks as the University of California San Diego won its California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) opener, 3-1 over cross-county rival Cal State San Marcos Saturday evening at RIMAC Arena.
Scores of the match were 25-17, 24-26, 29-27, and 25-18 in favor of UC San Diego, which improved to 7-2 on the season. CSUSM dropped to 3-6 overall and 0-1 in league play.
Hammond, a junior transfer from El Camino College, hit a blistering .452 with the 16 kills and only two errors in 31 attack attempts. The middle blocker also added four block assists for an 18-point night.
Senior outside hitter Amanda Colla (Carlsbad/San Dieguito Academy) finished with 13 kills, 20 digs, and two blocks (one solo), while junior outside Molly Dalziel and sophomore middle blocker Jessica Rieble each had 10 kills. Rieble led the charge at the net with six blocks (two solos). Sophomore libero Alyson Penrose had a career-high 27 digs for the Tritons.
The 12 blocks were a season-high for UCSD and the team's most since it racked up 16 against Cal State San Marcos on Nov. 12, 2016. It marked the fifth time this season that the Tritons totaled at least 10 blocks in a match.
CSUSM led early in the first set, but a six-point run put UCSD up 7-3 and the Tritons would lead the rest of the way.
The second set was the first of two to go into extra points. With UC San Diego up 24-23 following a Hammond kill, Cal State San Marcos scored three consecutive points to take the game and even the match at 1-1.
Tied at 27-27 in the third frame, Colla and Hammond dropped back-to-back kills to give their team a 29-27 victory. The Tritons hit .389 (23-2-54) in the set.
UC San Diego raced out to an 8-1 lead in set four and later led by a 22-9 count. CSUSM mounted a couple of runs to get within six points at 24-18, but a Dalziel/Rieble block ended the match.
UCSD hit .164 (61-29-195) and CSUSM hit .096 (49-31-187) on the night.
For the Cougars, Taylor Dixon had 13 kills and Maddy Newcombe added 10. Faith Fortune was strong up front, finishing her night with eight blocks, three of those solos. Grecia Cordero-Barr had a match-high 33 digs.
With the win, the Tritons improved to 15-3 in home openers and 12-6 in CCAA openers since moving to NCAA Division II status and joining the league in 2000.
UC San Diego plays its next two matches at home as well, hosting conference opponents Stanislaus State and Chico State on Sept. 22 and Sept. 23, respectively. Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m. starts.