Tritons Split on First Day of Action in Fresno
FRESNO, Calif. - On the opening day of the Division II West Region Showcase Friday, the University of California San Diego women's volleyball team split two matches, sweeping host Fresno Pacific and losing to Chaminade in three sets.
UC San Diego is now 3-1 on the young season.
Against FPU (0-5), scores were 25-16, 25-12, and 25-22.
UC San Diego hit .297 for the match, posting a .370 in the first set and a blistering .448 in the second. The Tritons held sizable advantages in most other statistical categories as well, including kills (46-28), service aces (8-2), digs (45-33), and blocks (10-4).
"It was good to see the team come back from a tough morning loss and play well," said ninth-year UC San Diego head coach Ricci Luyties. "It would have been easy for the players to get down on themselves mentally, but they showed the resilience that you're always hoping a team will have."
Junior middle blocker Jessica Rieble, an all-conference performer in 2017, led all players with 14.5 points on 11 kills, five block assists, and an ace. She hit a career-high .714, committing just a single error in 14 attacks.
Sophomore outside hitter Gina Cortesi, a transfer from Louisiana Tech, was just behind Rieble with 13.5 points on 11 kills and four blocks (one solo). She hit a solid .450 (11-2-20) and added nine digs, coming up just short of her third double-double of the season.
Freshmen Maria Mayhew and Brie Severino (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS) split time at the setter position, amassing 18 and 20 assists, respectively. Mayhew also put down three aces. Junior libero Alyson Penrose had a match-high 13 digs.
"Maria and Brie set a nice match and made it easy for our hitters to be successful," said Luyties.
UC San Diego dominated the first two sets, siding out at 87 percent in the first and 92 percent in the second. Down 9-8 in the opening frame, the Tritons scored three unanswered points to go back up and they stayed in front the rest of the way. At 17-13, a four-point run essentially sealed the win. With the Sunbirds up 2-1 early in the second set, the Tritons rattled off four straight points and owned a lead from there. At 18-11, UC San Diego scored seven of the set's final eight points.
The third set saw a late rally from Fresno Pacific. With UC San Diego leading 23-18, the Sunbirds grabbed four straight points to get back within one. However, the Tritons called a timeout and returned to put the match away quickly as Cortesi and Rieble floored back-to-back kills.
The Sunbirds were led offensively by Christina Tran's seven kills.
In the day's first contest, scores were 25-22, 25-12, and 25-23 in favor of Chaminade (3-0).
The Tritons hit just .156 with 32 kills, while the Swords swung at .320 and had 47 kills.
"I don't know if I've ever seen as many point chances squandered as we had in this match," said Luyties. We had a lot of trouble executing our game plan and committed way too many errors to beat a solid team like Chaminade."
Cindy Tran had 13.0 points on 10 kills, four block assists, and an ace. Dalziel, Hammond, and Rieble all had five kills.
The first set featured 12 tie scores and four lead changes. Down by two points at 18-16, UC San Diego scored four of the next five points, two on blocks, to lead 21-19. However, Chaminade returned the favor by taking six of the final seven points, four coming due to Triton attack errors.
It was all Swords in the second set as they went ahead 3-2 and never looked back. At 17-10, they exploded for six consecutive points to build an insurmountable 23-10 advantage.
The Tritons showed fight late in the third set. Chaminade was on the verge of putting the match away at 23-17, but UC San Diego stayed alive with five straight points. Rieble and Tran both had a kill and a block during the run that got them within a single point at 23-22. The teams traded the next two points, but a kill by PacWest Conference Player of the Week Emma Tecklenburg gave Chaminade the victory to keep her team undefeated.
Alana Handy had a match-high 15.0 points for the Swords, tallying 14 kills and a solo block to go along with 11 digs. Tecklenburg had a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs.
It was the first-ever loss for the Tritons against the Swords in seven meetings.
UC San Diego plays two final matches at the tournament Saturday, facing off against Simon Fraser (8:30 a.m.) and Seattle Pacific (5:30 p.m.). Both tilts can be followed with live stats.