Photo by: Derrick Tuskan
Gina Cortesi had a career-high 20 kills Friday.

Tritons Come Up Just Short in Thriller vs. No. 1 Cal State San Bernardino

UCSD

LA JOLLA, Calif. - With Halloween just around the corner, the University of California San Diego put a scare into the nation's top team but fell in five sets against Cal State San Bernardino in women's volleyball action Friday night. Scores from RIMAC Arena were 25-21, 26-28, 25-20, 26-28, and 15-13.

UC San Diego fell to 6-9 overall and 2-7 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), while CSUSB improved to 17-1 on the season and remained unbeaten in conference play at 10-0.

The thriller was tied a total of 38 times, which included eight deadlocks in the deciding fifth set. The final tie came when a big double block from Tritons Allison Tiegs and Cindy Tran brought it to 13-13. However, the Coyotes closed it out with back-to-back points on a Sascha Dominique kill and an attack error by UC San Diego.

In the fourth set, UC San Diego found itself down by as many as eight points. At 21-16, the Tritons rallied to score six consecutive times to take a 22-21 lead, their first advantage of the set. Sydney Tekstra put down three kills during the run. UC San Diego later turned aside two match points and, at 26-26, forced the fifth set with two blocks - a solo by Tiegs and a double by Tiegs and Tran. 

The second frame saw the Tritons survive four set points. A Tekstra kill tied it at 26-26, while a Coyote attack error and a kill by Jessica Rieble gave the set to UC San Diego and evened the match at 1-1.

Gina Cortesi finished with a career-high 20 kills, while Rieble and Tekstra each totaled 13 for the Tritons. Cortesi added 16 digs for a double-double and Tran set a new career-best with 21 digs. Tiegs finished with eight blocks (three solos), also a career-high.

UC San Diego hit .191 (68-31-194) and had 11 blocks. The Tritons held a slim, 86-84 lead in digs.

San Bernardino's Alexis Cardoza led all players with 27 kills on 71 attack attempts. Jayann DeHoog racked up 65 assists and 21 digs. The Coyotes hit .215 (71-28-200) and matched the Tritons with 11 blocks.

Cal State San Bernardino defeated UC San Diego in four sets at Coussoulis Arena back on Sept. 22.

The last time the Tritons had faced a No. 1 team was in 2015 when they lost in four sets against the University of Tampa.

UC San Diego hosts another nationally-ranked team Saturday as No. 24 Cal Poly Pomona (15-3, 8-2) visits RIMAC Arena. The Broncos swept Cal State San Marcos Friday night.

Saturday's contest will be the sixth annual Reis Cup in remembrance of former Triton Karen Reis. First serve is set for 7 p.m. and UC San Diego students are admitted free. 

#BigWestBound

About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles, and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in the summer of 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's pre-eminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.

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