THIS WEEK’S EVENTS:
A UCSD-record crowd of 3,906 filled RIMAC Arena for Friday night's basketball doubleheader.
Sun., Feb. 3—Fencing—UCSD at Northwestern—8:00 AM
Sun., Feb. 3—Softball—UCSD at Mizuno Best of the West Invitational—All Day
Sun., Feb. 3—Baseball—UCSD vs. Western Oregon—Noon
SPIKERS HOST PRINCETON, PEPPERDINE AND USC
After moving into the national rankings for the first time this year and subsequently dropping a pair of matches in Hawaii, the Men’s Volleyball team returns home for three games at RIMAC Arena this week...The 15th-ranked Tritons come into Wednesday’s match with Princeton sporting a 2-5 record after losing to No. 13 Hawaii twice in Honolulu...No. 2 Pepperdine and No. 11 USC visit La Jolla on Friday and Saturday respectively.
On Wednesday, Hawaii knocked off the Tritons, 3-1 (30-25, 27-30, 30-25, 30-27) despite 21 kills from UCSD sophomore Jason Spangler...UCSD hit .221 as a team with Russ Hardy (15), Gerald Houseman (11) and Frank Fritsch (10) also reaching double figures in the kills column...Spangler had two aces and 13 digs and junior libero Eric Leserman racked up 14 digs.
Two nights later, UCSD pushed the Warriors to five games before coming out on the short end of a 3-2 (30-25, 30-24, 28-30, 27-30, 15-7) decision...Fritsch was the big hammer on this night, pounding 25 kills while Spangler added 21 and Hardy 12...The Tritons hit a combined .387 in games three and four but were held to negative percentage in the conclusive fifth set as Hawaii bolted out to a 10-1 lead and cruised home from there.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL WINS TWO; ONE OF OUT CONFERENCE LEAD
Coach Charity Elliott’s Women’s Basketball team, inching back into the CCAA race after grinding out a pair of home wins last weekend, faces a pair of critical road tests, at Chico State Friday and Cal State Stanislaus Saturday...The Tritons, 15-5 overall and 7-3 in league play, downed both of this week’s foes at RIMAC Arena in December...They’re tied for third place in the CCAA, one game out of first place and own wins over both of the teams in front of them (Chico State and Cal State San Bernardino).
Four players scored in double digits as the Tritons put away San Francisco State, 64-58, Friday night...Although sputtering at times, UCSD put it together when it had to and never trailed in the second half of this one...Senior Meaghan Noud led the scoring parade with 14 points, followed by Alexis Gaskin (12), Michelle Osier (11) and Alexis Mezzetta (10)...Gaskin also pulled down 11 rebounds, recording a double double, and sophomore Erin Noonan corralled nine caroms...Mezzetta had four assists.
UCSD had less than its “A” game Saturday but again gained the desired results, putting away Cal State Monterey Bay, 68-51...Up, 17-4, out of the gate, the Tritons left the court with just a three-point edge at halftime...They quickly regained control with four different players scoring the first nine points of the second half and extended the margin to 20 while coasting to the buzzer...Osier accounted for 13 points and owned the glass, gathering a career high 20 rebounds...Noud hit four threes while recording a game high 22 markers to go with six boards.
MEN’S BASKETBALL DROPS TWO HEARTBREAKERS; ROAD PAIR NEXT
Trying to re-group after seeing its six-game home winning streak snapped in a pair of disheartening overtime affairs last weekend, the Men’s Basketball team travels to Northern California where it will square off against Chico State and Cal State Stanislaus, two teams it defeated at RIMAC Arena in December...Coach Chris Carlson’s club will begin the trek with a 9-6 overall mark and now sits in a three-way tie for fourth in the CCAA standings at 6-4.
Before a RIMAC Arena record 3,906 fans Friday night, the Tritons saw San Francisco State score the first 12 points in overtime, falling, 68-58, in a defensive struggle...UCSD never seemed to get untracked offensively, shooting a measly 32.7% from the floor and just 4-of-19 from three-point range...Senior Andrew Hatch had 12 points to top all Triton scorers...Juniors Kelvin Kim and Darryl Lawlor totaled 10 each with the latter also grabbing five rebounds.
Saturday night, senior Henry Patterson was an unstoppable offensive force, scoring 37 points on 18-of-20 shooting, while snagging five boards and handing out four assists...It all went for naught, though, as UCSD let a nine point lead slip away in the final 47 seconds of regulation, ultimately losing, 97-93, to Cal State Monterey Bay in double overtime...The Tritons shot a sizzling 56.9% from the field but the Otters, the CCAA’s top three-point shooting team, knocked down 13-of-22 treys and never seemed to miss down the stretch...Sophomore Jordan Lawley had 15 points, Kim knocked down 14 and senior Clint Allard chipped in with 13...Kim and Allard both had four assists and junior Shane Poppen led with seven rebounds.
NO. 14 WOMEN’S WATER POLO DOWNS COLORADO STATE IN OPENER
Coach Larry Sanders’ Women’s Water Polo team takes the week off before playing its 2008 home opener next Thursday against No. 10 Hartwick (NY) at Canyonview Pool...Sanders’ 14th-ranked Tritons will come into the Hartwick contest 1-4 after opening the season on the road last week.
Junior Sydney Gstettenbauer exploded for a career high seven goals as UCSD rocked host Colorado State, 20-8, in its opening game last Thursday in Fort Collins, CO...The Tritons raced out to a 12-2 halftime advantage and were never threatened...Seniors Judy Emaus and Nicole Hermann added three goals apiece as eight different players hit the scoring column...Kim Hockett and Markayla Quane split time in goal.
It was then on to Ann Arbor, MI for the 16-team Michigan Tournament...UCSD faced No. 7 San Jose State in its first game Saturday...After a taut first quarter ended with San Jose State up, 4-3, the Spartans tallied four unanswered goals en route to a 9-5 victory ...Emaus led UCSD with two goals...Later that day, Janice Aguilar scored a pair of goals but the Tritons couldn’t match the firepower of No.1-ranked UCLA in a 14-5 loss.
Sunday, the scores were tighter but the results were the same for Sanders & Co....Host Michigan held off a late rally to top UCSD, 6-5, in the early game...Down, 5-2, the Tritons scored three goals in the final period but were not able to convert the equalizer against the No. 18 Wolverines... Hermann got two scores in the losing cause...Later, UCSD gave Arizona State a two-goal lead at halftime and the No. 11 Sun Devils made it stand up for a 6-4 win...Gstettenbauer accounted for three goals and Aguilar the fourth.
BASEBALL OPENS WITH FOUR-GAME SET VS. WESTERN OREGON
Division II foe Western Oregon visits La Jolla this weekend for a four-game series as Coach Dan O’Brien’s Baseball squad begins its quest for a repeat trip to the NCAA Division II Tournament...The two teams will play single games Friday and Sunday sandwiched around a Saturday twinbill...UCSD was ranked 15th in the NCAA Division II pre-season poll.
O’Brien’s club won a school record-tying 37 games in 2007 and five all-conference players, headed by Division II All-American Matt Cantele, return...Cantele, a junior first baseman, became UCSD’s first-ever D-II All-American as a sophomore, clubbing a UCSD record 23 HRs to go with 60 RBIs and a .365 batting average...He’s joined in the infield by vets Garrett Imeson (2B), Vance Albitz (SS) and Chris Franco (3B)...Imeson and Albitz were All-CCAA picks a year ago, as were right-handed pitcher Trevor Decker and closer Derek Barham.
SOFTBALL DEBUTS AT BEST OF THE WEST TOURNEY
Coming off a 34-win season that resulted in its second NCAA Division II Playoff berth, the Softball team opens its 2008 campaign at the Mizuno Best of the West Invitational in Turlock this weekend...The Tritons will face Davis & Elkins (10:15 AM) and Humboldt State (12:30 PM) on Friday, CSU Dominguez Hills (12:15 PM) and CSU Stanislaus (2:30 PM) on Saturday and conclude against CSU Monterey Bay (10:00 AM) and Grand Canyon (12:15 PM) Sunday.
Starting her 16th season at UCSD, 2007 CCAA Coach of the Year Patti Gerckens will be able to draw on a solid veteran core, anchored by seniors Melissa Ward and Jenny Maze, both All-CCAA second team picks as juniors...Ward posted 27 wins last spring and is UCSD’s all-time leader with 47 in her career...Likewise, third baseman Maze is No. 1 on the Triton career home run chart with 25 and second with 93 RBIs...UCSD’s lineup will also feature CCAA Freshman of the Year Nicole Saari behind the plate and the middle infield combo of senior Danielle Lukk (2B) and sophomore Mandy Eliades (SS).
UC RIVERSIDE, AZUSA PACIFIC FIRST UP FOR MEN’S TENNIS
Looking to build on the best season in the program’s history, Coach Eric Steidlmayer’s Men’s Tennis team kicks off its 2008 campaign with a pair of tough road matches at Division I UC Riverside (Friday) and perennial NAIA power Azusa Pacific (Saturday)... The Tritons, who went all the way to the NCAA Division II semi-finals last May, lost to UCR, 5-4, and defeated APU, 5-4, a year ago.
Senior Eric Rubens and sophomore Bijan Moallemi will be the kingpins for UCSD in singles play and Steidlmayer will be looking to the group of Kazumi Negishi, Alex Placek, Blake Meister, Ramesh Thondapu, Chad Becker and Vincent Nguyen to fill out the other four slots...Rubens and Meister, who captured the ITA Division II doubles championship last fall, are penciled in as the No. 1 doubles duo.
WOMEN’S TENNIS OPENS AT AZUSA PACIFIC
Coach Liz La Plante begins her 29th season at the helm of the Women’s Tennis team as the Tritons travel to NAIA Azusa Pacific Saturday...La Plante figures to have somewhat of a re-tooled lineup in which as many as four of the six singles players could be newcomers...The top returnees from last year’s CCAA Championship and NCAA Tournament team are junior Ina Dan and senior Justine Fonte.
GOLFERS FACE LOCAL RIVALS THURSDAY
It will be a decidedly youthful lineup that Coach Mike Wydra fields when his Triton Golf team tees it up Thursday in the San Diego Collegiate Classic at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista...Wydra’s six-man roster will include three juniors—Billy Olsen, Nathan Phan and Ryan Bailey—and three sophomores—Austin Alfonso, Alex Schmitt and Jiweon Seo.
The one-day, 36-hole event will also include San Diego State, USD, Cal State San Marcos and Point Loma.
TRITON NEWS & NOTES
Revelle College captured the 2008 Spirit Night Trophy, out-pointing defending champion Marshall College with Roosevelt College taking third...It was Revelle’s first win since 2005 and its fourth overall...The combination of Women’s Soccer and Men’s Crew prevailed in the annual Triton Athletes’ Council Relay at Saturday’s swim meet.
The centerpiece of Baseball's annual alumni weekend was a moving tribute to former player Pat "PQ" Quinn (1986) who passed away late last year...On the field, recent grad Matt Lawson was the home run hitting champ and Dr. Eric Zimmer, the elder statesman among the active participants, went 4-for-4 to snag unofficial MVP honors.
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