SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - The No. 15 UC San Diego women's volleyball team suffered a 3-0 defeat at Cal State San Bernardino, the top-ranked team in the country, on the road Wednesday at Coussoulis Arena. Scores were 25-19, 25-14 and 25-21.
UCSD fell to 19-5 overall and 15-5 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), while CSUSB, which had already clinched the league title coming into tonight's match, remained perfect at 25-0 and 20-0. The Tritons have come out on the losing end in the last five matches against the Coyotes.
An off night on the attack and a huge night from CSUSB's Samantha Middleborn combined to snap UCSD's nine match win streak.
The Tritons posted a .043 (27-22-117) hitting percentage, their lowest of the season by far. The Coyotes countered at .246 (44-15-118). For just the second time this season, no Triton finished with 10 or more kills as Roxanne Brunsting led with eight. The setter/outside hitter posted her 17th double-double of the season with 10 assists and 14 digs.
Outside hitter Hillary Williamson hit a benchmark, recording 11 digs to go over 1,000 for her career. The Orange native needs just 24 more kills to hit 1,000 in that category. Libero Janessa Werhane also had 14 digs, while middle blocker Julia Freidenberg had three blocks for UCSD.
Middleborn, the reigning AVCA National Player of the Year, finished with 15 kills and six blocks, both match-highs. She hit .462 from the middle with only three errors in 26 total attack attempts. Morgan Carty was also on for San Bernardino, recording a .412 (8-1-17) attack percentage while adding a match-best 19 digs.
The Coyotes sided-out at 64%, while the Tritons were at 45%.
After UCSD won the first point of the match on a CSUSB attack error, the Coyotes came right back to score four straight and take a 4-1 lead, never to trail again. Two of the points came off Middleborn kills. With the score 7-3, the Tritons collected five of the next six points, two due to Williamson kills, to even the score at 8-8. That would be the second and final tie score in the set as the Tritons found themselves down by six points at 19-13. They did make it interesting by cutting the deficit to three at 22-19, but committed three straight errors, one from the service line and two on attacks, to give the set to CSUSB.
In set number two, San Bernardino wasted no time showing why they're the top-ranked team in the nation, exploding early to run out to an 8-1 lead. Three more Middleborn kills and three attack errors (two caused by Middleborn blocks) by UC San Diego played into the blast. The Tritons could never get anything going and a late run upped CSUSB's lead to 23-11. UCSD shook off two straight set points, but another attack error closed out the set, putting San Bernardino up 2-0.
The Coyotes grabbed the first two points of the third set and never looked back. With a three point lead at 10-7, San Bernardino added four straight to essentially put the set, and the match, on ice. At 19-13, UCSD got within three again after three CSUSB attack errors in a row, the third due to a block by Brunsting and Freidenberg. At 24-17, the Tritons rejected four match points. Two were due to attack errors, one came on a service ace by Brittany Lombardi and the other was off a kill by Rachelle Kinney. Middleborn recovered quickly from her recent hitting error and put away the final kill of the night to give the Coyotes the win.
Cal State San Bernardino swept the season series as the Coyotes took down the Tritons in four sets on Oct. 5 in La Jolla. CSUSB has lost just six total sets this season.
UCSD concludes its regular season with a pair of home matches this week. On Friday, Nov. 11 the Tritons host Cal State East Bay and Cal State Monterey Bay visits RIMAC Arena on Saturday, Nov. 12. Both matches start at 7 p.m. and Saturday's contest will feature a pre-match ceremony to honor the four senior members of this year's squad - Brunsting, Katie Condon, Werhane and Williamson.
UCSD students are admitted free to all home matches with a valid ID.
- UCSDtritons.com -