Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
Sophomore setter Amber Hawthorne had four kills, 28 assists, two aces, seven digs and five blocks against UCCS.
Tritons Split Again at Grand Canyon Invitational
Release: Saturday 09/01/2012 

PHOENIX, Ariz. - For the second straight day, the No. 17 UC San Diego women's volleyball team split a pair of matches at the Grand Canyon Invitational Saturday, losing 3-0 against 13th-ranked Metro State University and rebounding to sweep the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.


UC San Diego 3, Colorado-Colorado Springs 0
Outside hitter Rachel Gam made the most of her first career start, putting down a match- and career-high 15 kills to help lead UCSD to the blanking of UCCS. Scores were 25-21, 25-20 and 25-14 as the Tritons improved to 2-2 on the season.

Gam, who redshirted the 2011 season, hit .303 (15-5-33) while adding an assist, three digs and a blocks.

Freshman outside hitter Danielle Dahle registered nine kills, 12 digs and two blocks and sophomore setter Amber Hawthorne finished with four kills, 28 assists, two aces, seven digs and five blocks. Sophomore middle Sara McCutchan also put together a solid all-around match with three kills, four aces and four blocks and sophomore libero Lizzy Andrews had a match-high 15 digs.

"Our offense finally flowed," said UCSD head coach Ricci Luyties. "Amber (Hawthorne) had a nice match by playing a complete game and setting the hitters in the right places. Rachel (Gam) had her best offensive match and showed she is capable of leading the team in kills."

Colorado Springs was led by Nikki Kinzer and Amy Einspahr, who posted eight and six kills, respectively. Katie Maguire had a team-high 14 digs.

The Tritons hit .195 (38-16-113) while the Mountain Lions hit just .008 with 29 kills and 28 errors in 120 attacks.

It was the first time the two teams had ever met.


Metro State 3, UC San Diego 0
A season-low .058 attack percentage was UCSD's downfall in Saturday morning's contest against Metro State.

Scores were 26-24, 25-14 and 25-11 in favor of MSU, which improved to 3-1 on the season.

UCSD had just 24 kills and committed 18 errors in 104 attacks. Four Tritons finished with a negative hitting percentage.

On the other side of the net, the Roadrunners swung at .269 with 38 kills and 10 errors, matching UCSD with 104 total attacks.

The opening set featured 12 tie scores. A service ace by McCutchan gave UCSD a 24-23 lead, forcing Metro State to call a timeout. When play resumed, the Roadrunners ripped off three straight kills - one each by Lauren Quijano, Vanessa Gemignani and Amy Wong - to close out the set.

The Tritons never held a lead in sets two and three.

Dahle and McCutchan each had five kills, while Edrina Nazaradeh added four, a career-high for the sophomore middle blocker. Andrews finished with 13 digs.

Quijano led all players with 10 kills and Alex Green posted a match-high 15 digs. Wong had eight kills and 13 digs.

Both teams tallied five blocks.

"We had chances to win the first set and never recovered after that," said Luyties. "Our offense wasn't in synch, but I'm hoping we figure it out for our last match."

MSU upset Cal State San Bernardino, ranked third in the country, in four sets Friday.


Dahle was named to the All-Tournament Team as she totaled 47 kills, 52 digs and 53 points over the four matches. She recorded two double-doubles with 18 kills and 17 digs vs. Western New Mexico and 15 kills and 15 digs against Grand Canyon. Dahle had 12 or more digs in three of the four matches.

The Tritons play at Sonoma State's Seawolf Spike tournament on Friday, Sept. 7 and Saturday, Sept. 8. Also competing in Rohnert Park will be Central Washington, Dominican, Seattle Pacific and Western Washington.

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