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Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
Head coach Ricci Luyties talks things over with Sara McCutchan.
Big Five-Set Win Highlights UCSD's Day at Seawolf Spike
Release: Saturday 09/07/2012 
by UCSD

ROHNERT PARK, Calif. - A huge comeback win over Western Washington highlighted the UC San Diego women's volleyball team's opening day of play at the Seawolf Spike, hosted by Sonoma State. The Tritons couldn't keep the momentum going as they fell later in the day to Central Washington.

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UCSD 3, Western Washington 2
Freshman Danielle Dahle went off for 26 kills to lead the No. 25 UC San Diego women's volleyball team to a five-set, come-from-behind upset over No. 18 Western Washington Friday morning to kick off the Seawolf Spike tournament hosted by Sonoma State.

After dropping the first two sets by scores of 25-21 and 25-15, UCSD completely turned things around to take the next three frames, 25-20, 25-21 and 15-13.

"It was a great comeback for us and it's something we can take into the rest of the season, knowing that we can recover from not playing well early in a match," said UCSD head coach Ricci Luyties.

Dahle registered the third double-double of her season, adding 10 digs to go along with her match- and career-high kill total. The outside hitter also had three service aces and four blocks while hitting .361 with just four errors in 61 attacks.

Sara McCutchan also had a stellar match for the Tritons, putting away a career-high 19 kills while hitting .531 (19-2-32). The sophomore middle also collected seven blocks, another career-best.

"Sara was amazing, she was unstoppable," said Luyties.

For the second straight match, redshirt freshman outside Rachel Gam posted a double-digit kill total with 13.

Junior Brittany Lombardi and freshman Katy Woodward each had 14 digs. Sophomore setter Amber Hawthorne led UCSD to a .274 (70-21-179) attack with a career-high 58 assists.

Three Vikings had 10 or more kills including Marlayna Geary (21), Kayla Erickson (18) and Jennica McPherson (14). Two of those recorded double-doubles as McPherson added 11 digs and Geary had 10. Samantha Hutchinson led all players with 30 digs.

Western Washington posted a .308 (72-19-172) attack to out-hit UC San Diego. The Vikings also held a 12-7 advantage in blocks.

Down 18-17 in the third set, the Tritons scored seven straight points to turn the momentum of the match in their favor. Dahle and McCutchan each had two kills in the run. McCutchan also had a pair of blocks.

UCSD struck late in the fourth set as well. Tied 19-19, the Tritons scored six of the final eight points for the win. McCutchan again figured in as she had a kill and a block in the final two plays.

Tied 13-13 in the fifth and deciding set, Dahle gave UCSD match point with a service ace. A bad set by the Vikings ended the contest.

UCSD hit at least .364 in each of the final three sets, including .400 (11-1-25) in the fifth.

It was the first loss of the season for WWU as the Vikings dropped to 1-4. UCSD improved to 3-2.

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Central Washington 3, UCSD 1 
Central Washington out-blocked UCSD 20-13 and the Tritons hit just .100 (47-32-150) in a four-set loss Friday afternoon at the Seawolf Spike.

Scores went 23-25, 25-14, 25-23 and 25-22 for the Wildcats, who improved to 5-1 on the season. UCSD fell to 3-3.

Dahle and McCutchan again posted over 10 kills as McCutchan had a team-high 11 and Dahle finished with 10. McCutchan also had six blocks. Hawthorne racked up a double-double with 34 assists and 14 digs while adding six blocks. 

For the Wildcats, Rachel Hanses led all players with 12 kills and Erin Smith was just behind with 11. Kaely Kight had a match-best 23 digs while Catie Fry and Kaitlin Quirk each posted nine blocks.

CWU didn't fare much better on the attack, hitting just .156 with 49 kills and 25 errors in 154 attempts. However, the Wildcats dropped in 11 service aces to the Tritons' five.

"We had our chances to win the third set and didn't make the plays we needed to," said Luyties. "We're still learning and getting to know eachother on the court."

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UC San Diego wraps up play at the Seawolf Spike Saturday with matches against Seattle Pacific (11:15 a.m.) and Dominican (3:45 p.m.). Both contests will be covered by live stats.

-- UCSDtritons.com -- 

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