Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
A pivotal second set went to CSUDH, giving the Toros the momentum they needed to close out the match.
Tritons Swept at Home by Dominguez Hills in CCAA Opener
Release: Friday 09/14/2012 

LA JOLLA, Calif. - The UC San Diego women's volleyball team's home and conference opener was spoiled by Cal State Dominguez Hills Friday night as the Tritons were swept in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) action at RIMAC Arena.

CSUDH, now 3-5 overall and 1-0 in the CCAA, won by scores of 25-16, 28-26 and 25- 20. UCSD fell to 5-4 overall and 0-1 in the league.

The Tritons were stymied offensively and hit just .106 for the match with 33 kills and 21 errors in 113 attacks. The Toros, who out-blocked their opponent 8-4, swung at .243 with 43 kills and just 15 errors in 115 attempts.

"It's very upsetting for our team and for me," said UCSD head coach Ricci Luyties. "We had a match with a crazy amount of errors. With youth, you're gonna make these mistakes and you're gonna make these errors, but you can't use that as a crutch for a whole season."

The first set was all Dominguez Hills as UCSD hit in the negative. The Tritons scored four of the first five points but the Toros quickly closed the gap and took a 7-6 lead on a block by Elizabeth Krieger and Whitney Lee. UCSD tied it up twice at 7-7 and 8-8 before a three-point run put CSUDH up for good. Five straight points gave the Toros a 19-12 lead and UCSD never recovered.

The second set proved to be pivotal as it featured eight tie scores. UCSD started strong, jumping out to an early 4-0 lead. A kill by freshman outside hitter Danielle Dahle moved the spread to five at 10-5 before CSUDH started creeping back in it. A Triton attack error allowed the Toros to tie the set at 12-12 and back-to-back kills propelled Dominguez Hills to a 14-12 lead. UCSD re-took the lead with four consecutive points, giving it an 18-16 advantage. Freshman Kamila Tan had a kill, extending UCSD's advantage to three at 20-17, but three straight attack errors once again let the Toros tie it up. Two ball handling errors gave UCSD a pair of set points at 24-22, but a kill by Chelsea Almario and yet another UCSD miscue on attack evened the score. At 26-26, two more errors - one from the service line and the other on attack - gave the set, and the momentum, to Dominguez Hills.

The Tritons again led early in the third frame, taking a 6-4 lead after an attack error by the Toros. However, CSUDH reeled off five consecutive points to go up 9-6 and it would not relinquish the lead the rest of the way.

Demos and sophomore Sara McCutchan each had nine kills for UC San Diego. Dahle and freshman libero Katy Woodward both had 12 digs.

For Dominguez Hills, Krieger finished with a match-high 12 kills and Almario chipped in with 10. Dana Brown led all players with 15 digs and Lee had six total blocks, two of those solos.

It was just the second time in 45 meetings that the Tritons had lost to the Toros and the first since moving to NCAA Division II status in 2000. The first loss came back in 1992 and UCSD had won 30 straight matches against CSUDH since then.

"We have to bounce back strong, and I really want them to learn from these mistakes. We have to turn things around," said Luyties.

UCSD will look for redemption Saturday night as it takes on league opponent Cal State L.A. at RIMAC Arena (7 p.m.). The Golden Eagles crushed 20th-ranked Cal State San Bernardino Friday night on the road by scores of 25-14, 25-21 and 25-8.

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