SAN FRANCISCO - A six-match win streak came to an end Saturday night for the UC San Diego women's volleyball team as it suffered a straight set loss at San Francisco State. Scores were 27-25, 25-18 and 25-22 at The Swamp.
Just 24 hours after winning a grueling five set match at No. 22 Sonoma State, UCSD hit only .159 with 32 kills and 15 errors in 107 attempts. SFSU wasn't stellar at .197, but the Gators put away 50 kills, 18 more than the Tritons. They also took 40 more swings.
"We came out flat tonight against a good team," said UCSD head coach Ricci Luyties. "SFSU was ready to play and kept its energy throughout the entire match."
Danielle Dahle had a solid night for UCSD, finishing with a team-high 15 kills while hitting .464 (15-2-28). The outside hitter added nine digs and two blocks. Sophie Rowe recorded eight kills and a team-best 17 digs and Sara McCutchan led all players with four blocks. Setter Amber Hawthorne tallied 23 assists and completed her sixth double-double of the season with 12 digs.
Kelly Ostello had a match-high 18 kills for SFSU. Meagan Wright had 10 kills, Megan Johnson had 19 digs and setter Iris Tolenada notched a double-double with 43 assists and 12 digs.
The Tritons out-blocked the Gators 8.5 to 5.0 and held a 65 to 56 advantage in digs. However, San Francisco State posted a .984 reception percentage to UC San Diego's .891.
The Gators led most of the way in the opening set. Down 23-20, UCSD scored four-straight times to take its first lead of the night. Rowe floored back-to-back kills during the run. The teams traded points before SFSU reeled off three straight scores to take the set.
In the second set, San Francisco State scored the first two points and held a lead the rest of the way. The Gators hit .297, their highest of the night, in the stanza.
UCSD took a 7-3 lead in the third set following a four-point run, two off Dahle kills. The Tritons had as much as a six-point advantage at 11-5 before SFSU came back. The Gators took seven of the next eight points to tie it up at 12-12. A Dahle kill tied the set for the last time at 22-22 as San Francisco State scored the final three points of the match. There were nine tie scores in the set.
"We almost did enough to win the first and third sets, but missed some opportunities to close them out," said Luyties. "They (SFSU) made the plays when they needed to."
The Tritons dropped to 11-5 overall and are in third place in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) at 6-2. The Gators are now 12-4 and 7-2 and sit in second place in the conference.
"I hope we learn from this that each match we play for the rest of the year is going to be a tough battle," said Luyties.
UCSD faces a busy upcoming week with a trifecta of CCAA matches beginning Wednesday on the road at first place Cal State San Bernardino. Friday, the Tritons host Cal State Monterey Bay and Saturday Cal State East Bay is in town. All matches begin at 7 p.m.
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