Photo by: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications
Tritons Head Into Eighth Straight NCAA Postseason
Release: Wednesday 12/04/2013 

• Listen to head coach Ricci Luyties' interview on the latest edition of Triton Talk.
• Read a feature story about Ricci Luyties, an Olympic gold medal winner, here.

2013 NCAA Division II West Regional
December 5-7

The Coyote DenSan Bernardino, Calif.
Live stats for all matches
Live video for all matches

Thursday, Dec. 5 - Quarterfinals
12:00 p.m. – No. 3 seed UC San Diego (25-5) vs. No. 6 seed Dixie State (17-9)
2:30 p.m. – No. 2 seed BYU-Hawaii (24-1) vs. No. 7 seed Alaska Anchorage (21-9)
5:00 p.m. – No. 4 seed Sonoma State (25-5) vs. No. 5 seed Western Washington (23-3)
7:30 p.m. – No. 1 seed Cal State San Bernardino (25-5) vs. No. 8 seed Central Washington (15-11)

Friday, Dec. 6 - Semifinals
5:00 p.m. – UC San Diego/Dixie State winner vs. BYU-Hawaii/Alaska Anchorage winner
7:30 p.m. – Sonoma State/Western Washington winner vs. Cal State San Bernardino/Central Washington winner

Saturday, Dec. 7 - West Region Championship
7:00 p.m.

Tickets for the 2013 NCAA West Regional are $10 for adults and $5 for students with ID, seniors and children under 12. Ticket prices are per match.

All seven matches at the NCAA West Regional will be covered by live stats and live video, both free of charge.

UCSD has qualified for its eighth consecutive NCAA postseason. Since moving to NCAA Division II status in 2000, the Tritons have missed out on a berth just once (2005). In fact, UCSD has played in the postseason in 32 of the last 33 years, winning national titles in 1981, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990 and 1997. The team's best D-II finish came in 2001, when it advanced to the national semifinals. The Tritons are 13-12 in NCAA D-II postseason matches.

UCSD entered the 2012 West Regional as the eighth seed and took on top-seeded host BYU-Hawaii in the opening round at the Cannon Activities Center on Oahu's North Shore. The Tritons fell in four sets, with scores going 25-21, 23-25, 25-17 and 25-22 in favor of the Seasiders. Sophie Rowe led UCSD with 21.5 points, collecting 20 kills and 16 digs.

Alaska Anchorage: UCSD leads 4-0
BYU-Hawaii: UCSD leads 3-2
Cal State San Bernardino: UCSD leads 34-24
Central Washington: UCSD leads 4-1
Dixie State - have never met
Sonoma State: UCSD leads 26-9
Western Washington: UCSD leads 7-3

Caitlin Brenton: AVCA All-West Region Honorable Mention, All-CCAA First Team
Danielle Dahle: AVCA All-West Region, All-CCAA First Team
Brittany Lombardi: Daktronics All-West Region Second Team
Sara McCutchan: AVCA All-West Region, All-CCAA Second Team
Heidi Sierks: AVCA All-West Region, All-CCAA First Team

UCSD closed out its regular season by going 1-2 in a rare three-match week. On Nov. 20, the Tritons had a 2-0 lead over Cal State San Bernardino, but ended up losing in five sets. The victory clinched the Coyotes' eighth straight CCAA title and snapped an eight-match win streak for UCSD. Two nights later on the road, the Tritons dropped a four-set decision against Cal State L.A., but rebounded the next night at RIMAC to close out the regular season with a 3-1 win over Cal State Dominguez Hills.

Four Tritons played in their final career regular season contest against Cal State Dominguez Hills on Nov. 23 at RIMAC Arena. Outside hitter Lizzy Andrews and libero Brittany Lombardi are true seniors, having played four straight years. Opposite Rachelle Kinney and middle blocker Sara McCutchan are seniors academically but juniors athletically as both took a redshirt season in 2010. Kinney and McCutchan will not return for a fifth year in 2014.

When UCSD lost in five sets after being up 2-0 against Cal State San Bernardino on Nov. 20, it was just the sixth time that had happened during the Tritons' NCAA Division II era (since 2000). The last time a team came back from two down to defeat UCSD was 2010 (San Francisco State). It happened three times during the 2008 season (Cal State L.A., Sonoma State, Cal State San Bernardino) and once in 2007 (Western Washington).

Sara McCutchan posted a perfect 1.000 hitting percentage against Humboldt State on Nov. 8, putting away 11 kills with no errors in 11 attacks. The mark set CCAA and UCSD records and tied the NCAA Division II record for highest hitting percentage with at least 10 attempts. She is the seventh player to accomplish the feat. McCutchan earned CCAA Player of the Week honors for her performances against HSU and Cal Poly Pomona, the first, and only, Triton to win the award this season.

Brittany Lombardi's 603 digs rank first on UCSD's single season list. With 17 digs against Humboldt State on Nov. 8, Lombardi went over 1,000 for her career. She is the ninth Triton in program history to accomplish the feat. Currently, she has 1,149 career scoops, which places her sixth on UCSD's all-time list.

With its 25-5 overall record, UCSD has collected its most wins since fourth-year head coach Ricci Luyties took over the program. Luyties led the team to 19 wins (19-9) in 2010, 22 (22-6) in 2011 and 20 (20-11) in 2012. The team record for wins in the Division II era is 30 (30-2), set in 2004 with coach Duncan McFarland.

1. Cal State San Bernardino, 21-1
2. Sonoma State, 18-4
3. UC San Diego, 17-5
4. Chico State, 13-9
5. Cal State Monterey Bay, 12-10
6. Cal State L.A., 11-11
7. Cal Poly Pomona, 10-12
8. San Francisco State, 8-14
9. Humboldt State, 7-15
9. Cal State East Bay, 7-15
11. Cal State Dominguez Hills, 4-18
11. Cal State Stanislaus, 4-18

UCSD is ranked 12th in the AVCA national poll. Tampa is No. 1, Minnesota Duluth is No. 2 and Concordia-St. Paul is No. 3. Other CCAA schools in the national top 25 include Cal State San Bernardino at No. 14 and Sonoma State at No. 15. Other ranked teams competing at the NCAA West Regional include BYU-Hawaii (No. 4) and Western Washington (No. 10). Dixie State is receiving votes in the poll. UC San Diego has been ranked as high as eighth and as low as 22nd this season.

Danielle Dahle and Sophie Rowe have each recorded their 500th career kills and 500th career digs this season ... Sara McCutchan also tallied her 500th career kill this year ... Six Tritons have totaled a combined 57 double-doubles this season, including Heidi Sierks (20), Dahle (15), Rowe (15), Caitlin Brenton (4), Amber Hawthorne (2) and Lizzy Andrews (1) ... UCSD's win at San Francisco State on Sept. 20 moved the team to 9-0, equaling the best start in program history ... The Tritons are 13-2 at home, 8-3 on the road and 4-0 at neutral sites this season.

As a team, UCSD ranks 10th in assists/set (13.34), 11th in kills/set (14.24), 13th in digs/set (18.41), 19th in win percentage (.833), 25th in blocks/set (2.32) and 26th in hitting percentage (.234). Sara McCutchan is 33rd in hitting percentage (.345), Brittany Lombardi is 35th in digs/set (5.20), Kameron Cooper is 42nd in blocks/set (1.07) and Heidi Sierks is 50th in assists/set (10.17). (only players ranked in the top 50 are listed)

In the league, UCSD ranks first in digs/set (18.41), second in kills/set (14.24), assists/set (13.34), blocks/set (2.32) and points/set (17.6), third in hitting percentage (.234) and 11th in aces/set (1.07). Kameron Cooper is second in blocks/set (1.07), Brittany Lombardi is third in digs/set (5.20), Sara McCutchan is fourth in hitting percentage (.345), Heidi Sierks is fourth in assists/set (10.17) and Caitlin Brenton is fourth in blocks/set (0.97) (only players ranked in the top 10 are listed)

UCSD head coach Ricci Luyties is in his fourth season leading the Tritons. Over his first three campaigns in La Jolla, he registered a 61-26 overall record, good for a .701 win percentage. Entering 2013, Luyties has paced UCSD to a 47-19 (.712) mark in CCAA play. Prior to coming to UCSD, Luyties spent six seasons as the head coach at Southern Mississippi. A two-time All-American setter and Hall of Fame member at UCLA, he helped the Bruins win four consecutive national titles between 1981 and 1984. UCLA posted an amazing 126-7 record, which included a pair of undefeated seasons, during Luyties' career. A two-time NCAA Most Valuable Player, his No. 11 UCLA jersey was retired in 1996. A member of the U.S. National Team from 1981-88, Luyties won a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. On the beach, Luyties competed regularly on the AVP Tour and FIVB World Tour for 12 years, partnering with the likes of Karch Kiraly and Adam Johnson.

UCSD was picked to finish second in the 2013 CCAA standings by the league's coaches. Topping the poll was seven-time defending champion Cal State San Bernardino. Following the Tritons, in order, were Sonoma State, Cal State L.A., Chico State, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State East Bay, San Francisco State, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Monterey Bay, Cal State Stanislaus and Humboldt State.

Sixth-seeded Dixie State comes into the West Regional with a 17-9 overall record and has won nine of its last 11 matches. The Red Storm tied for third in the PacWest at 14-6. DSU hasn't played since Nov. 16 when it lost, 3-1, against Point Loma in St. George, Utah. Libero Alex Anderson and outside hitter Maddie Rex were named Second Team All-PacWest, while setter Shelby Sorenson was selected to the league's third team. Robyn Felder was tabbed the PacWest Co-Coach of the Year. Rex leads the team in kills, averaging 2.92/set. Anderson is averaging 4.57 digs/set, while Lindsey Jones averages 1.50 blocks/set. It is the team's first ever appearance in the NCAA postseason.

UC San Diego and Dixie State University have never met.

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The winner of the West Regional advances to the NCAA Elite Eight, which will be held Dec. 12-14 at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.


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