SAN FRANCISCO -
The 11th-ranked UC San Diego women's volleyball team suffered its third consecutive defeat on Saturday, losing a 3-2 decision to host San Francisco State at the Main Gymnasium on the SFSU campus. The Tritons won the first two games of the match but could not hold off the Gators and close out the victory.
Trailing by five points in the third game, SFSU rallied all the way back to hand UCSD a 25-15, 28-26, 21-25, 26-28, 13-15 defeat. Lauren Walsh finished with 24 kills and 24 digs for San Francisco State, while Robyn Hall also had 24 kills for the Gators.
SFSU improves to 5-4 overall and 2-2 in the CCAA with the win, while UCSD falls to 5-4 overall and a 2-3 in conference play. The Tritons went 0-3 in three matches this week, with all three losses coming in five games.
Head coach Ricci Luyties' squad was without two of its best players on Saturday, as outside hitters Roxanne Brunsting and Hillary Williamson were both on the sidelines with injuries. Kaitlin Potter, Katie Condon and Julia Freidenberg were excellent in their absence - finishing with 13 kills apiece - but it wasn't enough to prevent the Gator comeback.
After losing the first two games in their previous two outings, the Tritons were focused early on Friday and pulled away to take the first set. With the score tied at 14, UCSD capitalized on four straight Gator errors and scored nine unanswered points to take a commanding 23-14 advantage. Freidenberg's kill made it 24-15 and another error by the home team gave the Tritons the victory.
UCSD held a 13-7 lead in the second set before SFSU rallied back for a 17-16 lead on a Hall kill. Four straight errors put the Tritons back in front, 20-17, but the Gators scored five straight to take a 23-21 advantage. UCSD came back to tie it at 24 and then took a 26-25 lead on a bad serve by Walsh. After Hall tied it, Freidenberg answered with a kill for the Tritons and a Gator error wrapped it up at 28-26.
Leading 9-4 early in the third set, UCSD looked poised to finish the Gators off, but SFSU would come back to tie it at 10 on a kill by Katie Judd. The Gators scored three straight points to take a 16-13 lead and another Hall kill made it 19-15 in favor of the home team. The Tritons pulled within 21-18, but SFSU closed out the set at 25-21 to get on the board.
With momentum on their side, the Gators were in control for much of the fourth set, taking a 14-10 lead on a kill by Sarah Lewis. San Francisco State maintained the lead until UCSD scored five consecutive points to tie the score at 24 all. The Tritons took the lead at 26-25 on an error by Iris Tolenada, but the Gators scored the final three points to win game four and tie the match at two sets apiece.
The deciding fifth set was tight early until Sally Yingst and Cara Simonsen sent down back-to-back kills to give UCSD a 6-4 advantage. A Freidenberg kill tied it at 11 for the Tritons, but SFSU scored the next three points to pull in front 14-11. UCSD closed to within 14-13 on a pair of Gator errors, but Walsh answered with the final kill to complete the comeback for SFSU.
UCSD outhit SFSU .183 to .119 for the match and racked up a season-high 19 blocks to just seven for the Gators. In addition to her 13 kills, Condon also finished with 19 digs and three aces, while Yingst recorded a double-double as well, tallying 11 kills and 18 digs.
Janessa Werhane had 21 digs for the Tritons and Brittany Lombardi finished with 14.
UCSD's road trip continues next weekend with visits to Chico State on Friday and Cal State Stanislaus on Saturday.