CHICO, Calif. -
The No. 21 UC San Diego women's volleyball team lost its fourth consecutive match on Friday, dropping a tightly contested 3-2 decision to host Chico State at Acker Gymnasium. The Tritons held a 2-1 advantage after three games, but the Wildcats would rally to win the next two and come away with the 25-14, 20-25, 13-25, 25-23, 20-18 victory.
Chico State improves to 8-4 overall on the season with the win, while evening its California Collegiate Athletic Association record at 3-3. UCSD falls to 5-5 overall and 2-4 in the CCAA. All four of the Tritons' losses during their current skid have come in five games.
Sophomore Jessica Leek led five players with double-digit kill totals for the Wildcats, finishing with a match-high 21, while junior Jacqueline Johnson recorded a double-double with 10 kills and 28 digs, also a match-high. Crystal Trifeletti totaled 17 kills, Makenzie Fahnestock finished with 12 and Alex Shurtz had 11.
Katie Condon sent down 20 kills for the Tritons, while Julia Freidenberg finished with 15. Janessa Werhane had a team-high 18 digs, while Hillary Williamson finished with 16 in her return to the lineup after missing three straight matches with an injury. Normally an outside hitter, she spent all her time in the back on Friday.
After losing the opening set 25-14, UCSD came back to win set two, 25-20. The Tritons were in control from the opening serve, scoring eight of the first 12 points, and eventually took a 17-10 advantage after scoring four consecutive points. Chico would climb back to within four at 24-20, but Condon sent down the final kill to even the match at one game apiece for UCSD.
The Tritons were absolutely dominant in the third set, scoring the first six points before the Wildcats got on the board, and then taking a 9-1 lead on a Freidenberg kill. Back-to-back attack errors by Fahnestock made it 16-4 in favor of UCSD and the Tritons would cruise to the 25-13 victory, taking a 2-1 lead.
Set four was tight early on until UCSD pulled in front 17-14 on a kill by Cara Simonsen and a bad set by Chico's Morgan Hammerstrom. The Wildcats responded in a big way though, scoring the next six points to lead 20-17. After a timeout, UCSD came back to tie it at 21 following three straight kills from Condon, Freidenberg and Thalia McCann, but Chico would answer with three straight points of their own and a kill by Trifeletti at 24-23 delivered the game for the Wildcats.
UCSD held a three-point advantage early in the deciding set, taking a 9-6 lead on a Chico State error. The Wildcats closed to within 10-9 on a kill by Leek and her service ace a few moments later tied it at 12. The two teams would trade the next 12 points, with Condon sending down a kill to tie the score at 18 all. The Tritons could not take advantage of the ensuing side out however, as she served into the net to give the Wildcats a 19-18 lead. Chico State would then tally the final point on another UCSD error, winning the fifth set 20-18 and handing the Tritons another defeat.
Chico State outhit UCSD .235 to .215 for the match, while the Tritons held a 11-4 advantage in blocks and totaled seven service aces to the Wildcats' four.
Head coach Ricci Luyties' squad concludes its four-match road trip Saturday night at Cal State Stanislaus. The Warriors swept Cal State East Bay on Friday to improve to 7-4 overall and 4-2 in the CCAA.