LA JOLLA, Calif. -
Despite an impressive opening game, the UC San Diego women's volleyball team lost a four-set decision to No. 4 Cal State San Bernardino in a conference matchup on Friday night at RIMAC Arena.
The Tritons got the better of the league-leading Coyotes in the first set, but CSUSB rallied to win the final three and snap UCSD's winning streak at two. Set scores were 25-17, 18-25, 22-25 and 12-25 in favor of the visitors.
With the victory, Cal State San Bernardino improves to 13-1 overall on the season and ups its California Collegiate Athletic Association tally to 10-0. The Coyotes have won 11 in a row and currently hold a two-game lead in the conference standings.
UCSD drops to 7-7 overall and 4-6 in the CCAA after suffering its second home defeat of the season.
Nicole Moore sent down a match-high 17 kills for the Coyotes, while Samantha Middleborn tallied 14 and Megan Johnson finished with 13. Jane Chafeh contributed six kills to go with her team-high 18 digs.
CSUSB hit .316 for the match, while limiting UCSD to just a .188 clip. The Coyotes also won the battle at the net, out-blocking the Tritons 12 to 8.5.
Katie Condon totaled 11 kills to lead the UCSD attack, while Roxanne Brunsting was a kill shy of a triple-double, finishing with nine kills, 16 assists and 12 digs. The junior All-American played in the front row for the first time since suffering an ankle injury on September 17 and also took over some of the setting duties for head coach Ricci Luyties.
The Tritons trailed early in the opening set, but rallied to take a 10-7 advantage on a Coyote service error and a kill by Brunsting. UCSD maintained the three-point cushion until a pair of attack errors by the visitors and two Kaitlin Potter kills made it 18-11. CSUSB would close to within five at 20-15, but UCSD scored five of the final seven points to win the set, 25-17.
Potter and Condon had four kills apiece in the first frame and the Tritons registered a total of four service aces, all at the feet Chafeh.
San Bernardino took control early in the second set, scoring the first six points to grab the momentum. UCSD climbed back to within 7-5, but back-to-back attack errors by Potter gave the visitors an 11-7 advantage. The Tritons closed the gap to three at 17-14, but the Coyotes answered with five straight to take a 22-14 lead and went on to put the set away, 25-18. Johnson and Middleborn combined for nine kills, as CSUSB evened the match at one game apiece.
Set three was close early on until a Johnson kill and an error by Brunsting gave the Coyotes a 15-12 lead. Eventually CSUSB would stretch the lead to four, but a kill from Friedenberg and an ace by Condon would force the visitors into a timeout, leading 20-18. CSUSB fired off three straight points out of the break, however, to take a 23-18 lead and eventually wrapped up the set at 25-22 on a kill by Johnson.
It was all Coyotes in the final set, as CSUSB scored the first five points of the frame with Chafeh serving. The Coyotes extended their lead to 13-3 on a kill by Middleborn, before UCSD rattled off three consecutive points to pull within seven. That would be as close as the Tritons would get though, as the CSUSB scored four in a row to take an 18-7 lead. UCSD got back-to-back kills from Condon and Hillary Williamson to make it 23-12, but Moore and Middleborn answered with kills for the Coyotes to close out the match.
UCSD recorded a team hitting percentage of just .125 in the final stanza, while CSUSB countered with a .455 clip, connecting on 18 of 33 attempts with only three errors.
The Tritons will look to bounce back when Cal Poly Pomona comes to town on Saturday. First serve is at 7:00 p.m.