LA JOLLA, Calif. -
The UC San Diego women's volleyball team turned in a dominant performance on Saturday, defeating visiting Cal State Monterey Bay 3-0 at RIMAC Arena.
The Tritons hit at a blistering .347 clip for the match, while limiting the Otters to a hitting percentage of just .140 en route to their fifth consecutive victory. Set scores were 25-15, 25-14 and 25-17.
UCSD, which hasn't lost since October 8, improves to 12-7 on the season and 9-6 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play, while CSUMB falls to 12-6 overall and 9-6 in league play.
After losing five straight from September 15-25, head coach Ricci Luyties' squad has made an incredible turnaround, winning seven of eight since then. The Tritons' five-match winning streak is the team's longest of the season and they have moved into a tie for third place in the conference standings with seven matches remaining.
"We finally put together a complete effort tonight and it showed out there," Luyties said. "We played very well on both sides of the ball and when you hit as well as we did, you're going to have a great chance to win."
Junior outside hitter Roxanne Brunsting put together another outstanding performance for the Tritons, finishing with a match-high 11 kills on .435 hitting, while also tallying 18 assists and 10 digs. The Chula Vista, Calif. native has posted a triple-double in four straight outings. She also finished with a season-high five service aces.
Katie Condon finished with 10 kills and 14 digs, while Cara Simonsen also sent down 10 kills, a season-high, on .533 hitting.
Rheann Fall finished with 11 kills and eight digs for the Otters, while Monique Sena had 12 digs.
After finishing with a hitting percentage of .298 in Friday's 3-1 win over San Francisco State, the Tritons were even better on Saturday, totaling 45 kills on 101 swings, with only 10 errors. The .347 clip was the team's highest percentage of the season, easily eclipsing their previous best of .303 (against Central Washington on September 3).
UCSD was in control from the opening serve, out-hitting CSUMB .258 to .030 in the first set. With the score tied early in the frame, the Tritons scored eight unanswered points with Brunsting serving to take a commanding 18-10 lead. Brunsting had a kill and two service aces during the run, while Condon and Simonsen also recorded kills. After the Otters closed to within 19-13, UCSD recorded four of the final six points for the 25-15 set one victory.
Set two was close early as well until four straight points gave the Tritons a 14-10 advantage. Monterey Bay closed to within 14-13, but UCSD ran off nine in a row to pull away, 24-13. Brunsting and Simonsen combined for seven kills during the run, which came with Hillary Williamson doing the serving. A UCSD attack error ended the string, but Simonsen answered with another successful swing to seal the set and give the Tritons a 2-0 match lead.
UCSD was in control from the outset in set three, taking a 14-11 lead on a kill by Condon. Back-to-back kills from Williamson and Brunsting and a ball handling error by the Otters' Dana Grimm made it 17-12 in favor of the Tritons and a 4-0 run moments later pushed the UCSD lead to 22-15. Kills by Condon and Julia Freidenberg and a block error by CSUMB's Lily Straight accounted for the final three points, as the Tritons took the game and the match, 3-0.
UCSD, which improved to a perfect 6-0 in three-set matches this season, will now travel to Cal State East Bay on Wednesday, before returning to La Jolla to face Cal State Stanislaus and Chico State next weekend.