HAYWARD, Calif. -
Behind big performances from Katie Condon
and Roxanne Brunsting
, the UC San Diego women's volleyball team knocked off No. 22 Cal State East Bay 3-1 in a key California Collegiate Athletic Association matchup on Wednesday night at Pioneer Gym.
Condon sent down a match-high 17 kills and finished with 11 digs, while Brunsting tallied 11 kills, 24 assists and 12 digs to propel the Tritons to their sixth consecutive victory. Set scores were 25-19, 25-20, 16-25 and 26-24 in favor of UCSD.
With the victory, UC San Diego evened the season series with East Bay at one match apiece, while also closing to within a game of the Pioneers for second place in the CCAA standings. The Tritons, who have now won eight of their last nine, improve to 13-7 on the season and 10-6 in conference play, while the Pioneers dip to 16-5 overall and 11-5 in the CCAA.
East Bay had won five straight and eight of nine before falling to UCSD on Wednesday.
As they have done all season, the junior duo of Condon and Brunsting came through in a big way, leading the Tritons to their biggest win of 2010. Condon's 17 kills came on 39 swings, with just one error for a hitting percentage of .410. She has now recorded 10 kills or more in nine consecutive matches and 12 of the last 14.
Brunsting was equally impressive for UCSD, tallying her fifth straight triple-double (kills-assists-digs), while also leading the Tritons in assists. Hillary Williamson had a good night for the Tritons as well, finishing with 10 kills and 11 digs.
"When we're healthy, I think we can play with just about anyone," head coach Ricci Luyties said. "We were without some key players last time we saw East Bay and it really made a difference. Tonight we were at full strength and we put together a great performance against at quality opponent."
Katie Allen and Sukhjit Athwal finished with 12 kills apiece for Cal State East Bay, while Roxanne Neely had 11 kills and 18 assists.
The opening set featured 12 ties and six lead changes, as neither team led by more than three points until UCSD pulled away late in the frame. After CSUEB scored back-to-back points to take a 19-18 lead, the Tritons would close on a 7-0 run to claim the 25-19 set one victory. Two kills by Condon and one apiece by Brunsting and Cara Simonsen accounted for most of the scoring during the run. UCSD wrapped up the set with a hitting percentage of .314.
The Tritons scored six of the first eight points in set two and led 15-5 following a Condon kill and an attack error by Allen. The Pioneers would later score three straight points to pull within 21-17, but it was too little too late and UCSD held on for the 25-20 win and 2-0 match lead. The Tritons' hitting percentage slipped to.116 in the set, but the Pioneers were even worse, managing a clip of just .043.
Cal State East Bay came out swinging after the break, taking a 5-0 lead with Athwal serving. UCSD came back to tie the score at nine, but the Pioneers answered with five straight once more to take control. After a Brunsting kill and an error by K.C. Walsh made it 21-16, East Bay scored the final four points of the set for the 25-16 victory.
It looked as though the Pioneers were going to even the match in set four as they opened the frame on a 9-5 run and pushed the advantage to 20-14 following a pair of kills by Neely. UCSD came roaring back after a timeout, however, scoring the next four points to pull within two, 20-18. After Athwal's kill made it 22-19 in favor of the home team, kills by Condon and Julia Freidenberg and a Pioneer error tied the score.
The score remained tied at 24-24 after the two team traded the next four points, but Williamson and Simonsen followed with big kills as UCSD rallied to take the set and the match, 26-24.
The Tritons will now come home to face Cal State Stanislaus on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. UCSD will then face Chico State on Saturday in its final regular season appearance at RIMAC Arena.