LA JOLLA, Calif. - Hillary Williamson had 15 kills and 12 digs, but the No. 16 UC San Diego women's volleyball team suffered a 3-1 loss against third-ranked Cal State San Bernardino Wednesday at RIMAC Arena. Scores were 25-18, 22-25, 25-21 and 25-17 in favor of the Coyotes, who won their 14th straight match to remain undefeated.
UCSD had its poorest night of the season on attack, hitting just .107 with 42 kills and 24 errors in 168 attempts. CSUSB countered at .245 (58-18-163) and put up an effective block as well, holding a 12.5 to 7.0 advantage at the net. Defensively, the Coyotes totaled 92 digs to the Tritons' 79.
It was the sixth double-double of the year for Williamson. Roxanne Brunsting recorded her 10th double-double with 18 assists and 16 digs and libero Janessa Werhane had a match-high 29 digs, one short of her career-best.
Brunsting's 16 digs moved her into second place on UCSD's career list with 1,397, surpassing Leslie Punelli's total of 1,390 scoops between 1997 and 2000. The school record is held by Natalie Facchini, who amassed 1,628 digs between 2004 and 2007.
San Bernardino's Samantha Middleborn and Priscilla Collings had 16 kills apiece, with Middleborn adding eight blocks and Collings acing the Tritons three times. Middleborn, the reigning national player of the year, hit .500 with a single error in 30 swings. Her lone miscue came late in the third set as Williamson and Natasha Wilroy blocked her.
UCSD fell to 10-3 overall and 6-3 in the California Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAA). The Tritons have lost three of their last four matches, including their last two - the first time since September of 2010 that the team has dropped two in a row.
CSUSB, which advanced to the national quarterfinals last season, upped its overall season record to 14-0 and improved to 9-0 in the CCAA.
The first set was all San Bernardino as the Coyotes out-hit the Tritons .345 (13-3-29) to .065 (8-6-31), the lowest attack percentage of the night for the home team. Following back-to-back kills by Williamson to get UCSD within one point at 8-7, CSUSB won the next four points to build a cushion that the Tritons would not overcome.
Neither team hit well in the second set, but UC San Diego finished the frame with a .158 (16-7-57) to .100 (12-7-50) edge. The set started off poorly for the Tritons as a Middleborn kill gave the Coyotes a commanding 9-2 lead. UCSD mounted a major comeback, taking nine of the next 10 points and ending up with an 11-10 lead. Wilroy had three kills in the run. After a Morgan Carty kill and a Collings ace evened the score at 22-22, Triton head coach Ricci Luyties called for a timeout. The team came back out and ripped three straight points on kills by Brunsting and Williamson and a service ace from Condon to take the set.
The third set finished much like the second, but in favor of the other team. Down by three at 21-18, a Sara McCutchan kill, a Lauren Demos block and a Williamson kill tied the score and forced the Coyotes to call a timeout. The next four points would go to San Bernardino with a Collings kill, a Triton hitting error, a Collings ace and a final kill by Carty to close out the set and put the Coyotes up 2-1.
The Tritons hit sub-.100 for the third time in the fourth set. CSUSB hit a match-high .368. Down 17-12, UCSD came out of a timeout to score four straight points and get back within one. However, the Coyotes took a timeout, which led to them capturing the next five points to essentially ice the victory with a 22-16 lead. Collings was a force in the flurry with three kills and a block.
UC San Diego is one of just three teams to take a set from San Bernardino this season. San Francisco State and Cal State Dominguez are the others. San Bernardino was the second nationally-ranked squad that the Tritons have played this season. On Sept. 2, they defeated No. 13 Seattle Pacific at the Waikiki Beach Invitational in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The next four matches will be on the road for the Tritons, who don't play at home again until Oct. 21. The journey begins this week as the team heads to Cal State Monterey Bay on Friday and Cal State East Bay on Saturday. Both matches start at 7 p.m.
- UCSDtritons.com -