SAN FRANCISCO - Hillary Williamson set a new career-high with 24 kills and Roxanne Brunsting totaled a career-best 37 assists to help lift the 18th-ranked UC San Diego women's volleyball team to a hard-fought 3-2 league win over San Francisco State Friday at Main Gymnasium.
Scores of the match, which lasted a minute shy of two and a half hours, went 25-23, 22-25, 22-25, 25-17 and 21-19. UCSD improved to 12-4 overall and 8-4 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). SFSU, which has now lost three of its last four after winning five straight, fell to 10-8 overall and 6-7 in league play.
Williamson's previous career-high kill total was 20, which the senior outside hitter set in 2010 and matched twice this season. She hit .233 while adding 17 digs and two blocks to finish with 25 points, also a career-best.
Brunsting had 17 digs to complete her 13th double-double of the season. Her previous high in assists was 36, which she amassed at Cal Poly Pomona in 2010.
Outside Katie Condon and middles Lauren Demos and Julia Freidenberg all finished with eight kills for the Tritons. Condon produced three critical service aces and dug 17 balls, while libero Janessa Werhane had 27 digs.
Four Gators hit double-figures in kills, including Halimah Oswald (21), Megan Johnson (17), Melissa Horton (15) and Kelly Ostello (12). Sarah Kurfess led all players with 30 digs.
In the fifth and deciding set, UCSD rolled to a 10-6 lead but found itself down 12-11 as SFSU scored six of the next seven points. Kills by Oswald and Horton later led to a 19-18 advantage for the Gators, but a Williamson kill, an SFSU attack error and a kill by Condon gave the set and the match to the Tritons. Both teams committed several attack errors late in the fifth to keep the score see-sawing back and forth.
"It was a very intense match," said UCSD head coach Ricci Luyties. "It was another great example of how we can beat good teams on the road. We played a tough match and had to overcome things like a vocal crowd to come out on top."
Down by four at 22-18 in the opening set, the Tritons rallied for six straight points to take a 24-22 lead. Condon anchored the run with three service aces. A Triton attack error negated their first set point, but SFSU returned the favor with its own miscue on the attack to end the set.
The second frame saw the Tritons down once again by a score of 22-18. UCSD got back within two points twice, the last time at 24-22, but an Oswald kill gave the set to the Gators to tie the match at one set apiece.
San Francisco State blasted out to a 7-0 lead in the third set. Oswald and Johnson each had a kill and a block in the barrage. The Gators built a nine-point lead at 15-6 to force the Tritons into a timeout. UCSD came back to the floor and scored 10 of the next 13 points to cut the deficit to two at 18-16. A Condon kill and blocks by Brunsting and Demos ignited the explosion for the Tritons. Williamson had four kills during the run. At 21-19, SFSU got back-to-back kills from Ostello to essentially ice the win. The Tritons did shake off two set points, but Ostello came up big again with a kill to capture the set for the Gators.
The Tritons scored the first three points of the fourth set, two coming on Brunsting kills. However, the Gators quickly came back to find themselves holding a slim lead at 7-6. UCSD won four of the next five points to re-take the lead at 10-8. SFSU tied it at 10-10, but the Tritons unloaded for another five unanswered points to take a 15-10 lead. Williamson had three kills during the run. SFSU couldn't recover and UCSD took the set by a score of 25-17 to send it to a deciding fifth.
"We battled hard and it was a nice win for us," said Luyties. "We showed several times that we can be resilient and come back when down. To do that on the road against a good team is a real confidence boost."
It was the second-straight five-set win for the Tritons, who took down Cal State East Bay in five on the road last week.
UCSD plays at Cal Poly Pomona Saturday at 7 p.m. The Tritons swept the Broncos at RIMAC Arena back in early September. The match will be covered by live stats. CPP lost in four sets against undefeated and third-ranked Cal State San Bernardino Friday night.
- UCSDtritons.com -