LA JOLLA, Calif. - The No. 18 UC San Diego women's volleyball team got strong performances from its middle blockers to lead the Tritons to their fifth straight win, a 3-0 blanking of league opponent Cal State Dominguez Hills Saturday. Scores were 25-17, 25-19 and 25-22 at RIMAC Arena.
UCSD improved to 15-4 overall and 11-4 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). The struggles continued for Dominguez Hills, which fell to 1-18 overall and remained winless in the league at 0-15.
True freshman Lauren Demos and redshirt freshman Sara McCutchan combined for 13 kills from the middle on a night that no Tritons totaled double-digits in kills, the first time that has happened this season. McCutchan hit .667 with six kills and no errors in nine attacks, while Demos swung at .429 with seven kills and one error in 14 swings.
Also in the middle, juniors Julia Freidenberg and Natasha Wilroy each had two kills with Wilroy adding a pair of digs and two blocks.
As has been the case in almost every match this season, senior outside hitter Hillary Williamson led the Tritons in kills with nine. She also chipped in with five digs and two blocks. Senior Roxanne Brunsting finished with four kills, seven digs and 20 assists. Splitting setting duties with Brunsting was true freshman Amber Hawthorne, who had 14 assists to go along with her team-best 14 digs, two short of her season-high.
Azieanna Smith had 14 kills and Elizabeth Krieger had 12 to lead the Toros offensively. Five players had 10 or more digs for CSUDH, including Cassidy Mangum, who finished the night with a match-best 20 scoops.
The Tritons led for most of the opening set, but Dominguez Hills kept it close. However, with the score 15-13 in favor of UCSD, the Tritons scored five of the next six points to put it out of reach.
Set two saw the Tritons jump out to an early 8-3 lead, but the Toros got back in it and were down by just one at 10-9. At 13-13, UC San Diego tallied three unanswered points, two on kills by Williamson, to go up 16-13 and roll to the win.
After the teams traded points to open the third set, a Toro attack error gave UCSD the lead, which the Tritons held the rest of the way. The win was hard-fought though as Dominguez Hills proved resilient, staying in it until the very end. Down by as many as nine at 18-9, the Toros rallied late and got within one point three times, the last at 23-22. Katie Condon had her fifth kill of the night and Brittany Lombardi finished it off with a service ace for the Tritons.
UCSD has now won the last 30 meetings with CSUDH and owns a 43-1 record in the all-time series. It was the second consecutive sweep for the Tritons, who downed CCAA opponent Cal State L.A. in three sets Friday night.
UCSD goes back on the road next week to play at Chico State on Oct. 28 and at Cal State Stanislaus on the 29th.
- UCSDtritons.com -