LA JOLLA, Calif. - The UC San Diego women's volleyball team was firing on all cylinders for a majority of Saturday's match against Humboldt State, enough so that the 17th-ranked Tritons swept the Lumberjacks for their ninth straight win.
Scores were 26-24, 25-14 and 29-27 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) match at RIMAC Arena.
UCSD moved to 19-4 overall and 15-4 in the CCAA, while HSU fell to 8-16 and 5-15. The win enabled the Tritons to pick up more ground on Sonoma State, which they defeated in straight sets Friday. In second place in the CCAA, the Seawolves lost against undefeated Cal State San Bernardino Saturday, putting their league record at 16-4, just a half match ahead of the Tritons.
It's the second time the Tritons have won nine consecutive matches as they opened the 2011 season with nine straight, one short of the school record.
UCSD hit .269 (52-13-145), its third-highest attack percentage of the season, and held Humboldt State to a .154 (43-18-162) attack. The Tritons were relentless on defense, out-digging the Lumberjacks 93-71.
Individually, UCSD got 14 kills from Hillary Williamson and 12 from Katie Condon, the reigning CCAA Player of the Week. Both finished with double-doubles as Condon added 20 digs and Williamson finished with 17. Roxanne Brunsting, who collected her 1,000th career assist Friday night, had eight kills, 21 assists, a service ace, two blocks and a match-high 23 digs.
Oceana Matsubu led Humboldt with a match-high 17 kills while also recording 13 digs. Allison Drobish hit .462 with seven kills and one error in 13 attacks and Brooke Ferguson equaled UCSD's Brunsting with a match-best 23 digs.
The first set was a seesaw battle that featured 13 tie scores. HSU jetted to a 5-1 lead on a run fueled by two Matsubu kills. The Tritons started working their way back in it and at 7-4, they ran off four straight points to go up 8-7. Condon, Williamson and Julia Freidenberg all had kills for UCSD in the stretch. The margin stayed close and at 23-23, a kill by Williamson gave the Tritons their first set point. Ashley Neale came back with a kill to tie it 24-24, but UCSD sided-out on another Williamson kill before Freidenberg and Sara McCutchan combined for a huge block to give the set to the Tritons.
Humboldt State was held to the worst attack percentage of the night in the second set at .000 (6-6-40). UCSD had two huge runs early in the set - one for four straight points, the other for five - to go up 9-2. The Jacks never got anything going and the Tritons finished strong, winning the last five points of the set to go up 2-0. McCutchan had a pair of kills and a block and freshman Lauren Demos had two blocks in the waning moments of the frame.
Both teams put up their best attacks of the match in the third set. UCSD swung at .298 (17-3-47) and HSU countered at .259 (20-6-54). Again, an early five-point run had the Tritons with a sizable 9-4 advantage. However, the Jacks got back in it and had the set tied at 12-12, forcing UCSD to take a timeout. Following the break, the Tritons took four of the next five points to go up 17-13. UC San Diego held its lead until HSU scored four unanswered points to take a 24-22 lead. UCSD fought off two set points and a third straight point gave the Tritons a 25-24 lead. A Williamson kill was sandwiched between two Brunsting kills, all three assisted by freshman Amber Hawthorne. Humboldt staved off the match point and actually took the lead by winning the next two points. The teams traded the next two points, bringing the set to 27-26 in favor of the Lumberjacks. Natasha Wilroy put down a kill to tie it before a Humboldt hitting error gave UCSD match point at 28-27. Condon finished it with a kill off a Brunsting assist.
The Tritons swept the season series as they beat the Jacks 3-0 in Arcata in late September.
Up next, UCSD faces a tough challenge on Nov. 9 as it plays at No. 2 Cal State San Bernardino, owners of a perfect 24-0 overall record and an equally unblemished 19-0 CCAA mark. The Tritons then close out the regular season at RIMAC Arena with Cal State East Bay Nov. 11 and Cal State Monterey Bay Nov. 12.
- UCSDtritons.com -