LA JOLLA, Calif. - For the second time this season the UC San Diego and Cal State San Bernardino women's volleyball teams played to five sets, this time producing a different outcome as UCSD rallied back from two down to defeat the top team in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Wednesday night at RIMAC Arena.
Scores were 17-25, 19-25, 25-21, 25-14 and 15-12 in favor of the Tritons, who improved to 19-7 overall and gained ground on 25th-ranked CSUSB by upping their league mark to 14-4. The Coyotes, who came into the night winners of seven straight and 16 of their last 17, fell to 18-8 and 15-3.
After hitting a sky-high .485 with 33 kills and only a single error in 66 attacks over the first two sets, San Bernardino struggled mightily the rest of the way, swinging at just .112 (27-15-107) over sets three through five to finish at .254 (60-16-173).
UCSD's Sara McCutchan had a dominant night on attack, registering a match-high 19 kills while committing no errors in 31 attempts, good for a .613 hitting percentage. The middle blocker also added three blocks to lead all players with 20.5 points.
Danielle Dahle was just behind McCutchan with 18 kills. The freshman outside hitter added 15 digs to complete a double-double. Sophie Rowe also had a double-digit kill total with 12 while tacking on nine digs, three assists and three blocks. Setter Amber Hawthorne had 46 assists and a career-high 23 digs and libero Brittany Lombardi matched her with 23 scoops as well.
CSUSB setter Camille Smith recorded a triple-double by totaling 49 assists, 17 digs and 10 blocks. A trio of Coyotes had 10 or more kills, including Alexandra Torline (15), Ashley Solis (13) and Brenna McIntosh (11). McIntosh was a force at the net, coming away with 12 blocks. Danielle Newcombe led the team defensively with 18 digs.
UCSD hit .221 (70-28-190) overall, which included a .375 (14-2-32) attack in the fourth set.
UCSD carried the momentum gained in the fourth set into the fifth. After San Bernardino won the opening point, the Tritons won the next four and would not relinquish the lead. Down 12-6, the Coyotes made it interesting by scoring five straight points to get within one at 12-11. However, UCSD won three of the next four points, two of those on Dahle kills, to take the hard-fought victory.
The Coyotes out-blocked the Tritons 18-9.
Back on October 10, the same two squads took a match all the way to five at Coussoulis Arena in San Bernardino. CSUSB held on to take that contest by scores of 18-25, 25-21, 25-21, 21-25 and 15-10.
Wednesday's win snapped a six-match losing skid for the Tritons against the Coyotes. UCSD had last won on Oct. 17, 2009. The Tritons are now 4-1 against nationally-ranked teams this season.
UCSD hosts San Francisco State Friday and Sonoma State Saturday. The Gators and Seawolves are tied for third in the CCAA. Both matches, the final regular season home tilts for the Tritons, begin at 7 p.m.
The Tritons are 8-1 at home and have not dropped a match at RIMAC Arena since Sept. 14.
-- UCSDtritons.com --