Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
Kameron Cooper (left) leads the CCAA and ranks 13th nationally in blocks per set.
First Half of CCAA Season Concludes This Week
Release: Thursday 10/17/2013 

Match 18
at Cal State Dominguez Hills (8-9, 1-8 CCAA)
Friday, Oct. 18 • 7:00 p.m.
The Torodome • Carson
Live Stats

Match 19
vs. Cal State L.A. (11-6, 6-3 CCAA)
Saturday, Oct. 19 • 7:00 p.m.
RIMAC Arena • La Jolla
Live Stats
Live Video

UCSD students are admitted free to all home, regular season volleyball matches. General admission tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for visiting students, seniors and UCSD Alumni Association members. Tickets are available at the main entrance to RIMAC Arena on the night of the match.

Don't miss your chance to meet the eight members of UCSD's inaugural Hall of Fame class this Saturday during Homecoming! Christine Behrens (tennis), Doug Dannevik (volleyball coach), Ele Johnson (soccer), Bill Kazmierowicz (swimming & diving/water polo), Diana Klintworth (volleyball), Travis Miller (swimming & diving), Julie Swail (water polo) and Judy Sweet (Athletics Director) will be introduced prior to the Cal State L.A. match. In addition, Hall of Fame banners will be unveiled at RIMAC Arena that night. The group will officially be inducted during a ceremony the next day. In the lead-up to this weekend's festivities, we're featuring one Hall of Fame inductee each day on our Facebook page.

UCSD won its fifth and sixth straight matches last week. In its first contest back at RIMAC Arena in nearly a month, the Tritons downed Cal State East Bay, 3-1, in the inaugural Reis Cup in remembrance of former UCSD player Karen Reis. Danielle Dahle (La Mesa/Grossmont HS) was named the match MVP after finishing with a match-high 18.5 points on 15 kills, three service aces and a block assist. She hit .378 and added 12 digs for her ninth double-double of the season. The next night, UCSD held on for a five-set victory against Cal State Monterey Bay. The teams traded sets, with the Otters winning the first, before the Tritons closed out the night with a 15-9 win in set five. Sara McCutchan led UCSD with 18.5 points on 16 kills and five block assists. Dahle had 14 kills and a career-high 21 digs.

Following an unprecedented string of seven CCAA road matches, UCSD returned to RIMAC Arena last week for the first time in almost a month. After this Friday's match at Cal State Dominguez Hills, UCSD will play seven consecutive matches in La Jolla through Nov. 9. The Tritons are 6-0 at home, 5-2 on the road and 4-0 at neutral sites this season.

Once again throughout October, all California Collegiate Athletic Association volleyball teams will join together in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Each team will designate one of its home contests as a Dig for a Cure match in which the squads will wear special warm-up shirts and use pink volleyballs. The UCSD Tritons will host their Dig For a Cure event on Saturday, Oct. 26, against San Francisco State.

At 7-2, UCSD stands alone in third place in the CCAA, behind Cal State San Bernardino (9-0) and Sonoma State (8-1). Cal State L.A. (6-3) is fourth while Cal State Monterey Bay (5-4) and Chico State (5-4) are tied for fifth. Humboldt State (3-6), San Francisco State (3-6) and Cal Poly Pomona (3-6) are all tied for seventh. Cal State East Bay (2-7) and Cal State Stanislaus (2-7) are even for 10th and Cal State Dominguez Hills (1-8) rounds out the standings in 12th.

For the second straight week, UCSD moved up a spot in the AVCA national poll, improving from No. 11 to No. 10. The top nine remained the same from last week, with Concordia-St. Paul first, Minnesota Duluth second and Tampa third. Two other CCAA squads are ranked, with Sonoma State just behind the Tritons in 11th (up from 12th) and Cal State San Bernardino in 14th (up from 16th).

Brittany Lombardi needs 142 digs for 1,000 in her career ... She would be the ninth Triton to hit that mark in program history ... Lombardi has had at least 20 digs in her last six matches ... Danielle Dahle eclipsed 500 career kills and 500 career digs this season ... Dahle's 21 digs vs. Cal State Monterey Bay on Oct. 12 were a career-high ... Sara McCutchan recorded her 500th career kill this season ... UCSD's win at San Francisco State on Sept. 20 moved the team to 9-0, equaling the best start in program history ... Four Tritons have recorded a combined 27 double-doubles this season, including Dahle (10), Heidi Sierks (9), Sophie Rowe (6) and Amber Hawthorne (2) ... Dahle has had a double-double in her last four matches ... Sierks has totaled at least 45 assists in her last five contests, including a career-high 55 at Cal Poly Pomona on Oct. 3 ... Kameron Cooper leads the CCAA and ranks 13th nationally in blocks/set (1.3) ... Cooper registered a career-high nine stuffs at Humboldt State on Oct. 5 and has twice totaled eight this year ... UCSD is out-hitting opponents .219 to .143 ... The Tritons hold an 85-45 advantage in service aces against opponents ... UCSD is 6-0 at RIMAC Arena this season.

As a team, UCSD ranks 13th in both kills/set (13.9) and assists/set (13.1), 20th in blocks/set (2.4) and 25th in digs/set (17.9). Individually, Kameron Cooper is 13th in blocks/set (1.3), Sara McCutchan is 32nd in hitting percentage (.353), Brittany Lombardi is 41st in digs/set (5.0) and Caitlin Brenton ranks 48th in blocks/set (1.1).

In the league, UCSD ranks second in kills/set (13.9), assists/set (13.1) and blocks/set (2.4), third in digs/set (17.9), fifth in hitting percentage (.219) and seventh in aces/set (1.4). Kameron Cooper is first in blocks/set (1.3), Sara McCutchan is third in hitting percentage (.353) and Brittany Lombardi is third in digs/set (5.0). Danielle Dahle ranks eighth in kills/set (3.4) and ninth in points/set (3.8). Heidi Sierks is 10th in assists/set (8.8).

UCSD head coach Ricci Luyties is in his fourth season leading the Tritons. Over his first three campaigns in La Jolla, he registered a 61-26 overall record, good for a .701 win percentage. Entering 2013, Luyties has paced UCSD to a 47-19 (.712) mark in CCAA play. Prior to coming to UCSD, Luyties spent six seasons as the head coach at Southern Mississippi. A two-time All-American setter and Hall of Fame member at UCLA, he helped the Bruins win four consecutive national titles between 1981 and 1984. UCLA posted an amazing 126-7 record, which included a pair of undefeated seasons, during Luyties' career. A two-time NCAA Most Valuable Player, his No. 11 UCLA jersey was retired in 1996. A member of the U.S. National Team from 1981-88, Luyties won a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. On the beach, Luyties competed regularly on the AVP Tour and FIVB World Tour for 12 years, partnering with the likes of Karch Kiraly and Adam Johnson.

UCSD was picked to finish second in the 2013 CCAA standings by the league's coaches. Topping the poll was seven-time defending champion Cal State San Bernardino. Following the Tritons, in order, were Sonoma State, Cal State L.A., Chico State, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State East Bay, San Francisco State, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Monterey Bay, Cal State Stanislaus and Humboldt State.

Cal State Dominguez Hills enters Friday's match at 8-9 overall and in last place in the conference with a 1-8 record. After going 4-0 at UCSD's tournament back in mid-September, the Toros opened league play, picking up their lone win against Cal State East Bay on Oct. 4. Last weekend, CSUDH lost in straight sets on the road at Cal State Stanislaus and Chico State, putting its away record at 0-5. Alijah Gunsaulus leads the team in kills (3.5/set) and points (3.9/set). Elizabeth Krieger is digging 3.4 balls/set, while Whitney Lee averages 0.8 blocks/set.

UCSD holds a commanding 44-2 lead in the all-time series against Cal State Dominguez Hills. The teams split the 2012 match-ups, with CSUDH winning in straight sets in La Jolla and UCSD taking a 3-0 win in Carson. The Tritons had won 30 straight times against the Toros until last season's loss. The first, and only other, loss to Dominguez came back in 1992.

Cal State L.A. enters the week at 11-6 overall and is in fourth place in the CCAA with a 6-3 mark. The Golden Eagles face a pair of tough tests, hosting league-leading Cal State San Bernardino Friday night before traveling to La Jolla Saturday. CSULA has won three straight and four of its last five, including road victories at Cal State Stanislaus and Chico State last week. Iona Lofrano leads the team and is second in the CCAA in kills/set, averaging 4.3. April Reyes averages a team-best 3.7 digs/set and JamieAnn Bero leads the team in blocks with 0.8/set.

UCSD owns a 29-14 all-time record against Cal State L.A. The Tritons have won the last seven match-ups, last losing in November of 2009. Last season, UC San Diego won 3-1 at RIMAC Arena and 3-0 at The Eagles Nest.

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Looking ahead to next week, the Tritons remain in La Jolla to start the second half of the CCAA season. On Friday, Oct. 25, they host Sonoma State and on Saturday, Oct. 26, they entertain San Francisco State in a Dig For a Cure match.


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