Listen to head coach Ricci Luyties' interview on the latest edition of Triton Talk.
vs. No. 14 Cal State San Bernardino (22-5, 18-1 CCAA)
Wednesday, Nov. 20 • 7:00 p.m.
RIMAC Arena • La Jolla
at Cal State L.A. (15-13, 10-10 CCAA)
Friday, Nov. 22 • 7:00 p.m.
The Eagle's Nest • Los Angeles
I WANT IN
UCSD students are admitted free to all regular season home 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.
THE SENIOR TOUR
Four Tritons will be playing in their final regular season contest Saturday and will be recognized prior to the start of the match. Outside hitter Lizzy Andrews and libero Brittany Lombardi are true seniors, having played four straight years. Opposite Rachelle Kinney and middle blocker Sara McCutchan are seniors academically but juniors athletically as both took a redshirt season in 2010. Kinney and McCutchan will not return for a fifth year in 2014.
UCSD is now riding an eight-match win streak after coming out on top in a pair of CCAA contests on the road last week. The Tritons avoided an upset by storming back from two sets down to take a 3-2 victory at Cal State Monterey Bay. Caitlin Brenton led UCSD with 25 kills while Heidi Sierks amassed a career-high 70 assists. The next night, Danielle Dahle (La Mesa/Grossmont HS) totaled a match-high 17 kills and added 10 digs as the Tritons downed Cal State East Bay in four sets. UCSD swept the two-match regular season series from both teams by the same scores each time.
Sara McCutchan posted a perfect 1.000 hitting percentage against Humboldt State on Nov. 8, putting away 11 kills with no errors in 11 attacks. The mark set CCAA and UCSD records and tied the NCAA Division II record for highest hitting percentage with at least 10 attempts. She is the seventh player to accomplish the feat. McCutchan earned CCAA Player of the Week honors for her performances against HSU and Cal Poly Pomona, the first Triton to win the award this season.
THE SCOOP ON LOMBARDI
With 17 digs against Humboldt State on Nov. 8, senior libero Brittany Lombardi went over 1,000 for her career. She is the ninth Triton in program history to accomplish the feat. Currently, Lombardi has 1,080 career scoops, which places her seventh on UCSD's all-time list. Her 534 digs this year rank second on the school's single season top 10 list. She needs just 22 more to break the record, currently held by Natalie Facchini with 555 in 2007.
HELPING THE CAUSE
Setter Heidi Sierks has 1,039 assists this season and needs just 29 more to get her name on UCSD's single season top 10 list. She recently set a new career high with 70 helpers at Cal State Monterey Bay on Nov. 15. Sierks has recorded a team-high 17 double-doubles this season, including in seven of her last eight matches.
With its 24-3 overall record, UCSD has collected its most wins since fourth-year head coach Ricci Luyties took over the program. Luyties led the team to 19 wins (19-9) in 2010, 22 (22-6) in 2011 and 20 (20-11) in 2012. The Tritons went 29-3 under Tom Black in 2009, while the team's record for wins in the Division II era is 30 (30-2) in 2004 with coach Duncan McFarland.
1. Cal State San Bernardino, 18-1
2. UC San Diego, 16-3
3. Sonoma State, 16-4
4. Cal State Monterey Bay, 11-9
4. Chico State, 11-9
6. Cal State L.A., 10-10
7. Cal Poly Pomona, 9-11
8. San Francisco State, 7-13
8. Cal State East Bay, 7-13
10. Humboldt State, 6-14
11. Cal State Dominguez Hills, 4-16
11. Cal State Stanislaus, 4-16
For the fourth consecutive week, UCSD is ranked 12th in the AVCA national poll. Tampa is the new No. 1, Minnesota Duluth is No. 2 and Concordia-St. Paul is No. 3. Other CCAA schools in the national top 25 include Cal State San Bernardino at No. 14 (same as last week) and Sonoma State at No. 15 (up from No. 16 last week). UC San Diego has been ranked as high as eighth and as low as 22nd this season.
TRITONS TOPS IN THE WEST
UCSD is first in the NCAA's most recent West Region rankings, released on Nov. 13. The Tritons are followed by BYU-Hawaii, Cal State San Bernardino, Sonoma State, Western Washington, Central Washington, California Baptist, Alaska Anchorage, Dixie State and Northwest Nazarene. The third and final regional rankings will be released on Nov. 20 and the NCAA Tournament selections and regional hosts will be announced on Nov. 25 at 4:30 p.m. Pacific. The selection show can been seen live at ncaa.com.
Danielle Dahle and Sophie Rowe have each recorded their 500th career kills and 500th career digs this season ... Sara McCutchan also tallied her 500th career kill this year ... Five Tritons have totaled a combined 47 double-doubles this season, including Sierks (17), Dahle (14), Rowe (13), Amber Hawthorne (2) and Brenton (1) ... UCSD's win at San Francisco State on Sept. 20 moved the team to 9-0, equaling the best start in program history ... The Tritons are 12-1 at home, 8-2 on the road and 4-0 at neutral sites this season.
As a team, UCSD ranks ninth in kills/set (14.33) and assists/set (13.38), 14th in digs/set (18.23) and won-loss percentage (.889), 25th in hitting percentage (.238) and 30th in blocks/set (2.30). Sara McCutchan is 19th in hitting percentage (.359), Brittany Lombardi is 36th in digs/set (5.18) and Kameron Cooper is 43rd in blocks/set (1.07). (only players ranked in the top 50 are listed)
In the league, UCSD ranks first in digs/set (18.23), second in kills/set (14.33), assists/set (13.38) and points/set (17.8), third in hitting percentage (.238) and blocks/set (2.30) and 10th in aces/set (1.14). Brittany Lombardi is third in digs/set (5.18), Kameron Cooper is third in blocks/set (1.07), Sara McCutchan is fourth in hitting percentage (.359), Heidi Sierks is fourth in assists/set (10.09) and Caitlin Brenton is fourth in blocks/set (0.97) and 10th in hitting percentage (.273). (only players ranked in the top 10 are listed)
HEAD COACH RICCI LUYTIES
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.
WHAT DO THE COACHES THINK?
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.
ABOUT THE COYOTES
No. 14 Cal State San Bernardino enters Wednesday's match at 22-5 overall and 18-1 in the CCAA, good for first place. The Coyotes have won six straight, their last loss coming on Oct. 26 at home against Sonoma State (3-1). After starting the season 4-4 during non-conference play, CSUSB won 12 consecutive CCAA contests. Alexandra Torline leads the team in kills, averaging 3.32/set. Arielle McCullough is averaging 5.14 digs/set and Brenna McIntosh averages 1.35 blocks/set, which leads the league. The Coyotes lead the CCAA in blocks/set.
ABOUT THE SERIES
UCSD is 30-23 all-time against Cal State San Bernardino. The Coyotes won this season's first match-up, 3-1 at Coussoulis Arena on Sept. 25. Danielle Dahle had a match-high 19 kills for UCSD, but the Tritons hit just .185 compared to the Coyotes' .280 clip. UCSD was ranked 10th and CSUSB was ranked 20th nationally at the time.
ABOUT THE GOLDEN EAGLES
Cal State L.A. brings a 15-13 overall record and an even 10-10 mark into Friday's match. The Golden Eagles sit in sixth place in the CCAA. Last week, CSULA went 1-2 with five-set losses against Cal State Dominguez Hills and Sonoma State and a sweep over Cal State Stanislaus, all at home. Iona Lofrano averages a team-best 4.12 kills/set, April Reyes averages 4.09 digs/set and JamieAnn Bero is averaging 0.86 blocks/set.
ABOUT THE SERIES
UCSD owns a 29-15 all-time record against Cal State L.A. and has won seven of the last eight match-ups. The Golden Eagles took a five-set victory at RIMAC Arena back on Oct. 19, snapping a seven-match win streak for UCSD. Kymberly Silveyra put away a match-high 31 kills while April Reyes led all players with 32 digs. The Tritons got 20 kills and 15 digs from Sophie Rowe.
ABOUT THE TOROS
Cal State Dominguez Hills enters the week at 11-17 overall and tied for 11th in the CCAA at 4-16. After losing 11 straight contests, the Toros are currently on a three-match win streak with victories over Cal State Stanislaus (3-2), Chico State (3-0) and Cal State L.A. (3-2). Alijah Gunsaulus averages a team-high 3.46 kills/set, Korryne Kelley averages 3.74 digs/set and Whitney Lee, the reigning CCAA Player of the Week, has a team-best 86 blocks. CSUDH plays at Cal State San Bernardino Friday night.
ABOUT THE SERIES
UCSD holds a commanding 45-2 lead in the all-time series against Cal State Dominguez Hills. The only two losses against CSUDH came in 2012 and 1992. On Oct. 18 of this season in Carson, the Tritons used a .268 to .165 advantage in hitting percentage to take a 3-1 win. Danielle Dahle had 15 kills while Caitlin Brenton totaled 14 kills and seven blocks. Elizabeth Krieger recorded a double-double with 13 kills and 12 digs.
UCSD Athletics has partnered with Advanced-Online to provide a web-based, on-demand option for UCSD apparel and merchandise. Fans have access to over 600 products that can be processed and shipped within 24 hours. Visit the site at UCSDTritonsGear.com.
THE BIG PICTURE
We want to reward you for posting your creative photos showing Triton spirit. Tweet, Facebook or Instagram your pics and include our #TritonsRising hashtag. At the end of every month, we'll pick our favorite photos and dole out some swag to the winners!
Following this final week of regular season play, UCSD will await the announcement of the field for the 2013 NCAA Championships. The teams and regional sites will be named on Monday, Nov. 25, at 4:30 p.m. Pacific. The selection show can be watched live at ncaa.com.