LA JOLLA, Calif. - For just the second time this season, the University of California San Diego women's volleyball team lost at home as it dropped a tough, 3-2 decision against league opponent Cal State East Bay Saturday night at RIMAC Arena. Scores were 15-25, 25-16, 25-13, 14-25, and 12-15.
The loss dropped UC San Diego to 16-6 overall and 10-4 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. The Tritons are now in second place in the conference as Cal State San Bernardino (11-3) swept Stanislaus State Saturday. CSUEB halted a three-match losing skid and improved to 14-9 on the year and an even 7-7 in the CCAA.
After UCSD won sets two and three, the momentum swung back over to the Pioneers in the fourth frame. Down 10-9, they went on a 9-1 run to gain an 18-11 advantage. At 20-13, the visitors scored four unanswered points to get to set point. The Tritons got one back on a kill by Amanda Colla (Carlsbad/San Dieguito Academy), but a service error gave the set to East Bay.
With UC San Diego leading 10-8 in the fifth set, Cal State East Bay scored four of the next five points to go up 12-11. Colla tied it with another kill, but three straight errors by the Tritons (service, ball handling, and attack) allowed the Pioneers to leave with a win.
"I feel like the first set and the end of the match were very similar - we lacked ball control and East Bay was doing good things both offensively and defensively," said UCSD head coach Ricci Luyties. "We were playing well after the first set and I was feeling confident we were going to pull it out, but the ball control issues cost us in the end of a close match."
UCSD led in several statistical categories, including kills (60-51) attack percentage (.185-.160), and digs (105-98). However, the Tritons committed eight errors from the service line and were out-blocked by an 11-9 count. It was just the fifth time in 22 matches that they trailed in blocks.
For the 17th time this season, Colla turned in a double-double performance, finishing with 21 kills and 25 digs, both match-highs. Micah Hammond had 12 kills and four blocks (one solo), while Alyson Penrose matched Colla with 25 digs.
Cal State East Bay got 15 kills from Kiki Leuteneker and Deja Thompson had 12 kills, seven blocks (two solos) and three service aces.
For UCSD, it was just the second five-set match of the year. The Tritons defeated Alaska Anchorage, 3-2, in their season opener back on Sept. 1.
The Pioneers last defeated the Tritons in 2014.
"You don't like to see the seniors disappointed the final time they compete at home, but there's still a lot of important matches coming up on the road," said Luyties. "I'm looking forward to come great competition to finish up conference play."
UC San Diego plays its final three regular season matches on the road, starting at Cal State San Marcos on Nov. 4.