Photo by: Andy Wilhelm
Senior Molly Dalziel had an ace to get the winning 29th point in a marathon second set.

UC San Diego Splits Final Tune-Ups Before Conference Slate


FRESNO, Calif. - The University of California San Diego women's volleyball team defeated Seattle Pacific and fell to Simon Fraser Saturday on the final day of the Division II West Region Showcase, hosted by Fresno Pacific at the Special Events Center.

In its last match of the two-day tournament, UC San Diego (4-2) swept Seattle Pacific (2-5) by scores of 25-19, 29-27, and 25-15.

The Tritons were relentless at the net, totaling 10 blocks and holding the Falcons to a meager .049 (35-28-143) attack percentage.

Seven players had multiple kills for UC San Diego, including sophomore Gina Cortesi and junior Sydney Tekstra, who each amassed eight. Cortesi and freshman Brie Severino (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS) led the team defensively with 13 digs apiece. Junior Jessica Rieble had five blocks (one solo)  and senior Micah Hammond had four stuffs (one solo).

"Jessica and Micah were both on their game and were able to take over the match," said UC San Diego head coach Ricci Luyties. "With the two of them playing well, it makes everything easier for their teammates."

UC San Diego hit .184 (38-15-125) for the match. Both teams made eight errors from the service line.

The Tritons never trailed in the first and third sets. The middle set featured 13 tie scores and five lead changes. Down 21-15, UC San Diego battled to tie it with six straight points, two of those coming from Rieble on a kill and a block. The Tritons went on to spoil three set points for SPU. At 27-27, Severino had a kill before senior Molly Dalziel got the winning point with an ace.

Gabby Oddo collected 11 kills and 16 digs, both match-highs, for Seattle Pacific. Amanda Ganete matched her with 16 digs.

Scores against Simon Fraser (3-2) went 25-22, 25-22, and 25-12.

The Tritons hit .276 in the first set, but went downhill from there, swinging at .175 in set two and .111 in the third. They finished at .196 with 33 kills and 11 errors in 112 attacks.

On the other side of the net, the Clan hit .296 with 51 kills and 14 errors in 125 attempts. They held a 60-50 advantage in digs and dropped in eight aces from the service line.

Rieble and Cortesi each had eight kills and both hit well with Rieble finishing at .571 (8-0-14) and Cortesi at .368 (8-1-19). Cortesi also added a team-high 12 digs.

For SFU, Tessa May had a match-best 15 kills while hitting .407 (15-4-27). Betsie de Beer and Lauren Fridman each contributed 10 kills and Jayne Bratsberg finished with a match-high 17 digs.

Down 22-18 in the first set, UC San Diego rallied with three straight points to get back within one, but Simon Fraser won three of the last four points to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

The Tritons got out to a 13-8 lead in the second frame. The Clan took a timeout and returned to the floor to score five consecutive points to tie it at 13-13. With UC San Diego later up by a score of 19-18, SFU reeled off four straight points to earn a 22-19 lead and it never trailed again.

Already up 19-12 in the final set, Simon Fraser slammed the door shut by scoring six straight points to put an end to the match. 

The Tritons went 2-2 in Fresno. Friday, they swept Fresno Pacific and lost against Chaminade.

Now finished with the regular season tournament circuit, UC San Diego opens its California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) season on Saturday, Sept. 8, at cross-county rival Cal State San Marcos (7 p.m.). The Tritons and Cougars split their two-match series in 2017.

"I feel like this team has only scratched the surface of its potential," said Luyties. "I'm looking forward to seeing how we play when everyone has a good match at the same time."


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