No.18 WWU falls to No.25 UC San Diego at Sonoma Invite
ROHNERT PARK, Calif. - Winning the first two sets and ahead midway through the third, Western Washington University was unable to hold on as it fell 21-25, 15-25, 25-20, 25-21, 15-13, to UC San Diego in a battle between two nationally ranked Top 25 teams Friday to open the Sonoma State Seawolf Spike Invitational Volleyball Tournament at the The Wolves' Den on the SSU campus.
The Vikings, ranked No.18 in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division II Coaches' Poll, suffered its first loss in falling to 4-1. The Tritons, rated No.25, improved to 3-2.
WWU outside hitter Marlayna Geary (Sr., Tacoma/Bellarmine) had a team-high 21 kills, 10 digs and five blocks. Middle blocker Kayla Erickson (So., Gig Harbor/Peninsula) contributed 18 kills and a .438 attack percentage and four blocks, and opposite-side hitter Jennica McPherson (R-Fr., Seattle/Kennedy) had 14 kills and 11 digs. The double-double by Geary was her sixth straight dating back to last season.
UCSD was led by the match-high 26 kills (.361 hitting pct.) of Danielle Dahle and the 19 kills and match-high seven blocks of Sara McCutchan.
WWU won the first two sets, scoring five straight points to take a 17-12 advantage in the opening game and having seven consecutive points for a commanding 21-11 lead in game two.
In the third set, the Vikings had a run of six points to take a 15-14 lead and were ahead 18-17, but USCD avoided a potential sweep by scoring seven straight points and nine of the last 11.
The fourth set was tied at 19-all before the Tritons scored six of the last eight points, and the fifth set was knotted at 13-13, UCSD scoring the last two points to win the match.
WWU meets Cal State Stanislaus later this afternoon at 3:45 p.m. The Vikings play twice Saturday, meeting Chico State at 1:30 p.m. and facing host and No.23-ranked Sonoma State at 7 p.m.
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