The Lady Seasiders Volleyball squad lost their first match of the D2 West Region Volleyball Showcase, falling to the University of California San Diego Tritons in three sets on Thursday, Sept. 8 at RIMAC Arena in La Jolla, CA.
“Our first match with UCSD was a nail biter in the first set,” said Head Coach Mona Ah-Hoy. “Our girls did a really good job at competing and actually enjoying the sport of volleyball.”
The Seasiders’ attack was lead by junior setter Sydney Bunker and junior outside hitter Sinamoni Tonga. The duo would connect for nine scores over the night. The 5’2” Bunker brought her usual energy and passion to the match leading the team with a total of 16 assists over the three sets.
“It feels amazing to be at a tournament on the mainland, because I can have my family and friends in the stands supporting me,” said Bunker, a junior from Arizona majoring in biology.
The Seasiders’ first trip across the ocean back to the mainland gave the team an added boost, evident by their energy and excitement in the first set. The Tritons jumped out to an early lead and appeared in control of the set, up 13-8. But the Lady Seasiders mounted a furious comeback tying the game at 13 with a 5-0 run.
The two teams would trade points the remainder of the set. The set required extra points after both teams reached the 25-point mark in a deadlock. The Tritons would reach set point twice, but the Seasiders rallied both times to tie and eventually had a one-point advantage of their own. But the Tritons would even the score and go on a two-point run to win the first set.
Ah-Hoy was not as excited about the remainder of the match. “During the second set, we fell apart and mentally couldn't get back into things,” she said. “UCSD did a great job in serving us tough and keeping our offense out of system.”
The Seasiders would trade points with the Tritons to start the second set but would quickly fall into a five-point deficit. The Seasiders rallied on to a 5-1 point run highlighted by a kill from Lacy Lang, assisted by Tonga, to bring the Seasiders within one point at 10-11. But the Tritons would dominate the rest of the set winning 25-13.
The third set was similar to the first when a Triton run left the Seasiders with an eight-point deficit down 24-16. After two Seadsiders’ points by sophomore Brittany Waite and Tonga, UC San Diego put the set and the match away with a kill from outside hitter Morgan Kissick, making the final score 25-18.