League Championships Gold Edition
The League Championship tournament for the women’s Gold team marked a bittersweet ending as they competed in their last tournament of the year. Although they faced challenges including missing teammates and a late afternoon pool play (which accumulated a sweltering heat inside the gym), the Lady Tritons kept their cool and focused on their pool matches against Claremont and UC Santa Barbara (B). Forgoing two weeks of practice, the Tritons kept up admirably against their opponents with an adjusted lineup for stronger plays, placing setter Lynette Xu in serve receive and other setter Nicole Qui in the front row to make kills from the right side. They fought hard and formidably against both teams, eventually losing the matches with sets including 23-25 in both games. The close losses lit a fire of determination in the women as they moved on from pool play and into elimination brackets.
After tallying the marks, the Lady Tritons were matched up and looking forward to a rematch against the Trojans of University of Southern California (B), who narrowly beat them out last tournament. While both teams were obviously missing players, neither of them missed a beat and played to the rhythm of hard work. With a team full of defensive players, the Trojans played their offense strategically and made the Tritons hustle for the tips and deep balls. The Tritons lose the first set, then recoup to make a game a plan for greater coverage. With aggressive serves from notably from Stephanie Kwan, the Tritons take back the ball into their court and win a close second set 25-23. With the first serve in third set, the Tritons came out strong and gave a fight that highlighted their day. Unfortunately, USC’s scrappiness and defense triumphed against UCSD’s offense; nevertheless, the tournament marked an achievement and completion of UCSD’s first women’s B team. This is only the beginning for most of the players and opens up a glance at the potential of our volleyball program.