Women’s Volleyball Season Opener at Anteater Invitational
The ladies of UC Slam Diego came strollin’ into the Anteater Recreation Center Saturday morning with positive spirits, feeling ready to kick start preseason. Assisting the team as always, setter Gina Powers supplied the team with the proper fuel—mini chocolate chip pumpkin muffins—and then the team headed off to the courts to hit the jump ropes for warm up. After an adequate round of peppering and shared warm up at the net, the Tritons were ready to take on their first opponent, the LMU Lions. At the start of the whistle, the first play of the day—a power shot by middle blocker Alicia Chen—made it apparent that the San Diegans wanted make a statement. For the first half of the set, UC San Diego looked like well-seasoned team; however, the Lions quickly picked up their game and the teams battled it out the rest of the set. UCSD finished on top the first set but barely edged out in the next two sets. All games were close, and despite losing their first match, the Tritons maintained a positive attitude throughout the game and afterwards.
For the second match of the day against ASU, opposite Sydney Riegert and outside hitter Amanda Dieterle made it their mission to be more vocal and encourage LOUDER celebration and communication from their teammates. This small mental switch proved to be effective as the Tritons took the lead early on once again but maintained it throughout the entire match. Simply put, defense and offense alike were on point, and the Tritons managed to earn their first “W” of the preseason.
The third and final game of the day against University of Arizona proved to be the toughest challenge for San Diego. Tall Arizonian blockers were a big factor, but UCSD still put up a good fight. Defense was strong for both teams—even an incredible ear dig was evident on the Triton side as demonstrated by libero Emma Choi—so it was no surprise that the final scores were tight for both sets. The Wildcats won this round, but UC San Diego was ultimately very happy with the day’s performance.
The second day proved that this Anteater Invitational ‘twas the tournament of Arizona teams for UCSD since their first opponent was NAU. Unlike the previous day, the Tritons started off with low energy and didn’t really wake up until the end of the set. However, they were feeling warm and ready by that time, and they really stepped it up in the next two sets. San Diegan hitters from all sides of the net were killin’ it since defense and setting were money! UC San Diego won this match and moved into the Gold bracket.
During the second match, against CSU, long tips and roll shots to the corners of the court left the lady Tritons scrambling and rolling around in defense. While they worked hard to compete against the Rams, a few too many errors ultimately cost them both sets, and thus concluded their time competing at UC Irvine. The Tritons finished the tournament 2-3, but with only 6 practices under their belt, they felt very satisfied about their performance.
There’s nothing quite like the (not-so) fresh smell of kneepads and ankle braces in the gym air, but with that smelly smell you know that it’s volleyball season, you know that it’s going to be a wonderful season, and you gladly take it all in. The women’s club volleyball team is looking forward to an awesome year, and they can’t wait to share it with everyone!