This past weekend saw the Men’s A and B teams competing in their first preseason action at San Diego State University’s tournament. Both teams were able to be very competitive and play at a high level even though they have only been playing together for about a month.
The teams arrived on Friday night fired up and ready to play. The B team made easy work of the Miramar college B team, and pulled off an exciting victory over the SDSU A team in three sets to finish the finish 2-0 in pool play on the first day! The leadership of returners Ryuen Le, Connor Otto, and Luke Byrnes helped the Tritons in their winning efforts.
On the neighboring court, the UCSD A team swept the floor with SDSU’s B team and Miramar’s A team to also end the day at 2-0. Both Triton teams worked to develop chemistry amongst each other while trying to maintain a high level of play that would set the tone for the rest of the weekend.
On Saturday, both teams played one crossover match, each with the knowledge that they would be placed into the gold bracket of playoffs regardless of the match outcomes. With this in mind, both teams were able to try out new lineups and put players in positions they may not normally play in order to test the teams’ versatility.
Heading into Sunday, both teams were brimming with confidence. The Tritons B team was matched up against the Miramar College A Team, hoping they could match the result that the A squad had accomplished two days earlier. The match was hard fought, but unfortunately the B team was unable to pull out a victory, losing narrowly to Miramar, 2-0.
The A team was matched up against a University of Arizona team boasting a lot of height, but the Tritons were able to play consistent volleyball all three sets, limiting errors and giving them the edge needed to pull off a 2-1 victory. In their next match, the boys were pitted against rivals SDSU A team. The UCSD A squad showed who the true kings of San Diego are, winning 2-0 in dominant fashion, led by pin hitter Curren “Yes Sir” Malhotra and libero Connor “SHHHH” Martin. In the tournament finals, the A team was set the play Utah Valley University (UVU), a team loaded with size, skill, and experience. UVU got off to a fast start, having had an entire match to rest, while the Tritons were playing their third straight. The A team was able to find their rhythm eventually, but it was just a little too late, as they lost the first set 25-20. The second set proved to be much closer; a back and forth battle nearly the entire. However, UVU’s scrappiness and experience helped them edge out the Tritons in the end, 25-23, and to win the match 2-0.
Both Triton teams now head into the last few weeks of the quarter looking to finish their preseason on a high note, and ready to come back in the new year eager to dominate.