The women of UCSD’s Club Volleyball team fought valiantly through rigid adversities over the course of St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Kicking off the first day of the West Region Challenge with a bang, the Lady Tritons won against California State University, Fullerton, effortlessly in two sets at (25-16), (25-16). Their victorious streak continued as they defeated their next opponent, Colorado School of Mines, also within two sets at (25-17), (25-19). The back-to-back wins brought out smiles and cheer from the team as it fueled their energy to beat their next rival, University of California, Davis.
When the game began, the ladies had a slow start causing them to play catch-up late in the game, losing the first set. However, they persevered through and captured the energy of the second set with the leadership of their captains Alicia Chen and Emma Choi. By third set, the Tritons completely captured the game’s momentum and energy, granting their second victory against the Aggies this season with scores of (23-25), (25-21), (15-8).
After Friday’s matches, UCSD eased into first place in their pool. The second day of the tournament landed on St. Patrick’s day, which was filled with surprise, magic, and lessons. The pun of the day was a festive deviant from the usual cheer: “SHAMROCK ‘EM.” However, luck runs short for the Tritons as they are competed without two of their middle blockers due to conflicting finals. Fortunately, Julia House stepped up to adopt the vacant position and displayed her prowess on the net. The Tritons played a tough game against University of Central Florida, losing (12-25), (25-18), (15-10). Just in the nick of time, middle blocker Karissa Jacobsen made it back to the tournament before the second game of the day against University of San Diego.
The Tritons have been longing for a rematch since their close losses to the Toreros at recent tournaments. The tension in the air during the first set between the two schools could be cut like butter. With the Gold bracket hanging on the line, the women of UCSD focused and fought for the title, with players such as Sylvia Lee saving plays and digging in the back row. The team displayed their growth as they finally defeated their neighbors, University of San Diego, in three sets (28-16), (21-15), (15-12). By the end of pool play, there was a three way tie between UCSD, USD, and UCF. In the result of point-system to rank the schools into brackets, UCSD was placed in the Silver Bracket. They played against Chico State for first round and suffered a devastating loss of (25-11), (25-17).
Although the ending note of the tournament wasn’t optimal, the Lady Tritons kept their heads up as they take the defeat as a lesson to learn. Furthermore, they ranked 25th in the nation after the West Region Challenge and are poised to continue rising up the ranks in the volleyball world.