Gator volleyball bounces back in full swing with sweep against UC San Diego

SF State

The SF State Gators' volleyball team celebrates a point during the game against UC San Diego at The Swamp in San Francisco Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. The Gators beat UC San Diego 3-0, putting them in second place in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. Photo by Tyler Deniston / Special to Xpress

Getting back into action, the SF State women’s volleyball team swept visiting UC San Diego Saturday night to hold onto second place in CCAA conference standings.

SF State finished 2-1 after their long week of play against the top three teams in conference. With two wins against Sonoma State and UC San Diego, the Gators kept pace with leader Cal State San Bernardino.

Sophomore Jazmine Williams, who hit her season best of nine kills, is thrilled to come out on top after these tough battles.

SF State

SF State Gators' Iris Tolenada (10) sets the ball during the volleyball game against UC San Diego at The Swamp in San Francisco Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. The Gators beat UC San Diego 3-0, putting them in second place in the the California Collegiate Athletic Association. Photo by Tyler Deniston / Special to Xpress

“Coming out 2-1 was pretty amazing,” Williams said. “We already knew that this week was going to be tough. Especially beating the opponents we beat this week, I felt like we got respect.”

The Gators dominated early, leading the Tritons by several points. With the first set ready to close in the Gators favor, the Tritons fought back to tie the game and make the Gators work for it. A couple of kills and one key ace later, the Gators managed to come back and take the first set.

Feeding off the energy from the first win, the Gators picked up the pace, outhitting the Tritons .297 to .185. The Gators made easy work of the Tritons by holding their offense to only 18 points in the second.

UC San Diego came fighting back in the third set to take the lead. The Gators tied the game eight times before finally closing out the game 25-22.

SF State finished strong with 50 kills, 48 assists and seven aces. Senior Iris Tolenada recorded her fifth double double with 43 assists and 12 digs. Sophomore Kelly Ostello hit 18 kills and freshman Meagan Wright hit 10 kills, continuing the Gators double digit kill count.

Sophomores Jazmine Williams and Melissa Horton contributed to the team stats by hitting season highs.

Horton spiked eight kills and was excited to finish the week strong.

“Sweeping them in three was really what we needed,” Horton said. “Collectively we were on the same page and we just had more intensity and urgency throughout the whole game. We just need to continue to stay on the game plans that our coaches are giving us.”

UC San Diego finished with 33 kills, 32 assists and one ace. The Tritons were led by freshman Danielle Dahle’s 15 kills and sophomore Amber Hawthorne’s 23 assists.

Coming into tonight’s match, UC San Diego was 6-1, having only lost to Cal State Dominguez Hills.

SF State was 6-2 after losing to Cal State San Bernardino Oct. 5. With a fresh wound from the night before, the Gators were able to bounce back and hold off the Tritons.

Head coach Michelle Patton believes the team focused on what they needed to accomplish tonight.

“We served tough,” Patton said. “We kept their offense out of system a little bit, a little bit more than last night. They committed to it, and it was a good thing for us.”

The Gators will take on Humboldt State Oct. 12 and Cal Poly Pomona Oct. 13. Both games will begin at 7 p.m. at “The Swamp.”

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