November 9, 2013
Titans 3 – Highlanders 0
This season has been more than forgettable for the UC Riverside women’s volleyball team. They’ve lost 22 of 23 matches — only winning a set in five of those contests — and are currently the worst team in the Big West Conference (0-10). Despite facing a team that has lost six consecutive matches, Saturday night’s showdown against Cal State Fullerton was no jaw-dropping surprise as the Highlanders etched another loss into the calendar in a straight-set defeat (25-16, 25-11, 25-20).
The Titans, who have won 18 straight matches against UCR, opened the first set with consecutive kills and pushed their lead to 17-10. The Highlanders responded by reeling off five straight points to close the margin to within two, 17-15. Cristina Maietta and Annishia McKoy assisted by Nae Bender converted on several flares to instill a glimmer of hope for UC Riverside, but Cal State Fullerton quickly silenced any comeback, winning eight of the next nine points to seal the set, 25-16. UC Riverside had a positive kill-to-error ratio (11-10), but recorded eight more errors than their opponent (14-2).
The second set was a more straightforward affair for the Titans as they steamrolled the Highlanders en route to a 25-11 game.
In the third and final set, the two teams came out swinging as there were 15 lead changes in the game. A combination of kills from Ashley Cox and Bri Holmes as well as a pair of service aces saw the Highlanders battle for the lead at 18-17, but the Titans refused to release their stranglehold on the set. The home team, backed by roars from the crowd, used an 8-2 surge to close out the match, 25-20.
Cox led UC Riverside with a game-high 13 kills while Bender recorded 10 digs and 26 assists. Alyse Hensley led Fullerton with 11 kills.
The Highlanders return home to the friendly confines of the Student Recreation Center Arena on Nov. 14 to square off against UC Irvine.