When it rains, it pours — and for the women’s volleyball team, the forecast hasn’t read sunny for quite some time. The Highlanders, who are 2-16 on the season, lost two home matches over the weekend to continue an eight-game conference losing streak that dates back to last season.
On Friday night, the Highlanders clashed against UC Irvine, who is 3-3 in conference. After dropping the first set, UCR went toe-to-toe with the Anteaters in the second. They led 22-20 before the visiting team responded with consecutive points to tie the score, 22-22. The Highlanders saved two set points before eventually succumbing to the Anteaters, 27-25. The third set was one-way traffic for UC Irvine as they won the set 25-17.
The next day, the Highlanders squared off against the worst team (record-wise) in the Big West conference, Cal State Fullerton. Going into the contest, UCR was 0-4 in conference compared to the Titans’ record of 0-5.
Cal State Fullerton led 19-12 midway through the first set before the Highlanders responded, closing the gap to 23-20. A service error and Titan block closed the door on the set, 25-20.
The highly contested second set featured 13 tied scores and seven lead changes as the home team jumped out to a 18-13 lead and even reached two set points. Cal State Fullerton proved to be too sturdy as they eked out the set, 29-27.
In the third set, UCR trailed 23-21 before two Alex Gresham kills tied the score, 23-23. The Highlanders then sealed the set with two blocks to win, 25-23.
UC Riverside battled well in the fourth set, but untimely errors and steady play from the Titans proved to be too much as Cal State Fullerton won the final set and match, 25-22.
The Highlanders next hit the road to play Long Beach State on Oct. 24.