The UC Riverside volleyball team (5-13, 0-5) went against tough opponent Cal State Fullerton Saturday, Oct. 6 at the SRC Arena, in what was a showdown that saw 14 tied scores and five lead changes. The Highlanders were tied 1-1 after two sets, however, but would lose two straight sets and the match 1-3 (25-18, 22-25, 25-19, 25-22).
The Highlanders had three players that recorded double-digit kills. Ashley Cox led the team with 23, Amanda Vialpando with 15 and Jasmin White with 13. Cox and Vialpando were the only two Highlanders with double-doubles as they recorded Riverside had a lower attack percentage with .242 compared to the Titans .306. The Titans (8-10, 2-3) were led by Kayla Neto who had 21 kills and 14 digs.
The first set of the match was a tight one with five tied scores, the last one coming at 9-9 before the Titans rallied for four straight points that opened up a 13-9 lead. The Highlanders came within two points twice, the last at 14-12, but Fullerton scored four more points to lead 18-12 and eventually winning the set.
In the second set, UC Riverside was down 1-3 before tying it 3-3 and eventually taking a 6-4 advantage with two straight kills by White. The Highlanders were able to get ahead of the Titans 14-8 and midway through they still led 17-11 before Cal State Fullerton slowly fought their way back into the set.
The Titans closed themselves within two points three occasion: 22-20, 23-21 and at set-point 24-22 before Titan Bre Moreland committed an attack error that gave Riverside the 25-22 victory and tied the match at 1-1.
Riverside started off the third set down 1-3 before they rallied back to tie it at 3-3 and then took a 4-3 lead by a Cox kill and two White kills. The Highlanders allowed the Titans to go on their own run as they scored four consecutive points to take a 7-4 lead and then stretched their score to a 13-7 advantage.
Riverside fought their way back with three kills from Vialpando, Annishia McKoy and Cox to close the gap within two 11-13, however, Cal State Fullerton tiled up four straight points to open their lead to 17-11 and eventually won the third set 25-19 for a 2-1 lead.
Riverside started the fourth set up 1-0 but quickly found themselves down once again 1-3 before tying it at 4-4. Fullerton turned the 4-4 tie into a 7-4 lead before Riverside fought their way back within one 8-7 after kills by Vialpando and Cox.
Cal State Fullerton then went on a rupture grew their one point lead into a 13-9 advantage and eventually led by six 12-14 before the Highlanders tried to make a comeback. The Highlanders came within one point, 19-20, thanks in part to Cox who had three kills. The two teams traded points before the Titans scored three consecutive points to lead 24-20 at set-point.
Riverside tallied two points but a costly error by White gave the Titans their final point and the match.
Next up for the Highlanders is a 7:00 p.m. match against Long Beach State on Thursday, October 11 at the SRC Arena in Riverside.