UC Riverside women’s volleyball ends winning drought against Cal State Bakersfield

Nov. 2, 2012
Highlanders 3 – Roadrunners 1

The UC Riverside women’s volleyball team snapped an eleven match losing streak on Friday night Nov. 2  with a 25-11, 20-25, 25-22, 25-21 victory over non-conference opponent Cal State Bakersfield. Tyler Dorsey’s nine kills and team high eight blocks led the Highlanders (6-19, 0-11) to their first home win of the season in front of a spirited Riverside crowd.

UC Riverside bolted out to a 6-1 lead and led by as many as 13 points en route to a 25-11 set win. Powered by blistering kills and dominant serving, the Highlanders overwhelmed the opposing team as they hit an attack percentage of .300 compared to the Roadrunner’s attack percentage .103. The tandem of Jasmin White and Dorsey helped produce a 13-6 differential in total attacks for the opening set.

The second set saw the Highlander’s aggressive attacking backfire as the fantastic kills from the first set started to misfire. Knotted at 4-4, the Roadrunners went on a 6-1 run to lead 11-5 before sprinting to a 25-20 set win. CSU Bakersfield’s Kelsee Sawyer drilled eight kills as UC Riverside’s sideout percentage dropped from 75% (9-12) to 41% (10-24).

The third set featured 11 tied scores and six lead changes as both teams jostled to lead in the vital period. The Highlanders battled to stay in the set early as they fell to a 14-16 deficit following four consecutive errors. A pair of kills by Amanda Vialpando and a service ace tied the score at 18-18 before a string of four UCR points pushed the Highlanders to 22-19 advantage. Two successive UC Riverside errors cut the lead to within one point at 23-22 before a Ashley Cox kill and Roadrunner mistake sealed the competitive set, 25-22.

The fourth set saw UC Riverside fight to earn their first win in nearly two months, a span of eleven games. UCR, feeding off of crowd energy, jumped to a 13-10 lead as the Roadrunners offense struggled with errors. UCR capitalized extending the lead to 21-17 before a surge by the opposing team pulled the set to within two points at 23-21. Following a timeout, Dorsey spurred the Highlanders and the Riverside crowd as her ninth kill gave UCR a match point, which was converted after a Roadrunner error, 25-21.

“She did a great job,” Highlanders coach Ron Larsen said of Dorsey. “She has been working really hard in the gym. Tyler’s excited to be out there, so it’s great to see.” Dorsey led UC Riverside with a team high eight blocks while Vialpando added 12 kills and 9 digs. Emily Borges recorded 36 assists helping the team to a nearly .200 attack percentage for the game.

Late quarter execution has plagued UC Riverside all season, but the win tonight all came down to composure. “We’ve been talking about it all the time. You have to stay composed. You can’t have too many highs or lows, you have to be consistent.” Larsen stressed. “The biggest thing [tonight] was that we really played every point, one point at a time; we didn’t get too caught with what’s going to happen next or what just happened. We did a great job of staying in the moment.”

Dorsey summed up the feelings of not only the team but also the animated crowd as she declared: “We finally did it! We finally got a W!”

Nov. 3, 2012
Titans 3 – Highlanders 1

The UC Riverside women’s volleyball team, brimming with renewed confidence, squared off against their Big West conference adversary Cal State Fullerton on Saturday night Nov. 3  as they looked to gain their second consecutive win of the weekend at the Titan Gym in Fullerton.
Plagued by costly errors and inconsistent stretches of play, the Highlanders (6-20, 0-12) fell to the Titans (13-12, 7-5) in four tightly contested sets (26-24, 25-19, 21-25, 25-22).

Amanda Vialpando led Riverside with 16 kills and 14 digs. Ashley Cox recorded a double-double tallying 11 kills and 10 digs while Emily Bourges added 33 assists and 17 digs. Bre Moreland steered the Titans with 15 kills and 19 digs.

The Highlanders opened the match defensively as the Titans, who have won fifteen straight matches against UCR, pelted an array of kills to lead 5-1. Backed by three Tyler Dorsey service aces, UCR recovered to even the score at 7-7 before pulling ahead 19-15 after two consecutive Dorsey kills. UC Riverside then started to unravel as CSU Fullerton rallied to tie the score at 20-20 prompting a Highlanders timeout. The two teams alternated leads until 24-24 when a Titans kill and UCR error donated the set, 26-24.

After dropping the second set (25-19), the Highlanders opened the third period more assertive on offense as they progressed to a 20-15 advantage before eventually sealing the set behind a Cox putaway, 25-21. UCR’s attack percentage rose from .000 (set two) to .219 (set three) while the Titans produced double digit attacking errors (10).

The fourth set saw UC Riverside trailing 5-12 as the Highlanders struggled to overcome errors that began to seep into play. Strong serving and timely kills aided the visiting team as UCR knotted the score at 18-18. The two teams then traded leads until 24-22 when a Titans kill sealed the match, 25-22.

The Highlanders continue their three game road trip against UC Irvine on Thursday, November 8 at 7pm in Irvine, California.

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