Nov. 16, 2012
Gauchos 3 – Highlanders 2

The misfortunes continued to pile for UCR’s struggling women’s volleyball squad (7-22) after a hard-fought match ended with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos.

The Gauchos took an early 1-0 lead thanks to a 25-23 victory in their first set, which consisted of mostly back-and-forth scoring by both teams.

In the second set, the Highlanders showed that they were not going down without a fight, as they emerged victorious by a persuasive margin, 25-16.

A nail-biter of a third set ensued. With the Highlanders trailing 20-17, a 5-0 run gave UCR the lead, 22-20. The Gauchos showed resolve, going on a 4-0 run of their own to snatch the lead right back. With the score tied 25-25, an Ashley Cox kill and Gaucho error iced the set in the Highlanders’ favor.

UCSB took the fourth set, 25-23 with mostly back-and-forth scoring by both teams.

A 4-0 Highlander run in the beginning of the final set instilled confidence in the team, but the Gauchos were able to cut the deficit to one point with a 3-0 run of their own. With the score tied, 9-9 the Gauchos caught fire yet again and embarked on another 4-0 run to put them in position to walk out of hostile territory with a win.

Match point for UCSB, 14-11, Leah Sully scored on a kill, sending the Gauchos home happy, and leaving the Highlanders with the bitter taste of defeat for the 22nd time.

Nov. 17, 2012
Highlanders 3 – Mustangs 2

The graduating seniors of the UC Riverside women’s volleyball team were honored in a pre-game ceremony prior to squaring off against Cal Poly.

Cal Poly gained an early 2-0 advantage in the first set, but the Highlanders countered by scoring 11 of the next 14 points, gaining an 11-5 advantage that the Mustangs were never able to threaten, allowing the Highlanders to take set one 25-17.

In the second set, the Highlanders took an early 3-0 lead and never looked back. With the Highlanders leading 20-15 in the set, the Mustangs were able to rally and score four straight points to cut the lead to a single point. It was to no avail, however, when Amanda Vialpando’s kill sparked a 4-0 Highlander run on their way to winning the second set, 25-20.

With a sweep looming over their heads, the Mustangs opened the third set by scoring seven of the first 10 points to set the tone for a 25-18 victory.

After taking a 1-0 lead, panic set in at the SRC Arena as the Highlanders let a 2-0 set lead slip away when the Mustangs forced a fifth set with a momentum-swinging 25-15 victory.

Vialpando made her final home game one to remember, dominating the fifth set with five kills, one to initiate match point for the Highlanders who emerged victorious, 15-11.

The Highlanders improve to 8-22 for the season with Saturday’s win, and travel to Honolulu for their final regular season contest on Nov. 23.