Showing Signs of Life
UC Irvine 0, Fullerton 3
After experiencing a rare victory against the Highlanders of UC Riverside last week, UC Irvine returned to its struggling form against Orange County foe, CSU Fullerton on Nov. 12.
The losing habit continued, as the Titans swept the Lady Anteaters in three sets: 25-9, 25-22 and 25-19.
Juliane Piggott led the Anteaters with eight kills. Setters Ashley Bozsa and Mary Carls combined for 24 assists in the losing effort.
The struggles against the Titans can be attributed to an anemic offense that failed to show up early on in the game. In the first set, the Anteaters mustered up six lone kills, registered nine errors, hit for an abysmal -.073 and recorded nine points to Fullerton’s 25.
UC Irvine 3, CSUN 0
After dropping their 20th game of the season, the Anteaters certainly turned heads on Nov. 13 as they swept Cal State Northridge in three sets: 25-23, 25-21 and 26-14.
Pestolesi led the way with 12 kills, and Carls also made her presence felt by adding 26 assists in the sweep.
After the Titans overpowered the Anteaters in every aspect of the game, UCI dominated the stat sheet as they out-killed the Matadors 40 to 30, recording seven more assists and 13 more digs. The Anteaters displayed a fierce defense as they held the Matadors to .069 hitting percentage.
The Anteaters opened up the first set with a 5-2 lead, but the Matadors climbed back into the set, tying the opening game at 5-5. After seven ties and three lead changes, the Anteaters found themselves trailing the set at 22-23. Down by one point in the late stages of the game, the Anteaters maintained their composure and capitalized on a Northridge hitting error.
“Last time we played Northridge, they gave us a lot of free balls and we didn’t capitalize,” Assistant Coach Ben Bodipo-Memba said. “That was one of the main points to tonight, when they gave us a free ball we had to make them pay.”
With the score knotted up at 23 apiece, Piggott recorded a kill and Kristen Winkler ended the set with an ace.
After splitting the first 10 points in the second set, the Matadors looked to take the momentum away from the Lady Anteaters as they cut a six-point deficit to one. Up 21-20, UCI ended the set on a 4-1 run and took a surprising 2-0 set advantage.
In the third set, the Anteaters displayed their poise and composure that has been lacking for much of the season as they battled through 11 ties and five lead changes.
With the win, the Anteaters have won two out of their last three. UCI also recorded its first home win since Oct. 5. The Lady Anteaters will look to carry their momentum onto next week’s matches against Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Fullerton.