Against the overwhelming attack of a visiting Cal Poly team (11-4, 3-1), the UCI women’s volleyball team(7-10, 1-4) struggled to uphold their point-by-point mantra, falling in straight sets (25-17, 25-11, 25-17) Thursday night at Crawford Court.
Offensively, the Anteaters were outclassed by the Broncos, who hit above .400 each set (.412, .467, .412) to finish the night with a .429 hitting percentage to the Anteater’s .162. The Broncos also reigned supreme in service aces (4-0), digs (51-38), and blocks (8-3).
For the Anteaters, the loss marks a momentary lapse from the disciplined teachings of first-year head coach Ashlie Hain, who has continuously stressed the importance of collectively improving with each point rather than focusing on winning or losing.
“I think they’re letting the results catch up to them, instead of the process, and thinking about the plan that’s right in front of them […],” said Hain. “They’re getting overwhelmed by the runs, […] and kind of mentally checking out, so we have to do a better job of staying with it, and just, having the confidence to side out right away and be able to recover, attack, and show resilience.”
Senior middle-blocker Ella Rosenfeld had the strongest performance of the night for the Anteaters, posting seven kills and no errors at a .467 clip. Freshman opposite Harlee Kekauoha and junior outside hitter Victoria Dennis added six and seven kills respectively, but at a much less efficient pace (.133 and .059).
In the first set, UCI led 8-6 before Cal Poly rallied an 8-0 take the lead 14-6. With a sizable lead, the Broncos went on to comfortably take the set 25-17.
Cal Poly exploded in the second set with a string of 12 unanswered points on the Anteaters to lead 21-7. The Anteaters would manage four more points before succumbing 25-11.
Despite posting their highest hitting percentage of the night (.222 after .146 and .107 in the first two sets), the Anteaters still could not stymie the offensive prowess of the Broncos. After leading 17-14, the Broncos erupted with another run of unanswered points to hold a 22-14 lead before clinching the set 25-17.
The UCI women’s volleyball team will look to realign their focus before returning back to Crawford Hall Saturday night to host UC Riverside at 7:00 pm.
“We’re not executing and that’s something we got to focus on in practice: […] executing, not letting the team go in reverse,” said Hain.