There are five banners hanging in UC San Diego's Triton Pavilion marking the three NCAA Division III national championships and two second-place finishes of the women's volleyball team.
"Repeating," said Janet Hughes, UCSD's All American middle blocker, pointing to the rows of banners. "It's all we've been shooting for this season."
Top-ranked UCSD is trying to become the first team to win consecutive Division III volleyball championships. The Tritons (29-4) moved a step closer to their goal by sweeping eighth-ranked Cal State San Bernardino, 15-7, 15-11, 15-11, in the final of the West Regional Saturday night at Triton Pavilion.
The victory advances the Tritons to the semifinals of the national championship tournament where they will meet fourth-ranked Illinois-Benedictine (42-2). Second-ranked Juaniata (53-3) of Huntingdon, Pa., plays third-ranked Elmhurst (38-8) of Illinois in the other semifinal. The championship round site will be announced today.
Cal State San Bernardino (37-8) reached the regional final with a five-game upset of fifth-ranked Colorado College Friday night. But the Coyotes could not muster enough offense, losing for the fourth time this season to the Tritons.
Cal State San Bernardino's only challenge came in the second game with UCSD leading, 7-6. The Coyotes scored four straight points to take a 10-7 lead. San Bernardino led 11-9 after a kill by Lissa McDonald.
But then UCSD turned to its leaders--Hughes and outside hitter Lori Luhnow.
Hughes and Luhnow combined to score all of the Tritons' next six points to give UCSD the game, 15-11, and a commanding 2-0 lead in games.
With the Coyotes leading 11-9, Luhnow scored a side out on a cross court kill. UCSD then scored on a dink by Luhnow and a block by Hughes to tie the game. Jennifer Wellman gave San Diego the lead with an ace and the Tritons closed out the game on a kill by Hughes, who then teamed with Luhnow to score the final point on a block.
Cal State San Bernardino did not recover in the final game as UCSD rolled to a 13-4 lead. The Coyotes pulled to within 14-11, but kills by Diana Klintworth gave the Tritons a side out and match point.
Hughes led all players with 14 kills. She also had three service aces and five blocks. Luhnow added fur service aces and four blocks. Kim Ensley led San Bernardino with 10 kills.
Lori Rodman had nine kills and eight digs to lead Loyola Marymount to a 15-11, 15-11, 15-5 West Coast Athletic Conference victory over the University of San Diego at the USD Sports Center.
Judy Conners and Kris Mitchell each had seven kills for USD (5-18, 3-8). Loyola Marymount is 14-15 and 8-4.
Steve Smith scored 25 points and Rus Heicke added 22 to lead United States International University to a 90-88 victory in an exhibition game against Australia's Brisbane Bullets at Grossmont College.
USIU's Josh Buell hit a 10-footer with 2:48 remaining in the game, giving the Gulls their first lead, 85-84. This was Brisbane's first loss on its 12-game North American tour. The Bullets are 7-1.
Dan Mattera, who alternated between fifth and sixth singles last year for the University of San Diego, will play USC freshman Byron Black of Zimbabwe in at 10:30 a.m. today in the final of the Rolex/ITCA Southern California regional tournament at UC Irvine.
Mattera defeated No. 5-seeded Bob Bierens of UCLA, 6-4, 6-3, in the quarterfinals, and followed with a 6-4, 6-2 semifinal victory over No. 4 Trevor Kronemann of UC Irvine. Bierens is ranked No. 42. Kronemann is 33rd.
Dave Stewart and Scott Patridge of the University of San Diego meet Arizona State's Brian Gyetko and Mike Holten in a doubles semifinal today.
UC San Diego's Tom Zois qualified for the NCAA national meet with his time of 26:57 over a five-mile course at the NCAA Division III Western Regionals at the College of Norte Dame in Belmont, Calif.
UCSD's Denise McFayden covered the 5,000-meter women's course in 18:04 to qualify for the national meet. Also qualifying, was UCSD's Sabrina Jensen with an 18:44.