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Archive

Cliff Notes May 2004: Volume 1, Number 2
   

Net Gain

 
     

We don’t offer scholarships and we’re only in Division II. Yet, without much fanfare the Tritons are quietly making waves in the world of big-time volleyball.

UCSD plays in what is unquestionably the most competitive conference in collegiate men’s volleyball—the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Volleyball powerhouses such as UCLA, Pepperdine, Stanford, BYU and Hawaii are all in the MPSF. The conference has been so dominant across the country that only one team outside it has won the national championship in the past seven years, and 11 of the conference’s 12 teams are routinely ranked in the top 15 nationally.

Given the exceptionally high level of competition, very little has been expected of Triton head coach Ron Larsen’s squad. But after several frustrating years of cellar-dwelling in the MPSF, 2004 proved to be a coming-out party for the Tritons.

In the first few months, UCSD beat No. 15 USC, No. 11 Penn State—and the icing on the cake—No. 6 Stanford.

Larsen splits playtime in the setter position between junior Nate Jones and freshman Brooks Dierdorff. Senior opposite Jim Waller, junior outside hitter Adam Toren and sophomore outside hitter Jeff Urton lead the Triton offense in kills. Defensively, senior middle hitter Kevin Keyser leads UCSD in blocks, and crowd favorite 5-foot-5-inch Dickens Tai leads the team in digs (when a player prevents the other team’s attack attempt from hitting the ground).

Despite what most would consider handicaps, the UCSD men’s volleyball team is getting results and turning heads. Fan support has reflected the team’s outstanding season, with bigger crowds packing the gym to cheer on these rising underdogs. And although the Tritons will not make the MPSF tournament this year, they are having a phenomenal season.

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Men's Volleyball Team
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Women's Volleyball Team
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"After several frustrating years of cellar-dwelling, 2004 proved to be a coming-out party for the Tritons."