Volleyball Captures Fresno State Invitational Title
Aug. 30, 2003
FRESNO, Calif. - After a sluggish afternoon the Bulldogs stepped it up a notch and posted a four-game victory over Cal Poly to capture the 2003 Fresno State Invitational title this evening. Fresno State wins its own tournament for the sixth time in the last 10 years as junior outside hitter Kristen Fenton was selected to the seven-player all-tournament team.
Fresno State defeated the Mustangs (25-30, 30-24, 30-28, 30-20) to force a three-way tie for first as the 'Dogs, Cal Poly and Idaho State each finished with a 2-1 record. The Bulldogs won the games win-loss tie breaker as they dropped the fewest games (8 wins vs. 4 losses) in the tournament while Idaho State (8 wins vs. 6 losses) finished second and Cal Poly (7 wins vs. 5 losses) placed third.
In the victory over Cal Poly, which came into tonight's match undefeated, Fresno State flexed its offensive and blocking muscles in the last two and a half games to improve to 2-1 overall; the Mustangs fell to 2-1 on the season.
The Bulldogs came from behind in virtually every offensive category in the middle part of the match and would up winning the battle at the net in kills (64-56), hitting efficiency (.229-.212), digs (59-57) and blocks (14-11).
Fenton led all players with 21 kills, her fifth 20-kill career match, as she hit .429 (21-3-42) with two aces, 11 digs and four blocks. She posted her second straight double-double match as she led all players in the tournament hitting percentage (.414) while second in kills (56, 4.67 kpg) and third in service aces (6, 0.50 sapg).
Three other Bulldogs had 10 or more kills in the victory as senior middle blocker Carrie Hartt recorded 14 kills, freshman outside hitter Tuli Peters had 12 kills to go along with 10 digs and senior outside hitter Stefanie Taelman chipped in 11 kills and 13 digs. Sophomore setter Robyn Keune posted back-to-back 50 assist performances as she dished out 54 this evening; she led all setters in the tournament in assists (149) and assist per game average (12.42).
Defensively for Fresno State, the Bulldogs had five player post 10 or more digs as Taelman posted a team-best 13. Junior middle blocker Tiffany Bishop netted a match-high nine blocks as she collected five kills and a pair of digs in the win.
Cal Poly was spearheaded by junior outside hitter Jessica Diepersloot, who had 17 kills, 11 digs and a block.
"This is a good regional victory for us," Fresno State volleyball head coach Lindy Vivas said. "We saw Tiffany (Bishop) get used to our tempo and we were able to give her higher sets and take advantage of her jumping skills. We saw Stefanie (Taelman) come through and we need her experience on the right side. I thought we served tough and forced Cal Poly to hit to the left side and into the strong blocking game of Kristen (Fenton) and Tiffany. The title was nice to give back to the fans and say 'thank you.'
Fresno State hits the road the next three weeks in which the Bulldogs travel to the Sacramento State Invitational (Sept. 5-6), the University of San Diego Invitational (Sept. 12-13) and the Northern Arizona Invitational (Sept. 19-20) before returning back home to open Western Athletic Conference play against Rice (Sept. 25) and Tulsa (Sept. 27).
Note: The Fresno State volleyball coaching staff will conduct a free coaches' clinic on Sun., Sept. 7, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. in the North Gym. All coaches are welcome and are asked to bring paper and pen as well as be prepared to participate in drills. To sign up for the clinic or to inquire about the clinic, please call assistant coach Ben Kubik at (559) 278-5051.
2003 Fresno State Invitational Standings
2003 Fresno State Invitational All-Tournament Team
Tournament record set: 34 block assists, Cal Poly vs. Idaho State (Aug. 29) -- old record was 24, 5 times (most recent Fresno State vs. CS Fullerton, 2000)