'Dogs Push Matadors to Five Sets
    Junior middle blocker Maci Murdock hit .348 - her third straight match above .300 - and landed 11 kills.
    Junior middle blocker Maci Murdock hit .348 - her third straight match above .300 - and landed 11 kills.

    Aug 31, 2013

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    FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State volleyball team (1-2) capped its opening weekend of the season with a 3-2 loss to Cal State Northridge (3-0) in Saturday's finale of the Bulldog Invitational Presented by Deli Delicious.

    The Matadors took the opening set, 25-17, before the 'Dogs answered with second- and third-set wins via 25-22 and 25-23 scores. CSN, however, capped the match with 25-17 and 15-9 advantages in the final two sets to win the tournament.

    The Big West representative held Fresno State to its lowest hitting mark of the season (.184), while its .276 total made it the first Bulldog foe to top .230 on the year.

    The visitors also held advantages in the team comparison for kills (64-58), assists (56-51), digs (59-52) aces (8-4) and blocks (13-10).

    In her first weekend of play for Fresno State, senior transfer and right side hitter Holly Franks led the squad in kills (14), hitting (.400) and points (20) to earn a spot on the seven-person All-Tournament Team.

    Two other Bulldogs landed +10 kills - senior outside hitter Korrin Wild (14) and junior middle blocker Maci Murdock (11). The latter player's kill total was a season high by one kill, and she ended with an impressive .348 hitting mark.

    Sophomore Zana Bowens nearly posted her third straight double-digit kill effort, and ended with nine kills, five digs and four blocks for 11.5 points.

    At the service line, Franks landed her first three aces as a Bulldog Saturday to lead the squad. She added season highs in blocks (5) and digs (10) to also celebrate her first double-double, and Wild also achieved the latter honor with her 11 digs.

    Other Fresno State category leaders included senior middle blocker Lauren Albertson (blocks, 6) and junior setter Cori Ehmen (assists, 47). The latter player just missed her third double-double of '13 with her nine digs, and connected on her second ace of the campaign.

     

     

    Three Matador hitters ended with +10 kills - Tournament MVP and opposite side hitter Natalie Allen (17, .294), and outside hitters Cieana Stinson (15, .423) and Mahina Haina (16, .279).

    Middle blocker Casey Hinger just missed similar honors with nine kills en route to a .300 hitting mark, and Allen also ended with a double-double thanks to her 12 digs.

    Other CSN category leaders included Hinger (2 aces), Sydney Gedryn (50 assists, 7 blocks) and Alia Casino (2 aces).

    Earlier Saturday evening, Santa Clara (2-1) beat Rice (0-3) by a 3-1 count to claim tourney runner-up honors with its 25-12, 19-25, 25-17, 26-24 decision.

    Bronco outside hitter Nikki Hess and middle blocker Megan Anders were also all-tourney selections, as were the Owls' middle blocker Jillian Humphrey and CSN's Hinger and Stinson.

    Looking ahead, the Bulldogs travel to the Portland Nike Invitational next Friday-Saturday, September 6-7, to face returning NCAA regional advancers BYU and Wichita State and host Portland.

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