Clarke, `Dogs Fly By Air Force, 3-1
Sept. 2, 2010
FRESNO, Calif. - Junior Brianna Clarke and the Bulldog offense took flight on Thursday night in Orem, Utah, to lead the Fresno State volleyball team past Air Force 3-1 (25-19, 25-23, 20-25 and 25-13).
"Every time we play we get a little bit better. It's a positive sign," head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell said of her team's performance. "Brianna Clarke had the best match of her career so far. She was totally unstoppable."
Clarke, one of the 12 members on the 2010 Preseason All-WAC team, drilled Air Force's defense throughout the contest and recorded kills on 17 of her 23 attacks with no errors for a blistering .739 hitting percentage. The mark is the second-best clip in a rally scoring match by an individual student-athlete in program history.
Clarke also paced the team with eight blocks in the four-set victory over the Falcons, who the Bulldogs will join in the Mountain West Conference some time in the next two years. She is a local product and graduated from Clovis' Buchanan High School in 2008.
"We lack experience in some positions, but we have a group that works, fights and has some talent," Netherby-Sewell added. "Air Force had a lot of fight and spunk. We need to get better at keeping the pressure on teams like that."
"Marissa was solid for us on the outside with a decent attacking efficiency and some tremendous defensive efforts," Netherby also noted. "As usual Korrin Wild and Kelly Mason passed nails for us allowing Brianna to have a field day. The competition just keeps getting tougher, so we need to keep getting better."
As a team, Fresno State dictated the pace of the match and edged Air Force in nearly every statistical category, including a 15-5 advantage in total team blocks.
The 'Dogs jumped out to a 2-0 lead to apply the pressure on the Falcons early and often. The win improved Fresno State's season record to 2-2. The Bulldogs will take Friday off to prepare to face Utah Valley University at noon on Saturday in Orem, Utah.
"We Are Your Team!" -- Fresno State welcomes the NAIA's Fresno Pacific Sunbirds to the Save Mart Center on Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. for an exhibition match. The evening will celebrate "Greek Night" with the highest attending fraternity or sorority winning a date with the entire volleyball team and one lucky and spirited fan will take home a free flat screen TV.