FRESNO, Calif. - While the Bulldogs never back down from a dogfight, fifth-ranked Washington packed too much firepower for Fresno State to fend off a 3-0 volleyball loss to the Huskies on Friday night in Seattle.
"Our outside hitters tried to get the job done offensively, but we needed all guns blazing to win that one," head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell said.
Despite falling in straight sets (25-14, 25-15 and 25-14) to a Husky squad poised to make a run for a national title, Fresno State junior outside hitter Marissa Brand continued her offensive assault with 10 kills to mark her tenth consecutive match with 10 or more. Her streak dates back to Nov. 11, 2010 in a showdown with then-No. 3 Hawai'i.
Cecilia Agraz pounded eight more kills to up the Bulldogs' starting outside hitters kill tally to 18 in the three-set match.
On Friday evening, the Pacific-12's Washington (8-0) dictated the pace throughout their seventh straight-set victory of the season. The Huskies' lone four-set affair this year came during a 3-1 win at No. 22 Long Beach State.
"Playing UW was a great opportunity for us tonight," Brand said. "We learned the importance of taking care of our individual jobs in order to better our team as a whole."
Brand led the Bulldogs' offensive execution with her 10 kills while sophomore libero Korrin Wild tallied six digs to lead the Fresno State backcourt.
Setters Barbara Alcantara and Christina Lee tossed up 23 assists for the 'Dogs and Lee added a pair of service aces that stymied the Washington defense.
UW freshman Krista Vansant landed a match-best 11 kills while her Husky teammate Summer Ross had seven kills and seven digs.
"Washington is a poised squad," Netherby-Sewell added. "They served us really tough which froze our offense. It wasn't our night."
Yet, the chance to play an elite opponent that is ranked in the Top 5 nationally by the AVCA helps prepare the Bulldogs to be ready for Western Athletic Conference play and building a resume for the NCAA Tournament.
"It's important for us to compete at the highest level in order to get to our goal of making the NCAA Tournament," Brand said.
Fresno State (3-4) finishes its trip to the Pacific Northwest with a road match at Seattle University (1-9) for the first ever meeting between the schools.
"We have another opportunity tomorrow versus Seattle U and we're moving forward and focusing on doing what it takes to get the win," Brand said.
The Redhawks, who are led by Cristin Richards (4.64 kills per set) and Sarah Jaeckel (3.09 kps), and Bulldogs will compete on the campus of Seattle U Saturday night at 7 p.m. PT.
"We Are Your Team!" - Stay connected with Fresno State Athletics on Facebook and Twitter (@FSAthletics). The next chance to see the 'Dogs at home is Sept. 22 when Bakersfield makes the trip north on Highway 99 for a non-conference match. Fresno State students receive free admission to all Bulldog volleyball matches and are eligible to win $500 to The Bulldog Shop by attending the match as part of the 2011 "Break the Bank" Challenge.