BERKELEY, Calif. - The Fresno State Bulldog volleyball team beat the Big East Conference's Seton Hall Pirates 3-1 by set scores of 21-25, 25-21, 25-19 and 25-17.
The Friday late afternoon match served as the opener for the 2010 Hilton Garden Inn Classic on Friday night in Haas Pavilion on the campus of the University of California.
"I like that once we settled down that we were able to get a more assertive offense going," head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell said. "I like that we kept coming together and getting more strategic as the match went on. Seton Hall's hitters went after us and I was glad we were able to contain them. They play against good competition every year. It's a good win."
After dropping the first set 25-21, Fresno State opened with 11-4 run to start the second set sparked by a renewed offensive firepower from the talented Bulldog outside hitters. The Pirates relentlessly chipped away the Dogs' lead and evened the score on four separate occasions starting midway through the set. Fresno State turned to their fight and determination to even the match at 1-1 with a 25-21 second set victory.
The `Dogs remained focused and applied a steady attack on the Pirates throughout the remainder of the contest with one the outside hitters, Marissa Brand, recording a match-high 19 kills, a career-best for the sophomore from Cypress, Calif.
"I am so happy we moved Marissa to the outside," Netherby-Sewell noted of the Brand, who has also played middle blocker. "Even though she has a lot to learn, Marissa is adaptable and getting better each match. This is the type of player we have needed on the outside for three years."
Freshman Erin Stock directed the Fresno State offense with 46 assists and 15 digs.
Junior Kelli Parker's energetic style of play and another efficient performance by 2010 Preseason All-WAC honoree Brianna Clarke also provided a catalyst for the Bulldog victory in the first meeting between Fresno State and Seton Hall.
Fresno State improved to 3-3 on the season and 2-0 at neutral sites. Seton Hall is now 3-5 on the year.
The `Dogs return to the floor of Haas Pavilion tomorrow at 11 a.m. to take on the UC Davis Aggies and will also play host No. 10 California at 4:30 p.m.
"UC Davis is strong and physical," Netherby-Sewell added. "We need to go into that match more confident than we have been. Cal is one of the best teams in the country. I would like to see us loose, gain confidence and be assertive tomorrow."
The live statistics of both matches can be viewed on www.gobulldogs.com through Gametracker.
"We Are Your Team!" - The Bulldogs return to the Save Mart Center for the Fresno State Invitational on Sept. 17-18, 2010. The `Dogs will face No. 8 USC, Sacramento State and Cal State Bakersfield in the two-day tournament. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for seniors/youth and free for Fresno State students. For more information, continue visiting www.gobulldogs.com.
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