Bulldogs Outlast the Gauchos, 3-2
Sept. 15, 2012
By Theresa Kurtz
By Theresa Kurtz
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Fresno State volleyball team won its second match of the tournament after defeating UC Santa Barbara in five sets (21-25, 25-17, 25-18, 14-25, 15-11). The Bulldogs (6-5, 0-0 MW) dropped the first set, but bounced back winning two straight set and the final set for the win.
The `Dogs were clicking on all cylinders against the Gauchos in their sixth win of the season. Fresno State followed the game plan laid out by head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell. The Bulldogs serving game looked solid with a combined 12 aces. Junior Korrin Wild and Zana Bowens led the team with three aces each.
"We did the little things better today," said Netherby-Sewell. "We stuck with the game plan and chipped away at the Gauchos. We had our moments where certain things broke down, but overall I think we did a good job of staying on task and working together."
Offensively, the Bulldogs totaled 57 kills with Marissa Brand recording a team best 20 kills. Also recording double figures was Wild and Murdock with 15 and 11, respectively.
"Marissa hit a ton of balls today," added Netherby-Sewell. "She got us kills when we really needed it. She also dug some really key balls and overall played well for us."
Libero Christina Lee had another solid game for the `Dogs, she grabbed 28 digs against UCSB. Wild and Brand also tallied in double figures to record double-doubles. Brand has six double-doubles on the year and Wild has five.
"Christina also picked it up," Netherby-Sewell said. "She had a ton of digs and they were good digs. She was smooth and digging to target. She also served tough, so I thought she did really well today."
In the first set, UCSB started to pull ahead, but Megan Callahan ended the Gauchos 4-0 run with a kill for the side out. The Bulldogs took the momentum and went on a 4-0 run to even the set at 7-7. Fresno State gained a three-point lead with another short 4-0 run.
The Gauchos came back and won the first set 25-21 after ending the set with a 7-3 run. Murdock opened the match with four kills in the first set hitting .429. Outside hitter Marissa Brand added four kills of her own and junior Korrin Wild totaled three kills in the opening set.
The Bulldogs jumped ahead with a 7-2 lead in the second set behind the serving of Zana Bowens. The freshman recorded two service aces in the 5-0 run by the `Dogs. She ended the set with a total of three aces. Fresno State continued to aggressively attack on offense increasing their lead 10-3.
Senior Barbara Alcantara recorded an ace for set point and the Bulldogs coasted to 25-17 set victory. After two sets, Brand led the team hitting .320 with nine kills and Alcantara led the team with four assisted blocks. The setter ended the match with 50 assists, Alcantara has recorded 50 or more assists in four matches in 2012. Fresno State tied the match 1-1 heading into the locker room at intermission.
The third set stayed evenly matched with neither team being able to hold a lead. The Bulldogs took control with a 5-1 run to gain a four-point lead. For the second set in a row, Fresno State won set-point with a service ace. Libero Christina Lee recorded the final point in the third set giving the `Dogs the win, 25-18.
The Gauchos won the fourth set 25-14 forcing a fifth set to decide the match.
In the final set, the Bulldogs came out of the huddle fired up taking an early 3-0 lead. Fresno State increased its lead 8-2 with aggressive offense and solid passing. Molly Pearson recorded the match-point with a kill in the middle of the court and the `Dogs won the set 15-11.
"I'm not sure if this year we have lost set one and come back to win sets two and three, so that is an accomplishment for us," said Netherby-Sewell. "I liked out poise in set five, but what we need to work on is keeping our intensity and ability to be consistent in set four."
The `Dogs are 1-1 in the tournament and finish with a non-conference match up with Yale at 5 p.m.
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