'Dogs Take Runner-up Trophy in Fresno State Classic
Sept. 14, 2013
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State volleyball team (4-5) capped another national-caliber home tournament with one of its most exciting efforts of the season.
The final outcome - a Duck 25-21, 25-17, 25-14 decision - wasn't indicative of the performance vs. the returning NCAA runners-up (7-3) in the finale of the Fresno State Classic Presented by Deli Delicious.
"We overcame some some unexpected lineup switches this week to still get two wins," head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell said, "so that was a good thing. We came out on fire vs. Oregon tonight, but then broke down in our serve and passing - you can't do that against a top-25 team."
Punching her ticket to the six-person all-tournament team, senior outside hitter Korin Wild led the team in kills (13), digs (6) and points (13.5). The preseason All-Mountain West pick posted a season high hitting-wise (.391) and her eighth double-digit kill tally.
The Kingsburg, Calif., native also topped the four-team tourney field in kills and points per set averages (4.60/4.85) and stood fourth in the digs category (3.40 p/s). All three averages easily bettered her pre-weekend season averages (3.32 k/s; 2.08 d/s, 3.78 p/s).
Another all-tourney selection - junior middle blocker Maci Murdock - followed with her team-best sixth +.300 hitting total of the campaign (.429, 8 kills).
Among other top Bulldog individual efforts:
- Senior middle blocker Lauren Albertson topped the team in blocks (5) for the fifth time in 2013.
- In her third start at setter, junior Christina Lee's third straight double-double (30 assists, 10 digs) also led the team in in both categories for the respective third time this year.
- Junior outside hitter Jaimee-Lee Morrow's two aces off the bench tied her season high and paced the team for the first time this season.
- Senior right side hitter Holly Franks was just shy of her fifth double-double of '13 with eight digs and eight kills.
For No. 20 Oregon, category leaders included Tournament MVP Ariana Williams (.529), All-Tournament Team member Lauren Plum (32 assists), Canace Finley (6 blocks), Liz Brenner (13 kills, 14 points), Amanda Benson (2 aces, 15 digs) and Tatum Norton (2 aces).
Team-wise, the Ducks owned edges between the two fast-paced offenses in hitting (.356-.143), assists (38-34) and aces (6-2), and also defensively in digs (40-34) and blocks (11.5-6.0).
Earlier in the two-day event at the Save Mart Center, the 'Dogs fought back from an 0-2 deficit Friday to defeat Belmont, 3-2, then opened Saturday with a 3-0 win over CSU Bakersfield.
Before it ended Fresno State's six-set win streak in front of a season high crowd of 1,051, Oregon had swept Bakersfield and Belmont in straight sets.
"This is the first week we had Christina at setter," Netherby-Sewell said, "and she did great considering how little time she had to get ready. The preseason is all about getting ready for conference, and we took some positive steps the last two days. We will continue to get better at our serve and passing, among other things. I also wanted to give a big thank you to the a great crowd - they showed it's a fantastic arena to play in, with a lot of energy."
In other action Saturday, Bakersfield swept Belmont in the early evening.
Looking ahead, Fresno State next heads to the UC Irvine Invitational to play American, Xavier and UC Irvine on Friday-Saturday, September 20-21.
Fresno State Classic All-Tournament Team