'Dogs Challenge Aztecs in Four-Set Battle
Oct. 3, 2013
SAN DIEGO - Facing one of its more hostile environments of the year, the Fresno State volleyball team (7-8, 1-2) dropped its first conference road match of the season to San Diego State (7-6, 2-1) Thursday night at Peterson Gym.
The MW preseason favorite Aztecs won the first and second sets - 25-19, 25-18 - while the `Dogs bounced back with a 25-19 victory in the third set. Fresno State appeared in control of the fourth set with its 20-16 edge, but the Aztecs ended the period with a 9-1 run in the 25-21 finale.
Senior outside hitter Korrin Wild topped the Bulldogs in kills (17), points (18), aces (1) and hitting (.306) for the eighth, seventh, fifth and third times this season, respectively.
The conference leader in points this week also turned in her season bests in kills and points in a non-five-set match, and her nine digs left her just shy of her sixth double-double of 2013 and 34th career-wise.
En route to her fifth straight +10-kill effort, senior outside hitter Marissa Brand trailed just behind in kills (16) and hitting (.262) and added an ace.
The `Dogs utilized their complete 13-person active roster for the first time in 2013 as two players made their season debuts - senior right side hitter Megan Callahan and freshman setter Brooke Legaux - who entered the match in the second set and played the final three periods.
The Mission Viejo, Calif,. native Legaux ended with seven assists and three digs in her first collegiate action.
Team-wise, the returning MW co-champion Aztecs sported edges in kills (56-51), hitting (.261-.181), assists (52-47), aces (5-2), digs (56-48) and blocks (11-6).
The SDSU offense had three players with +10 kills - Summer Nash (14, .216), Emily Harris (12, .500) and Michelle Waber (10, .143).
Other Aztec category leaders included MW Preseason Player of the Year Johnna Fouch (28 assists), Courtney Vaccarello (10 digs), Emily Harris (8 blocks, 16 points) and Kaja Sandberg (2 aces).
In set 1, after SDSU jumped out to a 6-1 lead and forced FS to call a timeout, the Bulldogs clawed their way back into the match with three-point runs pulling them within 8-5, 14-10 and then 16-14. After an ace by Brand on the last stretch, the Aztecs answered with a three-point spurt to go up, 20-15. Wild's fifth of six kills in the set and another by Holly Franks tightened the score to 20-17, but SDSU eventually pulled away to a 25-19 advantage and .423 hitting mark for the set.
In set 2, a pair of blocks from Franks and Molly Pearson helped the `Dogs own seven leads through 7-6. However, the Aztecs came back with a six-point streak fueled by five kills by Nash and Steel and a Fouch ace to move ahead, 12-7. Another 7-3 run extended SDSU's lead to 19-10, before a 5-1 FS response that included two of Wild's five kills in the set narrowed the score to 23-17. SDSU used a pair of kills by Harris to soon end the set, 25-18, and stake a .382 hitting clip in the stanza (while the `Dogs improved to.265 in the period).
In set 3, a three-point run that included a Wild ace and one of Brand's six kills in the set put FS up, 10-8. The `Dogs continued to hold 1-3 point leads through 22-19 when kills by Franks and Murdock and an Aztec error gave Fresno State the 25-19 win. Fresno State held SDSU to a .100 mark for the set - its lowest of the match.
In set 4, a five-point Bulldog run behind Wild's serving pushed FS ahead, 11-5, and forced an early Aztec timeout. After Fresno State went up, 13-6, on a Brand kill and SDSU hitting error, the Aztecs answered with a 19-8 run to end the match with the Dog's final points on two kills by Brand, another by Franks and Wild, and a Franks and Katie Pearson block.
Looking ahead, Fresno State wraps up its first MW road trip of the year at UNLV with a 7 p.m. match Saturday, October 5.
The Rebels (8-5, 3-0) edged San Jose State, 3-1, Thursday night, and in prior weeks topped MW rival SDSU (3-1) and Nevada (3-0).