Oct. 11, 2013
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State volleyball team (9-8, 3-2) rolled to its second straight sweep and fifth of the year with its straight-set win over San Jose State (4-12, 1-5) Friday night at the Save Mart Center.
With its 25-18, 25-21, 25-19 victory, the 'Dogs also scored their fifth +.300 hitting total of the campaign (.317 to be exact) and all within the last nine contests.
The Bulldog defense limited the Spartans to a .228 hitting mark, and also held team advantages in kills (44-43), blocks (8-6), and aces (8-1); the teams tied in digs (46-46); and SJSU held a slight advantage in assists (43-41).
"We defended well, block decently and our offense was great," head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell said, "We came off an UNLV match where everything was clicking, and we continued to ride the wave tonight."
Senior outside hitter Marissa Brand scored her sixth double-double of the year (and 33rd career-wise), thanks to her 13 kills and her 12 digs, and added three blocks. She also hit .265, and her digs total led the team for the second time this year and was her best in a three-set contest.
For the seventh time this year, junior middle blocker Maci Murdock led the team in hitting (.727, 8 kills-0 errors-11 attempts) with its season high and her fifth +.600 mark of the year. The Turlock, Calif., native also led the team in blocks (6) for the team-leading eighth time and was two shy of her team high (8) that came in an eight-set match.
Sharing direction of the 'Dogs 6-2 offense for the fourth straight match, junior Christina Lee and freshman Brooke Legaux ended with 24 and 14 assists, and Lee just missed her eighth double-double of the year with her eight digs.
Senior right side hitter Holly Franks posted the team's second-best ace mark of the season (5) and was two off her school record from September's four-setter vs. Wichita State.
The Tollhouse, Calif., native added nine kills, six digs and two blocks.
In her second straight and career start, junior middle blocker Katie Pearson posted her career high in kills (5), and her .500 hitting mark was the second-highest of her career.
"Our outsides and middles did great," Netherby-Sewell said. "Our setters had to deal with a different look in serve receive so our offense wasn't always in tempo but they still did well. Our serving was off early, but then really picked up. I was trying to convince Holly to use her jump serve this week in practice. She wasn't confident then, but certainly lit it up tonight. Jaimee-Lee (Morrow) also caught fire late after she stopped serving just their libero."
Off the bench, senior right side hitter Megan Callahan (2 kills) and junior outside hitter Jaimee-Lee Morrow (1 ace) helped Fresno State overcome a 12-8 deficit in the third set with a 14-3 run behind the serving of Korrin Wild, Morrow and Franks in the span of three rotations.
For SJSU, Hanah Blume topped the team in kills (11), and other category leaders included Mary Alice O'Reilly (11.5 points, 4 blocks), Lauren Jacobsen (10 digs), Cori O'Donoghue (10 digs, 1 ace) and Michaela Leonard (40 assists).
"Every win in the Mountain West is important," Brand said, "and to get one like this at home is extra special. We were able to play our game most of the way and stay relaxed. Our setters deserve a lot of credit for how well they're doing with limited preparation (before the past month). They're making it easy on the hitters to do our job."
Looking ahead, Fresno State welcomes Nevada (2-15, 0-5) for a 7 p.m. match Saturday night. Promotions-wise, as part of the Step Up For Downs Syndrome morning walk event, participants who wear their official event shirt will get into the match for free.
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