'Dogs Blank 'Pack For Third Straight Sweep
Oct. 12, 2013
By Geoff Thurner
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State volleyball team (10-8, 4-2) continued to ride its offensive wave with a 3-0 win over Nevada (2-16, 0-6) Saturday night at the Save Mart Center.
The 'Dogs combined on a season-best .376 hitting mark - also the fourth-best total in the MW this season and the team's sixth +.300 mark the last 11 matches (and this season).
"Our hitting mark tonight was a product of many things," sixth-year head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell said. "We haven't hit +.300 in three straight matches since I've been here, so that's a great feat. We knew that when you have new setters you can have ups and downs, and they're getting more and more in rhythm as they get more experience. The 6-2 offense can present problems to defenses and gives us more balance so we don't have to rely on any one hitter."
On defense, Fresno State held the Wolf Pack to a .187 mark - the eighth foe this year to hit below .200.
The Bulldogs also led team comparisons in kills (44-33), aces (9-4), blocks (9-3), assists (41-32) and digs (35-34). That aces tally was one shy of the team's season high from a four-set match vs. Wichita State, and its block and kills total were three-set 2013 bests.
"We're playing better and better," Netherby-Sewell said. "We've stabilized our offense with our 6-2 look, and now need to improve defensively a little. We were a little tentative out of the blocks with our serving but that picked up as the match went on. (Blocking-wise) Holly (Franks) is stuffing some outsides and Maci is taking care of the middle. Those blocks are momentum shifters and spark the offense, too."
Senior outside hitter Korrin Wild (13 kills, .385) topped the team in kills for the ninth time this year and logged her fifth +.300 total of '13. She also paced the team in digs (9) for the fifth time this season, and just missed her sixth double-double of the year.
In return for one of the Bulldogs' top all-around efforts of the campaign, her 19 points was the team's three-set season high.
"Korrin can do it all," Netherby-Sewell said. "For four years I've tried to create some things offensively for her in the middle, and we're starting to finally put those in place. She is one of the finest players I've had the pleasure to coach."
The preseason All-MW pick also landed a season-high four aces - the team's third-best total of the year.
"Tonight capped a really great weekend," Wild said. "To win two matches in three sets was really nice, especially after a long trip last weekend. We showed again if we can serve other teams out of system, it really sets the table for us offensively."
Junior middle blocker Maci Murdock logged her second straight +.700 total (.750) and ended .023 better than Friday's mark after she logged six kills and no errors among her eight attempts.
Senior outside hitter Marissa Brand posted the team's third-best mark of the year in hitting (.478), and her 13 kills was one off her three-set season high.
Junior middle blocker Katie Pearson led the team in blocks (5) for the second time in three matches with her career high, and finished just ahead of senior right side hitter Holly Franks (4) and Murdock (3).
For Nevada, category leaders included Grace Anxo (10 kills), Madison Morrell (.400), Lydnsey Anderson (30 assists, 2 aces), Sam Willoughby (2 blocks), Donna Greely (2 blocks) and Kara Klasser (8 blocks).
Saturday's event also included a special mid-match promotion that honored participants of the Step Up For Downs Syndrome charity walk earlier Saturday.
"A big group of us were at the walk this morning, and it really was an amazing event," Wild said. "The kids had such huge smiles on their faces, and have this passion for life. We were able to hang out with them and share in the fun, including an impromptu dance party. Their fighting spirit puts everything in perspective. That same spirit is something we try to emulate, and it was so great to also have them here tonight."
The previous night, the 'Dogs also won in straight-set fashion over San Jose State, and like-wise last Saturday at previously MW-unbeaten UNLV.
Other team sweeps this year came in September at Portland and vs. Cal State Bakersfield.
For the two matches combined this weekend - five 'Dogs topped .300 - Murdock (.737, 14 kills, 9 blocks), Megan Callahan (.500, 5 kills), Katie Pearson (.400, 7 kills, 7 blocks), Brand (.351, 25 kills, 16 digs) and Korrin Wild (.317, 18 kills, 17 digs, 5 blocks).
Catch the Wave: Looking ahead, Fresno State remains at home next week to host New Mexico on Thu., Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. and Air Force on Sat., Oct. 19 at noon. Both matches will be broadcast live via radio on ESPN 790 AM and online videostream at the www.GoBulldogs.com/Video link.