'Dogs Soar Past Falcons, 3-1
Oct. 19, 2013
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State volleyball team cruised its fifth straight victory of the season with a 3-1 win over Air Force Saturday morning at the Save Mart Center.
In the 25-21, 22-25, 25-18, 25-18 victory, the `Dogs (12-8, 6-2) posted their seventh +.300 total in the last 13 matches with their .325 total vs. the Falcons (4-15, 1-6) - also their third-highest mark of the campaign.
Fresno State also served up nine aces - one shy of its season high - and nearly doubled Air Force's total (5).
"It was nice to get started early and get the match over quick," Bulldog head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell said. "We had a little problem getting into rhythm early partly because we were trying people at different positions, but we ended up hitting .325 so that was good. Air Force battled us and hit really well deep against us which made us defend the whole court. A difference for us was our serving which was very good. On Thursday, we served way too easy against New Mexico so that was a point of emphasis - we did much better today and had them on their heels much of the way."
In other team comparisons, Fresno State sported edges in kills (62-57), assists (58-56), digs (73-67) and blocks (5-3).
Senior outside hitters Marissa Brand and Korrin Wild both topped .300 (.353/.316) and ended with 20 and 16 kills. The duo also both had 14 digs for their fifth and seventh double-doubles of the year and 33rd and 35th career-wise, respectively.
Posting her sixth multi-ace match of the year, Wild ended with three aces to end one shy of her season high.
On 'Dog all-time career lists during the weekend, Brand moved up a spot on the kills list to eighth (1,157), while Wild and her 125 career aces stand seventh-best - only two behind former All-American Ruth Lawanson (sixth, 127).
Junior middle blocker Maci Murdock led the team in hitting (.429) and blocks (5) for the 10th time this year in each category. The current MW Player of the Week ended without an error for the fourth straight match and landed nine kills among her 21 attempts.
Junior setter Christina Lee logged 40 assists and 18 digs for her seventh double-double of the year, and led the team in the individual categories for the 14th and 15th times, respectively.
Junior middle blocker Katie Pearson logged a career-high four aces to pace the team for the first time this season, and added career highs in digs (5) and kills (5-tied).
Among other notable stats, senior right side hitter Megan Callahan recorded a season-high five kills; freshman libero Maggie Eppright added 14 digs; and freshman setter Brooke Legaux logged eight assists in two sets of play.
"We've been trying to figure out which middle blocker to have serve," Netherby-Sewell said, "and Katie proved today that she can do it consistently. We used a lot of different players on the right side - Megan got a block there late and that's something we are looking for from that position."
Falcon category leaders included Maggie Sherrill (19 kills), Ayesha Hein (.353, 2 blocks), Hillary Keltner (53 assists, 2 aces) and Rebecca Bates (18 blocks).
Saturday's outcome kept the 'Dogs in a second-place tie in the MW with UNLV with 6-2 marks, while No. 12 Colorado State stood two matches ahead at 8-0. In the preseason coaches poll in mid-August, the Rams were tabbed second by conference head coaches, while UNLV followed in third and Fresno State in sixth place.
Looking ahead, Fresno State looks ahead to the first of two straight conference road trips with matches at MW leader and No. 12 CSU (17-0, 8-0) and Wyoming (13-9, 3-5) next Thursday and Saturday, October 24 and 26.