Volleyball Loses Five-Game Thriller to SMU

    Oct. 25, 2003

    DALLAS - The Fresno State volleyball suffered its second set back in Western Athletic Conference play when the Bulldogs dropped an exciting and defensive-minded five-game match (30-28, 30-28, 24-30, 23-30, 15-17) to SMU.

    The Bulldogs, who fell to 17-5 overall and 7-2 in league play, had their five-match win streak halted by the Mustangs while falling to 1-3 in five-game decisions.

    Fresno State had three players in double-figure kills and five in double-figure digs. Senior middle blocker Carrie Hartt led the Bulldogs with a career-high 24 kills while adding six digs and seven blocks and hitting .360. Junior libero Tina Brennan tallied a match-high 25 digs.

    Junior outside hitter Kristen Fenton and senior outside hitter Stefanie Taelman each posted a double-double. Fenton chipped in 17 kills and 15 digs while Taelman had 11 kills and 16 digs to go along with five blocks.

    SMU, which improved to 17-5 overall and 8-1 in WAC action, took over second place in the league standings as it boasted four hitters with 10 or more kills and six had 10+ dig performances.

    Beth Karasek (25 kills, 18 digs), Jacky Niederstadt (23 kills, 19 digs) and Allison Holder (21 kills) led the offensive attack for the Mustangs.

    Game one and two was thrilling and tightly played as the 'Dogs went out 2-0 with a pair of 30-28 victories. In games three and four, SMU found its rhythm and answered back with tough serving and a solid blocking game to win the next two.

    Game five slipped through the fingers of the Bulldogs. Up 11-8, SMU charged back to tie it at 11. Fresno State then took a 13-11 lead only to allow the Mustangs to tie it at 13 on a kill and a Bulldog hitting error. A block by junior middle blocker Tiffany Bishop and Taelman gave Fresno State a 14-13 lead. However, a wide shot attempt by SMU was touched by a Bulldog and the Mustangs staved off match point and tied it at 14. Bishop put the 'Dogs up 15-14 but the Mustangs recorded a kill and a Bulldog hitting error handed SMU its first ever win over Fresno State and, more importantly, sole possession of second play in the WAC standings.

     

     

    "We played an outstanding SMU team that never quit," Fresno State head volleyball coach Lindy Vivas said. "It was a well played match on both sides; in fact, we had three or four swings for match point and couldn't quite get it.

    "I thought Carrie Hartt played very well at the net for us. Tina Brennan gave us some really good defense.

    "Down the stretch, our inexperience might have caught up with us, but we had our chances to put it away.

    "We can take some learning experience out of this match and use it down the stretch. It will be nice to be at home for the next few weeks and to be able to work on some aspects of our game that we can improve on."

    Fresno State returns home for four of its final five regular-season matches, beginning next Saturday, Nov. 1, with a 4:00 p.m. match against Nevada.

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