'Dogs 'Whitewash' Aztecs, 3-0
Nov. 9, 2013
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State volleyball team (16-10, 10-4) springboarded off one of its top offensive efforts of the year to sweep San Diego State (12-12, 7-7) Saturday afternoon on `White Out Day' at the Save Mart Center.
In a back-and-forth first set that saw 18 ties, the `Dogs outlasted the returning NCAA qualifiers for a 30-28 advantage (and its second-highest point total of the year).
Fresno State then added 25-18 and 25-17 advantages in the second and third sets to become only the second conference team this year to sweep the returning MW co-champions.
"Today was a great win against a talented team," head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell said. "We stayed poised, consistently played smart, and were able to side out well, especially later in the sets. After the first set, we focused a little more on our defense and that made a big difference the rest of the way."
Offensively, the `Dogs combined for a .358 hitting mark - its second-highest mark of the year - while SDSU's .205 total just missed the 12th Bulldog opponent total of .200 or lower this year.
Fresno State also held the upper hand in comparisons for kills (52-46), assists (49-44), aces (3-1) and digs (49-48); and the two teams tied in blocks (6-6).
The `Dogs featured four hitters with +10 kills and +.300 marks for the first time this year - senior outside hitters Korrin Wild (16, .438) and Marissa Brand (13, .314), senior right side hitter Holly Franks (11, .333) and junior middle blocker Maci Murdock (10, .474).
Lee also topped the team in digs (14) for the sixth time this year en route to her 11th double-double of the season and 13th of her career.
"Christina was great, and kept all our hitters in tempo, just like a great quarterback," Netherby-Sewell said. "SDSU has a good block, but Korrin did a great job of using it to her advantage. "
Wild added 10 digs for her 10th double-double of '13 (and 38th career-wise), and freshman libero Maggie Eppright's 10 digs marked her 15th double-digit effort of the year.
In her sixth start of the year, redshirt sophomore middle blocker Molly Pearson topped the team in blocks (4) for the third time this season, and Brand added three.
Climbing a spot on the Bulldog career aces list to third (132-tie), Wild was one of three `Dogs with single aces with Pearson and Franks.
For the preseason MW favorite Aztecs, Emily Harris led in kills (12), blocks (5), points (14.5). Other category leaders included, Kaja Sandberg (.600), preseason MW player of the year and setter Johnna Fouch (28 assists) and Christie Ring (11 digs, 1 ace).
Saturday's outcome stood as Fresno State's first win in the series since 3-0 and 3-1 wins in 2004. The two teams didn't play again until 2012 when SDSU won both matches (3-2, 3-1) and this year's earlier contest in San Diego (3-1).
"This was a big win for us," Wild said. "I can't say how great Christina played. Our offense was clicking, and once our defense came around the second set we really started to fire on all cylinders. We knew we had to serve them tough to try and get them out of system, and were able to do it pretty well."
The first set was one of the most exciting of the year at the Save Mart Center with the largest lead only a three-point `Dog edge at 12-9. After the Aztecs tied the score, 13-13, neither team took a lead by more than one point the rest of the way. Starting at 24-23, Fresno State had the first of five set points, and it took Wild's seventh kill of the set and an attack error by SDSU's Summer Nash to end the period at 30-28.
After a 7-7 tie in the second set, the `Dogs used three kills by Wild for a 4-1 run to go up, 11-8. Two plays later, Franks' pair of kills started another 4-1 run to make it 15-10. SDSU would pull within four at 20-16, but a subsequent 3-1 burst later cinched the set 25-18 on Brand's sixth kill of the set.
In the final set, the `Dogs used a four- and three-point run early to go up ,7-4, thanks to three kills by Brand. San Diego State's longest run of the match - four points - pulled the Aztecs back within, 16-14, but the `Dogs followed with a 9-3 match-ending rally that included two kills by both Murdock and Franks and a pair of SDSU attack errors.
Holding onto a tie for second place in the MW, the `Dogs next travel to Boise State and Utah State for matches next Thursday and Saturday, November 14-16. Both matches will start at 6 p.m. Pacific Time (7 p.m. Mountain Time).
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