Nov. 10, 2005
Fresno, Calif. - Buoyed by a quick start in game one, the Bulldogs held on to take three tight games to San Jose State's two in one of the most exciting matches of the year. The Bulldogs avenged an early season loss to the Spartans, taking a 30-28, 30-28, 30-32, 26-30, 15-13 victory behind 23 kills by Alison Pitton, who closed out the match with the Bulldogs' final three kills to get the win. In addition, Yuko Mori had a career best 33 digs and setter Robyn Keune set a Fresno State rally-scoring record with 78 assists on the night.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead in the first game, taking a 23-13 lead in the first stanza, but San Jose fought their way back into the game courtesy of Jennifer Sentfleben and Dyana Thompson, who led the Spartans back into a tie of the Bulldogs at 26 all. The Bulldogs held on though, and made two blocks to help seal a 30-28 win. The second game was just as close, even though both teams hit considerably better, Fresno State especially, showcasing a .422 hitting percentage in game two, led by Alisha McKee who had five kills on eight swings in the second match. Despite the Bulldogs' accuracy in the second game, San Jose State held the edge in points at 22-17, but the Bulldogs came back and took the lead at 27-26 on the way to a second 30-28 win.
Game three continued the excitement of the first two, as San Jose State pulled out to an early lead, but Fresno State again came back and moved to a late lead over the Spartans. Unlike the first two games however, Fresno State was unable to close out the Spartans when the chance was there and San Jose State took a 32-30 win. The fourth game was just as close, as the teams didn't outpace each other by more than two points until the very end, where the Spartans' .310 hitting finally overcame the Bulldogs and San Jose closed out the game with a 5-1 run.
The final game continued in the same manner as the rest of the match, as short swings of momentum characterized the game. The Spartans got to the turn ahead 8-6, but after Fresno State tied the match at 8-8, San Jose regained the lead at 10-8. Taking their final lead at 12-11, the Bulldogs tied the match at 12 with an Alison Pitton kill, and then after two sideouts, Pitton made two more kills to give the Bulldogs a 15-13 win.
Fresno State continues their current road trip with another conference game on Saturday, as the Bulldogs take their winning streak to Nevada, whom the Bulldogs beat in Fresno on October 22. That match begins at 2 p.m. in Reno at the Virginia Street Gym.
Game 1 Recap - The Bulldogs opened up game one by stealing the serve and getting a kill from Alisha McKee on the way to an early 3-1 lead. The Spartans came back following a kill from Jennifer Sentfleben and took the lead 5-4 after an ace from Danielle Orong. The Bulldogs continued to hold onto a slim advantage through the early portion of the game. A balanced attack from the Bulldogs resulted in a run though, and the team took an 11-7 win after kills from McKee, Angela Wiggins and Jessica Peterson. Two blocks from the Bulldogs helped extend their lead to 14-7 before the Spartans could record a side out. An ace from Robyn Keune helped the Bulldogs to a ten-point lead at 23-13. San Jose State then began a run of their own, cutting the lead to 25-20, despite a service error from Jessie Shull. Fresno State stopped the run temporarily with an Alisha McKee kill, but San Jose continued to press the Bulldogs, tying the match at 26 after a Jennifer Sentfleben kill. A block from Kasie Spencer and Robyn Keune helped the team keep the lead, and a second block by Jessica Peterson helped pave the way to a 30-28 win.
Game 2 Recap--Matching the end of the first game, rather than the beginning, the teams continued to play evenly in the beginning of the first game, but two San Jose State attack errors allowed the Bulldogs to pull ahead early in the second game 6-4. San Jose closed the gap with a Kristina Conrad ace at 8-8, and the teams matched each other for a continued time at that juncture. Fresno State finally began to pull away from the Spartans after an Angela Wiggins kill and a wide attempt from Conrad gave the `Dogs a 14-11 lead. No momentum was to be gained for either team though, as San Jose State tied the game once again at 15, but Fresno State got the side out and kept the lead. San Jose continued to push the Bulldogs, and extended an 18-16 lead. San Jose State continued to capitalize on Fresno State mistakes on the way to a 22-17 lead. The Bulldogs slowly drew back the Spartans behind kills from Angela Wiggins, tying the match at 27 before registering a block to take the lead 28-27. A kill from San Jose State's Colleen Burke tied the game at 28, but a kill from Angela Wiggins and an attack error by Spartan outside hitter Nia Freeman led Fresno State to a 30-28 win in game two.
Game 3 Recap -- Fresno State opened up the third game with an Alison Pitton kill, but San Jose grabbed the early momentum, taking a 5-1 lead before another Pitton kill ended the run. The Bulldogs began to creep back into the game, using kills from Jessica Peterson and Angela Wiggins to cut the lead to one at 8-7, but San Jose State continued to go to Colleen Burke, and regained a 11-7 advantage. The Bulldogs gained their first tie since 1-1 after a block from Alisha McKee and Kasie Spencer, but another Colleen Burke kill allowed San Jose State to keep the lead. The Bulldogs finally made their third tie of the game at 21-21, and took the lead when San Jose State setter Brittany Collett was called for a double-hit. The Bulldogs extended their lead to 24-21 after Cheryl Selenek recorded a rare kill, and the Bulldogs continued to streak as Alisha McKee made two kills to take a 26-21 lead. San Jose State stopped the run with Colleen Burke kill, and continued to make a move on the Bulldogs, drawing to within one after Nia Freeman's kill made the score 28-27. Jennifer Sentfleben tied the match on the following point as the Spartans tied the game, and the two teams moved into extra points when the Spartans tied the game a second time at 29. Fresno State got a second chance at closing out the match at 30-29, but the Spartans took three straight points and took the game 32-30.
Game 4 Recap - In the midst of a competitive match, game four continued in the same manner, as neither team was able to gain an early advantage and the teams sprinted to a 10-10 tie. Fresno State began to make their move however, taking four straight points before a San Jose State timeout at 14-10. An ace by Jessica Peterson continued the run for the Bulldogs for one more point, before Jennifer Sentfleben made a kill to end the run. Neither team was able to get around the other though, as the teams moved into a 25-25 tie. San Jose State one the next point however, and took a two point advantage following a solo block from Jennifer Sentfleben. Sentfleben followed with a kill, and the Spartans closed out the game 30-26.
Game 5 Recap--Fresno State made the first two points of the final game, but San Jose State responded and evened the score at 2. San Jose took the next point, and held on to a service advantage and extended it with a kill from Kristina Conrad and a lift from Fresno State to take a 7-4 lead. The Bulldogs made a kill and a block to cut the lead back to two before the turn at 8-6. Fresno State continued to bring the game back, as Angela Wiggins made a kill and a Sentfleben attack sailed wide to even the game at 8. San Jose State regained a two-point advantage at 10-8, but the Bulldogs took advantage of a service error from Sentfleben to even the score once more on the way to an 11-10 lead after an Alisha McKee kill. San Jose State answered back, taking the lead at 12-11 before a Wiggins kill evened the game again. Two Alison Pitton kills gave the Bulldogs a match point, but Colleen Burke made a kill to give the Spartans a chance. Alison Pitton made a final kill to close out the game and the match 15-13.
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