Nov. 21, 2011
LAS VEGAS --- From start to finish, the Fresno State volleyball team set the dial to cruise control and ousted defending Western Athletic Conference tournament champion Utah State in a quick three-set 25-18, 25-19, 25-10 on Monday evening at the Orleans Arena.
"That was awesome - we've peaked at the right time," head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell said. "It was impressive. We found guts and consistency. Everybody did their job. Top to bottom, it was terrific."
Senior middle blocker Brianna Clarke, a first-team All-WAC selection, torched the Aggies offensively (12 kills/.733 hitting percentage) and moved within three blocks of tying the 19-year-old school record of 437 held by Suzie Regal (1989-92) with five blocks in the match.
"Tonight was so great! The way that we came together and played as a team was so phenomenal," Clarke said. "We are so strong as a whole when we play together."
Sophomore second-team honoree Korrin Wild landed a career three-set best 17 kills to lead Fresno State to the straight-set win.
The dominating effort by the Bulldogs came in large part from strong serving and passing to set the stage for a .381 team hitting percentage and force Utah State to only muster a .100 attacking clip. Liz McArthur led USU with seven kills.
"We were strong in all categories tonight," Netherby-Sewell said. "If we play like that (tomorrow), we have a shot against a very good team."
Fresno State (14-14) will face No. 3 Hawai'i on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. in the WAC Tournament Semifinals, looking for their first ever win over the Rainbow Wahine in the two school's final meeting as members of the WAC.
"We are going to play to win, like we do every night," Netherby-Sewell said of the 'Dogs, who are on pace for a team Fighting Spirit Award for the season after earning another one from their coach for their play on Monday night.
"We Are Your Team!" --- The fifth-seeded Fresno State Bulldogs will battle top-seeded and regular season conference champion Hawai'i in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament Semifinals on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. in the Orleans' Arena. Tickets are available at the Orleans Arena Box Office. The match will also be streamed live at wac.tv. Be sure to like Fresno State Athletics on Facebook and follow @FSAthletics on Twitter for the latest from Fresno State's journey at the tournament in Las Vegas.
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