Bulldog Push Cowgirls to Four Sets
Nov. 21, 2013
By Geoff Thurner
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State volleyball team (17-12, 11-6) opened its final weekend of home play with another taut match capped by a pair of overtime sets against Wyoming (18-13, 8-9) Thursday night at the Save Mart Center.
The `Dogs cruised to a 25-18 win in the first set before the Cowgirls rebounded to take the second period, 25-16. Action proved closer after intermission, and Wyoming rallied from set-point disadvantages in the third and fourth sets to pull each out 26-24 and 28-26.
"Volleyball is a game of momentum," Fresno State volleyball head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell said, "and tonight Wyoming found it at just the right times. This conference is so tough, and you can't let your guard down, which we did in the second set, and they capitalized. Give Wyoming credit, they played well defensively, but our serving wasn't up to par tonight and some of our players' passing was off, too."
At match's end, Fresno State still held sizable edges in kills (60-48), assists (54-45) and digs (70-58), while Wyoming topped comparisons for blocks (18-12), aces (8-1) and fewest service errors (5-13).
The Bulldogs' 12 blocks was its third-best mark of the campaign, while the Cowgirls' blocks and service ace totals (18/8) were the highest- and second-highest of the season by an opponent in '13, respectively.
Individually for Fresno State, senior outside hitter Korrin Wild tied the team season high for kills (22) with her fourth +20-kill tally of the year and 10th career-wise. The All-MW returnee also led in hitting (.250) and added her 11th double-double of the season (and 39th career-wise), while her 23 points was one shy of the team season high.
Two other Bulldogs also posted double-doubles - senior right side hitter Holly Franks (13 kills, 11 digs) and junior setter Christina Lee (37 assists, 12 digs) - their eighth and 12th of the year, respectively.
Junior middle blocker Maci Murdock tied the team's second-best season mark in blocks (8), and her 11 kills was her 10th double-digit effort of the season.
Also on defense, freshman libero Maggie Eppright topped the digs column (13) for the 14th time this year.
For Wyoming, three hitters ended with +10 kills - Reese Plante (13, .083), Bridget Shanahan (12, .235) and Kayla Slofiss (11, .139). Plante added three aces while Nicole Walker and Kaitlin Johnson each posted two.
Other Cowgirl category leaders included Rachel Keyes (42 assists), Becky Stewart (17 digs), Erin Kirby (10 blocks) and Shanahan (10 blocks).
With three matches remaining in the regular season, Thursday's outcome left the `Dogs in a four-way tie for second place in the MW at 11-6 with New Mexico, UNLV and Utah State. On Thursday, UNLV won 3-2 over Utah State in Las Vegas, while the Lobos swept Air Force at home on Wednesday.
Looking ahead, the `Dogs wrap up their home slate on Saturday, November 23 at 11 a.m. vs. No. 10 Colorado State (26-0, 17-0) at the Save Mart Center. The Rams swept San Jose State on the road Thursday and are one of two unbeaten teams left in the nation with Missouri.
"We're going to come right back and give it our all on Saturday," Netherby-Sewell said. "We let their arena intimidate us a little when we played them last month, so we look forward to having them here this time. We have nothing to lose, and we have a group of seniors who we want to play hard for in their last match at home."
The match offers * FREE ADMISSION * to all fans, and a special Senior Day pre-match ceremony will be held to honor Fresno State's five-member class that includes Wild, Franks, middle blocker Lauren Albertson, outside hitter Marissa Brand and right side hitter Megan Callahan.
CATCH THE WAVE - Follow the 'Dogs on Twitter at @FresnoStateVB.