Volleyball Defeats Utah State To Win Aztec Challenge

Sept. 1, 2012

Box Score

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - San Diego State got double-figure kill efforts from four players as it defeated Utah State, 3-1 (25-17, 23-25, 25-22, 25-18), Saturday night to claim the tournament title at the 2012 Holiday Inn Mission Valley Aztec Challenge. The victory gives the Aztecs a 5-0 start to their season, the first time they have opened with five victories since the 2001 campaign.

Senior middle blocker Andrea Hannasch led the way for SDSU with 15 kills and three blocks while Michelle Waber recorded 14 kills and 11 digs along with a pair of blocks.

Also reaching double figures in kills for the Aztecs were junior outside hitter Summer Nash (11) and sophomore right side hitter Chaiymin Steel (10). Both Nash and Steel also had four blocks on the night while Emily Harris led all players with six blocks and chipped in with seven kills and a .375 hitting percentage.

Kristi Jackels turned in a match-high 16 digs over the four sets while setters Johnna Fouch (6 digs) and Chloe Mathis (5 digs) finished with 28 and 24 assists respectively.

Utah State (5-2) was led by a trio of player with 12 kills apiece including Rachel Orr, Shay Sorenson and Candace Richins.

The opening set saw San Diego state jump out to a 6-2 lead and build that advantage throughout the contest en route to the eight-point victory. Nash, Waber and Hannasch tallied four kills apiece to lead the Aztecs, who hit .351 as a team during the set. Nash added three blocks to her line as did teammate Emily Harris.

In the second set the teams were never separated by more than three points as the contest was tied on seven occasions before settling in at 23-23. The Aggies then got a pair of kills from Candace Richins to take the set and even the match at 1-1. Utah State's Shay Sorenson led all players with six kills while Hannasch and Weber finished with four each for the Aztecs.

In set three, Utah State led most of the way, but only by as many as three when they went ahead 15-12. The Aztecs tied the contest at 15-all with three straight points on kills by Nash and Hannasch plus an Aggie hitting error. The visitors, however, came right back to take a two-point lead at 18-16 before SDSU rattle off four in a row to go up by two at 20-18. The Aggies got back to within one on two occasions after that, but couldn't overtake the home side which claimed the set on a kill by Hannasch, who finished with a total of four in the set.

In the fourth set San Diego State set the tone early as it jumped out to a 10-5 lead. The Aggies trimmed that advantage to three points midway through the set and trailed by that margin at 20-17 before SDSU scored five of the next six points to win the set and match. Hannasch had three kills down the stretch the thwart any comeback thoughts by the visitors. The Aztec senior totaled six kills in the set with Waber and Nash collecting four apiece in the winning effort.

Both Harris and Waber were named to the all-tournament team with the latter picking up tourney MVP honors for the second consecutive weekend.

Up next for the Aztecs is a trip to the islands to compete in the Verizon Volleyball Challenge in Honolulu. SDSU will open tourney play on Friday, Sept. 7, against sixth-ranked Hawai'i at 7:00 p.m. (HT) at the Stan Sheriff Center. Other participants include defending national champion and third-ranked UCLA along with Idaho.