Aztec Volleyball Downs Idaho In Five Sets
HONOLULU - San Diego State concluded play at the 2012 Verizon Challenge with a 3-2 (25-23, 23-25, 25-16, 24-26, 15-12) victory over Idaho Sunday evening at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu. The win halted a two-match losing streak for the Aztec, who improved to 6-2 on the season.
Four Aztecs ended the night in double figures in kills led by Summer Nash with 18. Michelle Waber (three service aces) and Chaiymin Steel (three blocks) had 13 kills apiece while teammate Andrea Hannasch (two blocks) had a dozen.
Setter Chloe Mathis contributed 24 assists and 14 figs to record her first double-double as an Aztec. Emily Harris chipped in with a team-leading five blocks with libero Kristi Jackels notching 17 digs.
The opening set went back and forth with Idaho (2-8) holding a slight edge until the Aztecs took a 17-16 lead late in the contest. But the Vandals responded and eventually went ahead 23-21 before SDSU tallied four straight points to win the contest. Those four points came on a kill by Steel, service ace by Mathis, a combination block by Harris and Raegan Shelton plus a game-winning kill by Harris.
In the second set, a furious late comeback fell just short as the Aztec fell by two points. The Vandals took a seemingly insurmountable 18-11 lead only to see SDSU fight back to within a point at 20-19 with a rally fueled by four kills from Michelle Waber. Idaho then won four of the next five points to go ahead 24-20. But kills by Waber and Steel plus an Idaho attack error brought the Aztecs to within one at 24-23 before Idaho captured the contest on a kill by Ashley Christman.
In the third set it was San Diego State getting off the mark quickly as it jumped out to the early 8-3 lead. Those eight points came courtesy of a pair of kills by Sumer Nash along with one each by Hannasch and Steel plus four Idaho hitting error. The Aztecs built that advantage to 13-5 and did not allow the Vandals to get closer than six points the rest of the way en route to the nine-point victory.
Set four saw Idaho with the upper hand almost from the start although they were unable to pull away over the course of the contest. SDSU's only lead came at 6-5 after which Idaho scored three straight points to take go up 8-6. After that, the Aztecs would tie the contest on five occasions, but were unable to regain the lead. Similarly to the second set, the Aztecs faced set point against them trailing 24-20, but this time were able to come back and tie the contest at 24-all before a kill by Alyssa Schulz and an SDSU hitting error allowed the Vandals to claim the set 26-24.
In the fifth and deciding set, San Diego State got on top quickly as it ran out to a 6-2 lead and did not allow the Vandals to get closer than three until the final point of the contest. Idaho did provide some late drama when it trailed 14-8 and faced match point. The Vandals were able to score four consecutive points to get to within 14-12 before Andrea Hannasch provided a kill to win the set and match for the Aztecs.
San Diego State will now prepare for next weekend's five-team Fullerton Classic that will get underway with the Aztecs facing Santa Clara on Friday, Sept. 14, at 1:00 a.m. in Titan Gym. Other tourney participants include host Cal State Fullerton along with Oregon State and Brown.