`Dogs Take Aztecs to Five Sets

Oct. 4, 2012

Box Score

By Theresa Kurtz

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Fresno State volleyball team took San Diego State to five sets and nearly upset the Aztecs, who were picked to finish second in the Mountain West. The Bulldogs (9-7, 2-2 MW) lost to SDSU 3-2 (23-25, 25-19, 26-24, 17-25, 17-15).

The Bulldogs fell behind 1-0 before winning two-straight sets gaining an advantage in the match. The Aztecs came back to win the fourth set forcing a deciding set, which SDSU held on to win.

"Matches like those are painful to lose," said head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell. "We had a lot of things going against us in this match. To come so close makes it a tough one to lose. San Diego State is good at home and we will get them next time at our place."

Bowens recorded back-to-back service aces as the `Dogs trailed SDSU 15-12 in the first set. She is among the top 10 in the conference in aces per set with 0.3. The Bulldogs fell behind the Aztecs by six points, but went on a 7-2 run to cut San Diego State's lead to one. Fresno State held the Aztecs at set-point nearly coming back to win the first set, but SDSU hung on to win 25-23.

The Bulldogs stole the momentum in the second set after Marissa Brand and Lauren Albertson came up with a huge block for a point. The assisted block brought the `Dogs within one of SDSU. Fresno State went on a short 4-0 run to gain the lead. Behind solid serving, the `Dogs increased their lead to 14-9 over the Aztecs. Albertson led the team with seven assisted blocks and Brand recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 15 kills and 12 digs.

Christina Lee served up another ace for set-point as the `Dogs won the set 25-19. In the second set, the Bulldogs served up a total of four aces and a 10 on the night. Wild recorded a match-high four aces and leads the conference with 0.4 aces per set and a total of 27 on the year.

The Aztecs opened the third set with a 7-2 lead. The Bulldogs chipped away at the lead with the help of Murdock, who slammed the ball down the middle of the court for a kill and the `Dogs trailed by two. Fresno State evened the set 18-18 with a short 3-0 run behind the serving of Lee.

Late in the third set, the Bulldogs took a 23-21 lead with a quick 4-0 run. The `Dogs came from behind and won the third set 26-24.Murdock recorded four kills in the third set. The sophomore middle blocker hit .565 with a total of 15 kills on the night. She also added two assisted blocks.

"Maci Murdock and Lauren Albertson by far got the Fighting Spirit Award tonight," added Netherby-Sewell. "Not just because they played awesome and did some great thing for us, but their attitude was terrific. They really tried to give to the time in the tough times."

San Diego State jumped ahead in the fourth set. The Bulldogs kept it close until the end and an 8-1 run gave the Aztecs the 25-17 win forcing a fifth set.

The Bulldogs and Aztecs were tied 6-6 to start the fifth set. SDSU took the lead with a quick 3-0 lead that was ended by a kill from setter Barbara Alcantara. Alcantara's kill started a 4-0 run giving the `Dogs a 10-9 lead. An Aztec service error evened the score 15-15. San Diego State scored back-to-back points to win the set 17-15 and the match 3-2.

"Our passing and ball control were off," Netherby-Sewell said. "When that's off, it's tough to win. We will come back and get it going on Saturday." Fresno State faces Nevada next on Saturday, Oct. 6 at noon in Reno, Nevada. The `Dogs return to the Save Mart Center on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. against Colorado State.

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