`Dogs Send Seniors Off With Victory

Nov. 23, 2012

Box Score

By Theresa Kurtz

FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State volleyball team sent off the 2012 seniors with a victory on Friday night at the Save Mart Center. The Bulldogs (18-13, 9-7 MW) won a five set thriller over Boise State to extend their winning streak to six games in a row over the Broncos.

The `Dogs came from behind in the second set to win and carried the momentum over to the third set, which Fresno State also won to take a 2-1 lead. The Broncos answered in the fourth set and forced a deciding fifth set. The Bulldogs have a 7-3 record in five set matches.

"This was one of my favorite teams to coach," said head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell. "They are awesome and we had a great year. After we had a little bit of a slump, they came back in the last two matches and got their swag back. I was really proud of them tonight. I knew that if we got them to a fifth set, we would take care of business."

Senior Barbara Alcantara recorded her ninth double-double of the year with 49 assists and 10 digs. She finishes the season with 1,348 assists, which ranks among the Bulldogs top 10 single season records. Alcantara led the conference and was among the top 25 in the nation with 11.2 assists per set. The setter also contributed four kills and hit .364 against Boise State.

"We played hard and with our heart," said Alcantara. "We talked before the match about playing hard and for our seniors. I thought we did just that. I couldn't have asked for a better team. It was awesome to finish the season with a win."

Fellow senior Cecilia Agraz, who took over the libero role late in the season, tallied a team best 21 digs. She also added seven assists. Agraz made program history when she became the first Bulldog volleyball student-athlete to earn Academic All-American honors in 2011.

"I am so proud of my seniors," Netherby-Sewell said. "I am going to miss them. Cecilia helped me rebuild this program. She taught people how to work hard. Barbara was getting better and better this year. I am going miss her, she was a great captain for us."

For the second match in a row, the Bulldogs had success attacking from every angle. Outside hitter Korrin Wild led the offense with 17 kills, she recorded her 14th double-double. Middle blocker Maci Murdock added 15 kills hitting .429 and tallied seven blocks. From the right side, Megan Callahan had 13 kills and hit .345. She also contributed three blocks for the `Dogs.

"It was a real team effort all the way around," said Netherby-Sewell. "Megan (Callahan) really pulled through for the group today. She made big plays at big times. I hope to see more of that in the future."

Like most sets played between Fresno State and Boise State, it was close from the start. The Bulldogs maintained a two-point advantage early in the opening set, but the Broncos tied up the set six times before taking the lead 15-13. Alcantara dumped the ball over the net bringing the `Dogs within one of BSU. The Broncos charged ahead with a 22-16 lead, which was the largest of the set. The Broncos won the first set 25-19.

Alcantara finished the first set with nine assists and hit a perfect 1.000 with three kills. Wild also contributed three kills in the opening set. Maci Murdock, Megan Callahan and Lauren Albertson each recorded a block in the first set.

The Bulldogs trailed Boise State early in the second set. Fresno State battled back with an assisted block from Murdock and Callahan, which cut the Broncos lead to 12-10. A block from Marissa Brand gave the `Dogs their first lead of the set.

Fresno State's lead grew to 21-18 with another kill from Callahan late in the second set. The `Dogs evened the score 1-1 after winning the second set 25-21. Wild led the offense in the second set with five kills in eight attempts. Murdock added three blocks on defense in the set.

After intermission, the `Dogs came out firing on all cylinders taking a 7-4 lead to start the third set. The Bulldogs went on a 7-2 run extended their lead to 10-5 over the Broncos. Boise State went on 4-1 run cutting the `Dogs lead to 11-9. Brand ended the Broncos run with a solo block, her third of the match. Brand ended the night with eight kills, 12 digs and four blocks.

Wild won a long rally for the Bulldogs after dumping it over the net and their lead was extended 16-13. BSU came within one point of the Bulldogs late in the third set, but the `Dogs ended the set with a 6-1 run to win 25-20.

In the fourth set, the Broncos jumped out to an 8-1 lead. Boise State extended its lead to 16-4 in the fourth set with a 9-3 run. Callahan recorded back-to-back kills to keep the `Dogs alive in the fourth set. Freshman Zana Bowens collected a solo block and Fresno State trailed 20-10. Fresno State's comeback was cut short as BSU won 25-12 forcing a deciding fifth set.

The Bulldogs took an early 5-2 lead in the fifth set. At the halfway mark of the final set, Fresno State led 8-4 after a kill from Wild. Albertson hammered down a kill from the middle as the Save Mart Center erupted in cheers. The big plays continued for the `Dogs late in the fifth set as Callahan recorded back-to-back kills increasing their lead 12-7. A block from Callahan and Murdock gave Fresno State match point winning 15-9.

Fresno State concluded the 2012 season with its sixth-straight win over Boise State. Earlier this year, the Bulldogs opened Mountain West action with a five set win over the Broncos. The `Dogs end the 2012 campaign with an 18-13 record and a MW mark of 9-7.

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