Sep 20, 2019
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‘Every match is difficult’

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Matt Weir / The Collegian

WAC play is in full swing and in coach Netherby-Sewell’s second year, the Bulldogs have already matched last season’s win total

Fresno State women’s volleyball had only three wins last season in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and ended the season with a 7-20 overall record. The Bulldogs have already matched their win total for 2008 and are currently above .500 with a 7-6 record.

This past weekend was the start of WAC play and was the ’Dogs’ first loss in conference play. Fresno State traveled to Nevada to take on the Wolf Pack, but fell short in four sets.

Coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell said that the team has grown over the past year and a half. Last year, Fresno State had a 3-13 WAC record. The wins came against Utah State and two against Louisiana Tech. Only one of these wins was at home.

Netherby-Sewell said that the team will improve upon last season’s record by doing more scouting of WAC teams rather than focusing on themselves. In the games before WAC play, the team took the time to improve upon their own play.

“At this point in the program, every match is difficult,” Netherby-Sewell said.

The rest of the season for the Bulldogs is all about WAC games. Fourteen of the next 15 games for the ’Dogs will be conference games, with only one non-conference game at Cal State Bakersfield. The Bulldogs will play seven of the 15 regular season games at home and eight games will be on the road.

Here is a glance at the opponents the Bulldogs will play in their WAC schedule. The teams are ordered one through nine, based on current conference standing.

No.1 Hawaii Rainbow Wahine
Season record: 11-2
WAC record: 2-0
Player to watch: Senior outside hitter Aneli Cubi-Otineru was named WAC Player of the Week for Sept. 14-20. That week she had 18 kills, 20 digs and 5 blocks.
Next opponents: Oct. 1 at Louisiana Tech and Oct. 3 at New Mexico State. These will be the first road games for Hawaii this season.

No. 2 New Mexico State Aggies
Season record: 7-4
WAC record: 2-0
Player to watch: Junior outside hitter Kayleigh Giddens was named WAC Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 21-27. She had 33 digs and 47 kills.
Next opponents: Oct. 1 vs. Nevada and Oct. 3 vs. Hawaii

No. 3 Nevada Wolf Pack
Season record: 5-9
WAC record: 1-0
Player to watch: Junior outside hitter Kylie Harrington leads the team with 189 kills
Next opponents: Oct. 1 at New Mexico State and Oct. 3 at Louisiana Tech

No. 4 Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters
Season record: 11-7
WAC record: 1-1
Player to watch: Sophomore outside hitter Nataliya Panova has six double-doubles this season.
Next opponents: Oct. 1 vs. Hawaii and Oct. 3 vs. Nevada

No. 5 Idaho Vandals
Season record: 5-8
WAC record: 1-1
Player to watch: Senior outside hitter Sarah Conwell had 19 kills and a career-high 20 digs to help Idaho end a six-game losing streak against San Jose State last week.
Next opponents: Oct. 3 vs. Fresno State and Oct. 8 vs. Louisiana Tech

No. 6 Boise State Broncos
Season record: 1-11
WAC record: 1-1
Player to watch: Junior middle blocker Sadie Maughan had a career-high 20 kills to lead Boise State to its first win against San Jose State.
Next opponents: Oct. 1 vs. Fresno State and Oct. 3 at Utah State

No. 7 Fresno State
Season record: 7-6
WAC record: 0-1
Player to watch: Sophomore hitter Baylee Platt is second on the team with 109 kills and leads the Bulldogs with 2.42 kills per set.
Next opponents: Oct. 1 at Boise State and Oct. 3 at Idaho

No. 8 Utah State Aggies
Season record: 8-6
WAC record: 0-2
Player to watch: Sophomore hitter Liz McArthur has a career-high of 24 kills and a career-high of 12 digs this season.
Next opponents: Oct. 1 vs. San Jose State and Oct. 3 vs. Boise State

No. 9 San Jose State
Season record: 0-12
WAC record: 0-2
Player to watch: Senior libero Kristal Tsukano had a season-high 23 digs against California State University Northridge.
Next opponents: Oct. 1 at Utah State and Oct. 9 vs. Hawaii

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