Senior outside hitter Aleisha Coates (#3) goes for a kill against San Diego State on Saturday afternoon at the Save Mart Center. (Christian Ortuno/The Collegian)

‘Dogs conquer Aztecs

The Fresno State volleyball team defeated the San Diego State Aztecs 3-1 on Saturday afternoon in front of a lively Save Mart Center crowd.

The Aztecs took the first set 25-23, but the Bulldogs were able to recoup and win the next three sets 28-26, 25-20 and 29-27.

“We weren’t defending very well out of the gate,” said Fresno State head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell. “We had our chances and I thought that our defense started to pick up a little bit, but if we could get that rolling a little earlier in the set we would have a better shot. We weren’t siding-out terribly well in the second set, but we were defending a lot better, so we were taking care of the ball a lot more. We started blocking some good balls and made them start hitting out of bounds. It was a little bit of an up-and-down, ugly offensive battle on both sides, but I thought our defense did a nice job.”

Senior Aleisha Coates led the team with 13 kills and a season-high 14 digs. The ’Dogs had 14 team blocks, their second highest of the season.

The win brings the Bulldogs to an overall record of 13-12 and a conference record of 4-10. With only four matches to go, Netherby-Sewell said the team is doing all it can to finish the season with a better record than it had last year.

“We want to win our home matches, so we got one today,” Netherby-Sewell said. “We want to win our senior night match so that’s a big one. We want to improve on last year. We’re a better team. Our national rankings are way better. So we are better than last year, but we want our record to show that.”