In the first night of the Fresno State Invitational, the Bulldogs faced Saint Mary’s University at the SaveMart Center. The Bulldogs were coming in with a 4-0 record against a 1-2 Saint Mary’s who was looking to start the tournament by beating the host.
Fresno State began the first set by quickly taking control and built an eight point lead that quickly diminished thanks to Saint Mary’s decisive plays. The Bulldogs wouldn’t recover the lead and would lose the first set 25-11.
Being down 1-0 made the Bulldogs come out strong in the second set, having success on the net and also taking advantage of Saint Mary’s mistakes. Saint Mary’s would close up the game tying it 16-16, but Fresno State would come back to win the set 20-25 evening out the match 1-1.
For the third set things heated up with both teams fighting for every point and not wanting to give any away to the opposite side. Saint Mary’s managed to keep the Bulldogs within no more three points for the majority of the third set, eventually winning it, 25-21.
The fourth set was a battle that neither team wanted to lose, with both teams staying within two points from each other. Fresno State managed to take a 24-23 lead. Saint Mary’s managed to tie it and eventually take the next two points to win the set, 26-24.
The Bulldogs top performers of the night were Jessica Gilbert, who had 9 kills with six errors and 30 total attempts. Taylor Slover had 10 kills with six errors and 45 total attempts. Haile Watson had 19 kills, one error and 25 total attempts.
Saint Mary’s won the match 3-1 giving them a 2-2 record and a great start in the Fresno State Invitational.