Sep 17, 2019
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Outside hitter Amilya Thompson of Fresno State spikes the ball in front of her opponents during the Fresno State Invitational at the Save Mart Center on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. (Larry Valenzuela/The Collegian)

Bulldogs fall to ‘Runners in the opening match of the Fresno State Invitational

In the first game of the Fresno State invitational, the Fresno State women’s volleyball team fell to the California State University Bakersfield Roadrunners, 3-1, at the Save Mart Center on Sept. 5.

The match began with the Bulldogs attacking quickly to go up four points. The ‘Dogs’ defense started strong in the beginning of the match, allowing them to go on a 15-5 run.

Bakersfield committed many errors throughout the first match, which the ‘Dogs capitalized on.

A lack of communication for Bakersfield was a recurring theme during the first set. Bakersfield setter Sidney Wicks would commit a service error to give the ‘Dogs the win in the first set, 25-17.

In the second set, the ‘Dogs were going back and forth with the ‘Runners. Whenever Fresno State would score, the ‘Runners answered back with a point of their own. 

The back and forth wouldn’t continue for long though. The ‘Dogs would commit six errors to give the ‘Runners the advantage. 

After trailing for most of the second half of the set, the ‘Dogs began to slowly mount a comeback, going from 15-9 to 18-17. 

Fresno State would commit two attacking errors to lose the second set, 25-19, tying the match at one set apiece.

Things didn’t change for the ‘Dogs to start the third set. Fresno State struggled to score against the ‘Runners and was not able to pull ahead. The Bulldogs didn’t seem to be in sync with each other and had a difficult time communicating. 

The ‘Dogs began to, once again, claw their way back to nearly take the third set. They got within two points of the ‘Runners at 22-20, but were unable to capitalize on the momentum. 

Fresno State would go on to lose the third set, 25-20, to put the ‘Runners up 2-1.

Starting the fourth set, the Bulldogs seemed to bring back the same energy they had at the beginning of the match and gained a very quick lead.

 The ‘Dogs were playing well offensively and defensively. 

The ‘Dogs would later allow the ‘Runners to come back and tie the set, 16-16. Neither the ‘Dogs nor the ‘Runners were able to gain a big lead.

With possession and the serve, the ‘Dogs looked determined to take the lead, win the set and force a fifth set to stay alive.

However, Fresno State’s middle blocker Rebecca Rendahl and outside hitter Desiree Sukhov would commit attacking errors, which the ‘Runners capitalized on to take a 24-22 lead.

Sukhov redeemed herself by scoring to bring the ‘Dogs within one. 

Fresno State had the serve, but ultimately lost the set 25-23 and the match 3-1, dropping the ‘Dogs to a 2-2 record on the season. 

“It’s early. We have 10 new players and are trying to figure out how to play the game and what works,” head coach Jonathan Winder said after the game.

Winder said that he understands that they didn’t do well and didn’t perform well. Winder added that the loss hurt, but the team will aim to turn it around in the next two games of the tournament.   

The Bulldogs are set to face CSU Northridge and Santa Clara University at the Save Mart Center, on Friday.

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