Apr 01, 2020
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Tourney time for ’Dogs


Bryan Cole / The Collegian

Fresno State to face La. Tech in first round at Hawaii

To compete in the 2008 Western Athletic Conference volleyball tournament, Fresno State must have a “play-in” game before they earn the chance to go against everyone else.

The Bulldogs are the eighth seed going into the Stan Sheriff Center at the University of Hawaii campus. Their opponent is the last-seeded Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters.

The winner of the play-in game will face New Mexico State, the No. 2 seed in the WAC Tournament.
“We have a pretty good seed. We’re playing La. Tech first. They’re actually playing pretty well and they’re going to be tough,” coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell said. “Hopefully we’ll be successful in that match.”

Junior Kelly Leonardo will be playing in her third WAC Tournament and believes that this team is different from the previous ones she played on.

“We’re a lot more confident,” Leonardo said. “We haven’t had the best season in all of my three years here but we’re learning every day. We’re holding each other accountable for everything and we’re just playing for ourselves. We’re not relying on any coaches or anyone. Even though this is my third year, this is the year that I’ve grown the most as a volleyball player.”

Fresno State finished the regular season with a 6-19 overall record and 3-13 in WAC play. Louisiana Tech finished the season 4-23 and winless in conference play.

Freshman Baylee Platt is one of the players going into the game with confidence.

“We are all very confident in the tournament,” Platt said. “We know that we can go out there and hopefully take them in three. So we’re excited.”

Leonardo saw the importance of being an eighth seed going into the tournament because that seed doesn’t have to play against top-seeded Hawaii until the final round.

“It’s almost better that we ended up as an eighth seed rather than a seventh,” Leonardo said. “The seventh plays Hawaii and New Mexico State is very beatable. If we play up to our expectations we’re going to win.”

Brianna Clarke, however, doesn’t want her team to get over-confident going against Louisiana Tech.

“You can’t underestimate them,” Clarke said. “They could come out with something special.”

During the regular season, Fresno State swept the season series 2-0. Both games were decided in four sets.

For Netherby-Sewell, this will be her first WAC Tournament as coach of the Bulldogs.

“The great thing about a postseason tournament is that it’s a new season,” Netherby-Sewell said. “It doesn’t matter what we’ve done in the past.”

Freshmen Platt and Clarke will also witness their first conference tournament when Nov. 20 comes around.

“I’m very excited,” Platt said. “It’s a new start to the season. I’m just ready to go out there and try to dominate.”

Clarke shares the same enthusiasm going into Thursday’s game.

“I’m just really excited to prove to people that we are good and that we can take on the best teams and take them to five sets,” Clarke said.

The WAC Tournament is from Nov. 20-23. All games will be played at Hawaii.

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