Zana Bowens attempts a kill against the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns during the Bulldogs’ 3-1 loss during the Adidas Rice Invitational on Friday. The Bulldogs finished the series 1-3. Photo by Geoff Thurner/Fresno State Athletics
The Fresno State volleyball team took one out of three games over the weekend at the Adidas Rice Invitational in Houston.
The tournament began with a 3-1 loss to the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, which was only the second season-opening loss for Fresno State head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell in eight years.
“The message today is that we need patience,” Netherby-Sewell said. “We played a very experienced team, and that gave them a leg up on us. We did OK, but we have lots of room to grow, and our team will evolve every weekend.”
And Fresno State’s new-look squad helped on offense. Freshmen Carly Scarborough (12 kills) and Haylee Roberts (8 kills) led the ‘Dogs toward a late comeback with a 25-18 victory in Set 3.
Senior outside hitter Jamie-Lee Morrow tallied seven kills and added a career-high three aces.
Louisiana-Lafayette had three players reach double digits in kills: Kaylee Nemeth (13), Stacey Reilly (12) and Chanelle Gardner (11).
Bulldogs split Saturday slate
Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 victory over UC Davis gave the Bulldogs their first win of the season.
The match began with a 25-19 loss in Set 1, but led to consecutive victories for the Bulldogs (25-21 in Set 2, 28-26 in Set 3). UC Davis took Set 4, but Fresno State jumped on top early in the final stanza and won 15-11.
Junior outside hitter Zana Bowens and Scarborough led the team with 15 kills, and senior middle blocker Maci Murdock was second with 12.
Defensive specialist Christina Lee tied for the team lead in digs (20) and aces (2). Sophomore Maggie Eppright added 18 digs and an ace.
Saturday evening’s matchup ended in Fresno State’s first loss to the Rice Owls since 2004.
Bowens logged her second double-double of the evening after leading Fresno State in kills (16) and digs (10). She also added two aces to total 18 points, her team season-high.
Leah Miesky led the Owls in kills (18), hitting (.500), points (20) and aces (1).
The Ragin’ Cajuns won the tournament after going 3-0.
The Bulldogs will remain on the road to participate in the Sacramento State Invitational against the Sacramento State Hornets, UC Santa Barbara and Loyola Marymount this weekend.