Volleyball: ‘Dogs swept in Bakersfield

Redshirt freshman outside hitter Haylee Roberts swats the ball during the Bulldogs’ 3-1 loss to Loyola Marymount at the Sacramento State Invitational on Sept. 6. Photo by Geoff Thurner/Fresno State Athletics

The Fresno State volleyball team lost all three matches in the Roadrunner Classic at Cal State Bakersfield this weekend. The Bulldogs were swept by all three opponents – Long Beach State and Oregon State on Friday and Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday.

The loss drops Fresno State to a 5-9 record.

Fresno State opened the tournament versus the Long Beach State 49ers on Friday afternoon. The 49ers swept the Bulldogs with set scores of 25-21, 25-15 and 25-16. Redshirt freshman hitter Haylee Roberts led the ‘Dogs’ efforts with 11 kills and .333 hitting.

The Bulldogs took on the Oregon State Beavers Friday evening and were swept again, this time by larger margins. The Beavers won by set scores of 25-13, 25-7 and 25-15. Roberts again led the team in kills, this time with six.

“Big blocks from two big teams got us out of sync,” Fresno State head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell said after Friday’s games. “We did things we don’t normally do. We’ll end the tournament getting back to doing what we do well – serving tough, controlling the ball and attacking aggressively.

“We started a lot of newcomers in both matches, so we’ll move forward with the lesson of not losing ourselves in a game plan.”

The Bulldogs did struggle again on Saturday, however. The Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners also entered the final match of the tournament looking for their first win of the weekend after losing to LBSU and OSU 3-1 in both contests. Fresno State fell to the tournament hosts 3-0.

The Roadrunners won the three sets by scores of 25-16, 25-20 and 25-20. Junior outside hitter Zana Bowens led the Bulldogs with 10 kills and .320 hitting. Senior Jamiee-Lee Morrow added nine more kills.

The loss landed the Bulldogs in last place in the tournament. Oregon State was the tournament champion. Long Beach State and Cal State Bakersfield finished second and third, respectively.

The three-loss weekend is the opposite of the Bulldogs’ performance at the Jack Kaiser Classic last week. However, the Roadrunner Classic did feature a higher level of competition. Oregon State received votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association national poll, and Long Beach State has three national championships in its program’s history.

A bright spot for Fresno State was Bowens, who continued to be the leader for the young team. The junior was the only Bulldog to be named to the seven-player Roadrunner Classic all-tournament team. Bowens had earned all-tournament honors at the Adidas Rice Invitational and the Sacramento State Invitational earlier this season.

Fresno State returns home this week for its first home contest of the season. After 14 consecutive road games, the Bulldogs will host local opponent Fresno Pacific for an exhibition match on Tuesday. The game is set for 7:00 p.m. PT.

Tuesday’s game will be the final non-conference game before heading into Mountain West play. Fresno State will head back on the road at UNLV on Thursday and at San Diego State on Saturday.

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