May 28, 2020

Volleyball: ‘Dogs swept by nationally-ranked Rams

The Fresno State volleyball team suffered its second-straight sweep in the Mountain States on Saturday — this time to the No. 7 Colorado State Rams.

Freshman outside hitter Carly Scarbrough led the squad with eight kills. The ‘Dogs had 25 attack errors and finished with a hitting percentage of .000.

“All week in practice, we’ve been talking about giving our maximum effort and having passion when we play,” said Fresno State acting head coach Mallori Gibson. “We saw bursts of it throughout the weekend, and more consistently today. That’s been our focus: to be more mentally engaged and take care of the things we can control, rather than focusing on the outcome. Throughout this week, we’ve learned some great lessons that will help build character and teach us to play with more courage.”

Gibson stepped in as acting head coach this week while Fresno State head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell remained in Fresno due to pregnancy reasons.

In the first set, the Colorado State Rams jumped out to a 16-6 lead which included a stretch of five unanswered points. Fresno State was never able to get back within seven points, and the Rams took the set 25-15. The Bulldogs had 12 attack errors in the set and finished with negative hitting at -.125.

The second stanza was the most lopsided of the night. Colorado State opened with a 7-3 lead and then outscored the Bulldogs 18-4 to finish with the 25-7 set win. The Rams had three separate runs of five straight points in the set. Again, the Bulldogs had more attack errors than kills and finished with -.172 hitting.

Fresno State had its best set in the third, statistically, but still fell to the Rams 25-17. The Bulldogs hit .321 in the frame and had 13 kills to only 4 attack errors.

The ‘Dogs made some personnel moves which did start to mesh together in the final set against the talented Rams team.

“Bringing in Jaimee-Lee [Morrow] on the left side and moving Carly to the right helped to build our offense, and it gave us a lot more options,” Gibson said. “[Freshman outside hitter] Taylor [Brubaker]’s first collegiate kill, Molly’s aces and a solo block from Maci Murdock also helped to give us more energy today. We played more as a team, and that helped us to get into more of an offensive rhythm at the end of the match.”

Along with Scarbrough’s eight kills, outside hitter Zana Bowens finished with seven kills and five digs. Bowens also had one service ace and she leads the conference with 0.4 aces per set. Colorado State was led by 10 kills from junior outside hitter Adrianna Culbert. The Rams had just 5 attack errors and finished with .429 hitting.

The loss drops Fresno State to 6-14 on the season and 1-5 in Mountain West play. The ‘Dogs are currently in 10th place out of the 11 Mountain West teams. The Bulldogs continue their road trip next week, traveling to Utah State (8-8, 4-2 Mountain West) on Thursday and Boise State (10-8, 3-3) on Saturday.

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