May 28, 2020

Volleyball: ‘Dogs swept in fourth-straight match

The Fresno State volleyball team suffered its fourth consecutive sweep, this time to the Boise State Broncos, by three straight 25-14 set decisions.

Offensively, freshman outside hitter Carly Scarbrough led the ‘Dogs with 7 kills.

Another Fresno State freshman outside hitter, Taylor Brubaker, opened the match with a kill, but the 1-0 lead was Fresno State’s only one in the afternoon matchup. The Bulldogs trailed 12-9 in the first set, but that’s when a big night for Boise State freshman outside hitter Sierra Nobley and sophomore middle blocker Maddy O’Donnell began. The Broncos scored five unanswered points led by four kills from the two underclassmen, as the home team took the set 25-14.

Nobley, who leads the Mountain West in kills at 3.9 per set, finished the match with 19 kills on .586 hitting, while O’Donnell had 14 kills and hit .778. The two combined for more kills than the entire Fresno State team.

The Broncos’ impressive hitting night was just beginning. After 19 kills and only one error in the first set, Boise State continued to play nearly faultless. The Broncos finished the match with only six attack errors and a hitting percentage of .603. The Bulldogs hit just .162 and finished with 16 attack errors. Fresno State’s only statistical advantage came in service aces, with three to the Broncos’ one.

Boise State opened the second set with a 5-0 lead. Another string of five straight points extended the Broncos’ lead to 18-7. The ‘Dogs answered with three straight points as Jamiee-Lee Morrow scored back-to-back points, but the Broncos again closed out the set convincingly.

Like they did at Utah State on Thursday, the Bulldogs played their most competitive set in the third. They trailed only 14-12, but Boise State took control after a service error by Fresno State sophomore libero Maggie Eppright sparked a seven point run for the Broncos. Boise State outscored the ‘Dogs 11-2 to close out the contest.

The loss drops Fresno State to a record of 6-16 overall and 1-7 in conference play. The Bulldogs stand in 10th place in the Mountain West, ahead of only winless San Jose State.

The Bulldogs hope to turn things around on their home court. Fresno State has a 1-10 record on the road and a 1-1 record at home this season. After playing 20 of their first 22 games on the road or at neutral venues, the ‘Dogs will play seven of their last 10 games at home.

That stretch gets started this week, as the Bulldogs return home for a pair of games at the Save Mart Center this week. Fresno State hosts San Diego State (8-9, 4-3 Mountain West) on Thursday at 7 p.m. and UNLV (17-5, 5-2 MW) on Saturday at 4 p.m. The Bulldogs lost to the two teams on the road last month by scores of 3-1 and 3-0, respectively.

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