The Fresno State women’s volleyball team huddles up before returning to their game against Cal Poly on Tuesday in the Save Mart Center. (Khone Saysamongdy/The Collegian)
The Bulldogs lost a tough one to Cal Poly, 3-2, to start of the home campaign of their 2015 season Tuesday night at Save Mart Center.
With emotions high and excitement in the building for the home opener, the ‘Dogs looked to continue their success from over the weekend.
Fresno State opened up the evening with the same starting lineup they used in all three games over the weekend in the Western Carolina Tournament. A starting lineup that includes senior Zana Bowens, juniors Brooke Legaux, Aleisha Coates and Maggie Eppright. As well as sophomores Carly Scarbrough, Lauren Torres and freshman Taylor Slover.
Looking to continue their success with that starting lineup, things started off slowly for the Bulldogs. With never really able to grab some momentum, the ‘Dogs did not see much of a lead in the first set dropping the set 25-22.
Trying to get things started, the ‘Dogs looked to develop an offensive attack in the second set. The teams battled back and forth with neither team developing a lead larger than three. Every time the ‘Dogs had some sort of momentum the Mustangs quickly had an answer, on the way to a 25-20 set win and a 2-0 lead.
“We had a little bit of a tough time adjusting to that type of an offense,” Fresno State head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell said. “We don’t practice against an offense like that very often.”
After the short intermission the ‘Dogs came out firing on all cylinders. They quickly jumped on the Mustangs 3-1 but would sputter later on in the set and would fall behind the Mustangs 11-8.
That’s when Netherby-Sewell decided to use her first timeout of the set and that seemed to be the difference in the set as the ‘Dogs never looked back. The Bulldogs continued to increase their lead all set long after the timeout and would take the third set 25-16, the largest lead held by either team up until that point.
The ‘Dogs continued their built up momentum into the fourth set. They quickly jumped out to a 6-2 lead forcing the Mustangs to call a timeout. Continuing to fight to extend the match, the ‘Dogs trailed only two times in the set and would take the fourth set 26-24, forcing a decisive fifth game.
The tides would turn quickly for the ‘Dogs in the fifth set. After falling behind 9-1 the ‘Dogs were never able to regain their momentum from the previous two sets.
“Our passing just broke down,” Netherby-Sewell said. “When that happens it’s hard to win a fifth set.”
The ‘Dogs will hit the road again this weekend to Northern California where they will play three games as part of the Saint Mary’s Tournament beginning Friday.