Fresno State sophomore outside hitter Carly Scarbrough goes in for the kill during the team’s Sept. 22 sweep of Fresno Pacific at Save Mart Center. Scarbrough posted 12 kills in Thursday’s win over Utah State. (Khone Saysamongdy/The Collegian)
The Fresno State volleyball team hit the court Thursday night looking for that first conference win.
Thanks to an all-out team effort, the ‘Dogs were able to defeat Utah State 3-1 (25-19, 15-25, 25-19, 25-20) on the road to claim their first Mountain West victory en route to head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell’s 100th Fresno State win.
Looking to improve on its dismal road record from last season, Fresno State (8-7, 0-1) found itself on the road for the first time in its last ten matches. After falling behind Utah State early – and facing three lead changes and three ties throughout the set – the ‘Dogs finished strong on their way to a first-set win.
Their momentum, however, would come to a halt after the teams switched sides for set two. Once Utah State jumped out to a 5-2 lead, the ‘Dogs were never able to stage a comeback in the set. In a set that did not have a lead change or a tie, the Aggies controlled from the beginning and were able to ride the Bulldogs’ 15 unforced errors in the set. In Set 2, the ‘Dogs had just as many unforced errors as they did points.
The ‘Dogs cleared their heads and looked for a quick bounce back in Set 3. Little did they know the third set would be a dogfight and the most contested set of the match. With neither team holding a lead greater than two throughout the set, the ‘Dogs were able to win seven of the final nine points on their way to a 25-20 third-set win.
Picking up right where they left off, the ‘Dogs were able to quickly grasp a lead. After the score was tied at six, they maintained a lead the rest of the set, giving them the match-clinching fourth set win, 25-20.
Leading the way for the Bulldogs offensively were sophomore Carly Scarbrough and senior Zana Bowens, who each recorded 12 kills on the night. Junior Aleisha Coates was right behind them with 8. Junior Libero Maggie Eppright continued her impressive junior campaign defensively for the ‘Dogs. Once again, Eppright lead the team in digs with 20, only improving her record-pacing dig average on the season. Bowens was right there with Eppright in the dig category in the match, ending her night with 15.