The ‘Dogs return home to sweep San Diego State, 3-0

Fresno State outside hitter Amilya Thompson goes for a kill against the San Diego State University Aztecs as she led the team with 11 kills for the night during a match at the Save Mart Center on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. (Armando Carreno/The Collegian)

Fresno State returned home from a two-game road trip to sweep the San Diego State University (SDSU) Aztecs in three sets on Monday at the Save Mart Center.

Fresno State came into this game on a three-game losing streak against UNLV, No. 15 Colorado State University and the University of Wyoming, respectively.

The Aztecs came out strong in the opening set, building a huge lead. The ‘Dogs seemed out of sync, committing three attack errors and one service error, which allowed the Aztecs to take a 16-9 lead.

However, the Bulldogs stormed back with a pivotal 12-6 run. Outside hitters Amaria Kelley and Amilya Thompson provided two kills each during that stretch while the Aztecs’ two errant attacks and a wayward serve put Fresno State within one point, 22-21, after outside hitter Desiree Sukhov’s service ace.

SDSU did not want to give up the lead. The Aztec’s Victoria O’Sullivan would score off a kill and Camryn Machado’s service ace would put the visitors at set point, 24-21. 

Fresno State wouldn’t go down without a fight.

The Bulldogs went on to score the final five points of the set, including three service aces by freshman middle blocker Grace Doyle and a combined block by middle blockers Rebecca Rendahl and Montez Uigaese to take set one, 26-24.

To start the second set, the ‘Dogs and the Aztecs went through eight ties and five lead changes. Fresno State would eventually gain momentum after SDSU committed three attacking errors, giving the Bulldogs a four-point lead, 13-9.

Fresno State would continue to lead by four points after a kill by Thompson, making it 21-17. SDSU, forced to play catch up, managed to cut the lead by two points on two separate occasions, but Fresno State wouldn’t allow the Aztecs to cut the lead any closer. 

With her eighth kill of the match, Doyle would seal the second set for the ‘Dogs, 25-22, making it a 2-0 lead for Fresno State.

It was another back and forth for Fresno State in the third set. The ‘Dogs eventually pulled away with a 4-0 run, putting the Bulldogs at a 12-8 lead after a service ace by libero Jocelyn Rodriguez. 

Fresno State led for much of the third set, but the Aztecs came close by closing the gap by one point, 18-17, but would not be able to gain the lead. Fresno State sealed the win with block assists from Doyle and Kelley, 25-19, for a 3-0 sweep.

The Bulldogs will end the week on the road at Air Force on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

“Air Force has proven the ability to play well at home, so that will be a tough match, and we have to be ready to battle,” head coach Jonathan Winder said in a Fresno State athletics news release. “We are just scratching the surface on what this team is capable of, and I am excited for another opportunity to keep battling and playing.”

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