Despite winning its first two sets, the Fresno State women’s volleyball team suffered its second consecutive conference loss to San Jose State 2-3 this past Saturday.
The match puts the ‘Dogs at 6-8 overall and 0-2 in Mountain West competition.
“We’re really young and still learning how to win with confidence. We need to work on being able to put pressure on teams and rebound when we’re down,” said Fresno State head coach Abbie Wright.
The ‘Dogs spent the first set battling for the lead, eventually grinding out a 29-27 victory. The two teams continued trading blows as each struggled to pull away, with Preslee Lillard’s fifth kill of the set sealing the win for Fresno State.
The sophomore outside hitter Lillard led the team’s offense, finishing the game with 12 kills.
Seeming to feed off the momentum from their first set, the ‘Dogs took the second set, 25-12. Opening with a sizable 10-3 lead, the ‘Dogs offense began firing on all cylinders.
After back-to-back kills from Grace Doyle, Fresno State cruised to its second consecutive set win, 18-7.
Heading into the third set, San Jose State battled back by taking an early 7-2 lead. The Spartans kept a considerable advantage midway throughout the game, leading 15-7 after the first timeout and finishing with a 25-12 win.
After both teams blew one another out in consecutive sets, the fourth saw them battling from the very beginning as they were tied 5-5 through the first 10 points.
San Jose State took its biggest lead late into the set, leading 21-17 as the teams approached game point, and finished with a 25-19 victory.
The fifth set showcased more of the back-and-forth affair. The two teams tied 6-6 through the first 12 points, but the Spartans began pulling away, outscoring the ‘Dogs for a 13-7 lead.
Fresno State attempted to fight back with a quick kill from Ella Rud, but dropped its second straight Mountain West match in heartbreaking fashion.
With the team suffering their second consecutive loss, Wright feels there are specific things to work on heading into their last match of the home stand.
“Right now we’re figuring out how to stay in elite play for a longer period of time,” said Wright. “It’s kind of frustrating, but it is what it is. We’ll learn from it and move on.”
The ‘Dogs finish their Mountain West homestand this Tuesday, Sept. 27, when they host San Diego State at 6 p.m.