Fresno State volleyball wins its first match in the Mountain West conference

Fresno State volleyball team celebrates a Bulldog point in the first Mountain West conference game of the season at the Save Mart Center. (Blake Wolf/ The Collegian)

Following a three-set loss last Thursday night, Fresno State’s volleyball team snapped a 13-game losing streak in a Saturday afternoon win over Boise State. 

The Bulldogs’ victory was the first since mid-September and puts them at 7-19 overall (1-13 MW) with four games remaining in regular season play. 

“This gives us momentum to finish strong. It’s encouraging after losing 13 in a row that we’re able to play like that. It wasn’t just a fluke win. We came out and you can tell we’re improving and growing. It shows a lot of character,” said Fresno State Head Coach Abbie Wright. 

Fresno State’s success came in large part from a career-best performance by Ella Rud. The sophomore outside hitter led the way for the ‘Dogs with 24 kills in the match. 

“I’m just glad she’s getting rewarded for her physical efforts. She’s been a great kid to coach and behind the scenes she’s been a great person as well,” Wright said. 

The match began with the ‘Dogs taking an early lead, winning the opening set 25-10 over the Broncos. 

Rud dominated that first set, scoring four of the first seven points of the game. Fresno State had an early 7-1 lead in the opening set. As the set continued, Boise State never came within five points. Fresno State then scored five straight points to close out the opening frame. 

The second set was a much more even affair, with back-and-forth scoring that saw the ‘Dogs trailing 11-9 before the Broncos went on a run to take a 19-13 lead. 

Despite facing a six-point deficit, the ‘Dogs closed out the set with a miraculous 12-1 scoring run that lifted them to a two-set lead. 

Fresno State won the set, 25-20, to take a 2-0 lead

Wright touched on the team finally being able to close out tightly contested games. 

“It was a lot of confidence and a lot of strength and force. This match is going to help us in the future a lot more than we know. There’s a lot of positives to take away,” she said.

The ‘Dogs dropped the third set to the Broncos 25-23 in back-and-forth play that included more than a dozen lead changes. 

Fresno State led 23-22 and had a prime opportunity to execute a sweep, but Boise State pulled away to take the frame. 

However, the ‘Dogs closed out the match in the fourth set with a five-point run to win 25-15. 

Rud scored the first point with a kill and Fresno State never gave up the lead, going on to secure its first conference victory of the season. 

The ‘Dogs now have four regular season games remaining, with their next coming on Monday, Nov. 12 at San Diego State. 

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