Return of Senior Captain Does Not Spell Success

by Staff

Senior outside hitter Kara Moriarty’s return from ab injury does little to help Aztecs finally reach the win column By Willie Bans, Senior Staff WriterHead coach Mark Warner was accurate in his assessment of seniorcaptain Kara Moriarty’s return from an injury, saying it wasn’t goingto be the “magical answer” to the San Diego State women’s volleyballteam’s troubles this season.

But perhaps magic, or really anything, is what it needs to getgoing.

The Aztecs (0-12) were swept 3-0 (25-30, 19-30, 21-30) for thefourth consecutive match – this time by UNLV (6-4) in theMountain West Conference opener Friday night. They haven’t won a gamesince the match against University of San Francisco Sept. 17.

“Sometimes it’s hard to stick together when your getting beat likewe have, but we’re trying to come up with consistency – itjust hasn’t happened yet,” Warner said.

Moriarty, the lone returning starter from last year’s squad who’sbeen out from an abdominal strain since the season opener on Sept. 1,finished with nine kills, nine digs, two blocks and an assist.

“She (Moriarty) played reasonably well, competition-wise,” Warnersaid. “She’s still a little rusty, but we’re glad to have her backand able to contribute.”

But in the end, it wasn’t enough to put SDSU in a position to win.After starting game one slowly, hitting .083 while committing 12errors, the Rebels let the Aztecs come within striking distance,20-21. Four quick kills later and they were back in control,ultimately winning by five to take game one.

“We had our chances in the first game, especially when it was20-21, but we’re still making critical errors,” Warner said. “Threeoverpasses hit the top of the net from our hands.”

Game two was UNLV’s from the start. Up 4-11 early, it didn’t letSDSU come close this time. Rebels Mariana Pencheva and BrittaniLumsden each got two kills in the start of the game to set the tone.The Aztecs wouldn’t get closer than six points after that and endedup losing by 11.

SDSU tied the score at 13 early in game three, but once again theUNLV offense was too efficient to stop. It went on to hit amatch-high .298 and never trailed on its way to a 21-30 win.

It was the first time since 1998 the Rebels won the conferenceopener at home.

Junior outside hitter Melissa Stapley led the Aztecs with 10kills, her sixth double-figure match of the season. But, four Rebelhitters matched the same feat with Lauren Miramontes and Penchevafinishing with 14 and 13 kills, respectively. SDSU was once againout-hit during the three-game match, this time 57-31 kills.

Two freshman contributed positively to the Aztec effort. AimeCordeiro, who has been consistent at her libero position, added 19digs to bring her season total to 131. It was the fourth match in thelast five that she had double-digit digs. The other freshman wasKristen Castillo, who finished with 26 assists and now has 396 on theyear.

SDSU travels to face Cal State Fullerton today at 6 p.m.

“We played them (Fullerton) in the spring, and they beat us,”Warner said. “But I think they’re certainly beatable.”

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