Aztec volleyball dominates against Fresno State

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Aztec volleyball dominates against Fresno State

Meghan McCarron

Meghan McCarron

Meghan McCarron

by Sydney Olmstead, Staff Writer

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On Thursday night, San Diego State volleyball took on Fresno State for the second time this season. The Aztecs were able to add another win to their already impressive 28-10 record against the Bulldogs in just three sets (25-18, 25-10, 25-18).

With the win SDSU improved to 8-18 overall and 5-8 in the Mountain West with just five matches left in the season.

From the moment they stepped onto the court, the Aztecs established their dominance against the Bulldogs, not giving up a lead until the third set. SDSU buzzed with a confident energy that easily shut FSU down, mentally and physically.

Sophomore outside hitter Alexis Cage led all players with 11 kills and also contributed three blocks and six digs. She also reached a career best of a .611 hitting percentage.

Sophomore Danielle Bolden had eight kills, two blocks, 11 kills and a pair of service aces throughout the night.

The Aztec defense dominated the net with 12 total team blocks compared to just one for Fresno State. SDSU’s aggressiveness offensively and defensively caused the Bulldogs to make 30 errors throughout the match.

With a long season coming down to its last five games, Head Coach Deitre Collins-Parker feels that the team looks its best, despite not having a spot in the coming postseason.

“They’ve been very disciplined and they keep wanting to get better,” she said. “So you can focus on being better all the time, you can show up when it’s a long season and you’re not sure what’s in front of you. The championship is out of reach, but the improvement is what keeps you going.”

Maintaining positive energy throughout a tough season is what has allowed the Aztecs to make vast improvements to their game. Cage says it all starts in practice.

“We’ve been making it a point to keep practices sometimes long, sometimes short, so we can work on keeping the energy consistent and being able to transfer it into the games,” she said. “Obviously throughout the season you get tired, your body breaks down, you’re stressed, so you really have to work hard on your mental game, and that’s what we’ve done.”

The beginning of the season saw the Aztecs struggling overcoming their errors. Collins-Parker says this aspect of the game has improved throughout the season, and was showcased especially well against Fresno State, with SDSU driving more errors out of their opponent than out of itself.

“I think we played with a lot of confidence tonight,” she said. “We stayed on top and it kind of rattled them and forced their errors. I don’t think their errors impacted us at all. We did a good job of staying even. We’ve been up and down in games, but this is the most steady I’ve seen us play all year.”

SDSU finished the game with only 10 errors, a stat that has previously been as high as 22 against Colorado State.

This season has proven to be a challenge for SDSU, but it has presented the team with valuable opportunities to grow and improve itself.  Key players like Cage, Bolden, junior middle blocker Baylee Little and freshman middle blocker Deja Harris will work to propel the team toward a successful end to the season.

The Aztecs will take the court again this Saturday against UNLV.

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