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Volleyball set to end season at home against San Jose State

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Volleyball set to end season at home against San Jose State

Junior outside hitter Hannah Turnlund looks to put the ball in play during the Aztecs four-set victory over Nevada on Nov. 15 at Peterson Gym.

Junior outside hitter Hannah Turnlund looks to put the ball in play during the Aztecs four-set victory over Nevada on Nov. 15 at Peterson Gym.

Raymond Gorospe

Junior outside hitter Hannah Turnlund looks to put the ball in play during the Aztecs four-set victory over Nevada on Nov. 15 at Peterson Gym.

Raymond Gorospe

Raymond Gorospe

Junior outside hitter Hannah Turnlund looks to put the ball in play during the Aztecs four-set victory over Nevada on Nov. 15 at Peterson Gym.

by Tristi Rodriguez, Staff Writer

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San Diego State volleyball will battle one last time against San Jose State University on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. at Peterson Gym.

The Aztecs (9-20, 7-9 MW) lost to the Spartans (14-11, 9-7 MW) in five sets in their previous matchup on Oct. 18 at San Jose despite a 2-1 set lead. Not only were they ahead, but four different players collected double-digit kills.

Head Coach Deitre Collins-Parker said a part of the loss was due to the inability to match up with the Spartans.

“There were a couple girls on their team, mainly (Fernanda Vido), who got on a roll and we did not figure out how to stop her,” she said. “We have to get back to slowing down their strengths and get our strengths going. They’ve beat some good teams so they’re playing well. Our last game will probably be our biggest battle of the year.”

The Aztecs have had an unpredictable season with a 13-game losing streak, before immediately answering back with a 5-game winning streak.

Junior outside hitter Hannah Turnlund, who set two career-high records on Thursday night against Nevada with 23 kills and 21 digs, said this season was a learning experience.

“This season didn’t go how we expected it to go but I think a major learning point for our team was coming back from that,” she said. “And just making sure we had our heads right in order to continue on with the season.”

Collins-Parker said she is proud of her team despite the setbacks.

“In no way did we finish anywhere where we thought we could or should,” she said. “With all the illnesses and injuries and things, we just don’t know from day to day but I think that’s an accomplishment based on how we started to being where we are now.”

Not only will this be the last game of the season, but it is the beginning of the next. With a lot of young key players, the future appears to be looking bright for the Aztecs.

Collins-Parker said they are preparing for next season.

“We gotta really focus on this next game knowing that finishing this season is our beginning to next season,” she said. “We’re starting to prepare right away. That’s why it’s so great to see the Tori’s and the Maddie’s do things in the match because they are the future of what this program is going to be.”

The Aztecs have managed to ride a rollercoaster season with a positive attitude, and Collins-Parker said the team’s faith helped them keep their heads up.

“Early on we lost more than we knew we needed to or should have, but once we turned it back around & believed that we could — it made them realize the potential that we had out here,” she said. “We still came to the gym every day and worked hard. During practices they gave good effort, they kept a positive attitude, and now they’re just enjoying playing volleyball — that’s what it’s supposed to be.”

SDSU will be honoring its one and only senior, middle blocker Deja Harris, before the game.

Turnlund said she is excited for her last game with Harris.

“I think going out with a bang is pretty much all of our goals,” she said. “And playing for Deja, it’s her last game which is going to be weird without her next year. I think I’m just excited to have fun with her for our last game together.”

With five block assists against Nevada, Harris is three block assists away from making program history, and two away from tying former Aztec Jennifer Miller’s program record from 1982-92.

Harris said that is something she is aiming for in her final collegiate game.

“I saw that number keep going up,” she said. “I’m excited for next game. It’s for sure a goal of mine.”

With just a few hours until her final collegiate match, Harris said she wants to enjoy the moment.

“I’m starting to get teary-eyed to think that it’s almost over,” Harris said. “I just want to be in that moment with all my emotions, cry if I need to, be mad if I need to, be ecstatic and obnoxiously happy out there, but for sure just live that one out, the last one.”

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