Aztecs return home after taking two of three at GCU Invitational

Senior+outside+hitter+Hannah+Turnlund+plays+the+ball+during+the+Aztecs%27+3-0+loss+against+Arizona+on+Sept.+7+at+Peterson+Gym.
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Aztecs return home after taking two of three at GCU Invitational

Senior outside hitter Hannah Turnlund plays the ball during the Aztecs' 3-0 loss against Arizona on Sept. 7 at Peterson Gym.

Senior outside hitter Hannah Turnlund plays the ball during the Aztecs' 3-0 loss against Arizona on Sept. 7 at Peterson Gym.

Sam Mayo

Senior outside hitter Hannah Turnlund plays the ball during the Aztecs' 3-0 loss against Arizona on Sept. 7 at Peterson Gym.

Sam Mayo

Sam Mayo

Senior outside hitter Hannah Turnlund plays the ball during the Aztecs' 3-0 loss against Arizona on Sept. 7 at Peterson Gym.

by Breven Honda, Staff Writer

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San Diego State women’s volleyball went 2-1 at the Grand Canyon University Invitational on Sept. 13-14 and are coming home to face two opponents before Mountain West Conference play begins.

Head coach Deitre Collins-Parker said she was pleased with the two wins out of Phoenix.

“Anytime we come out with more wins, it’s a good weekend,” she said.

The two wins both came in four sets against UC Riverside on Friday afternoon and Eastern Washington on Saturday.  

During the non-conference schedule, Collins-Parker said junior defensive specialist Loren Teter grew into a more consistent player.

“Last season, we changed liberos in and out and this year, we decided to go with one and see how she does in that position,” Collins-Parker said. “As long as she stays ready, she keeps it at (that level). The other two defensive specialists have done good job complimenting her.”

Teter, who leads the team in digs (130), said playing back row is all about mentality when reading the ball to determine if it stays in or goes out.  

“I do my best and I’m always being told to stop on defense,” she said. “It’s an attitude back there.”

On the flip side, sophomore outside hitter Victoria O’Sullivan leads the team with 125 kills. Teter said it takes a player like herself to be able to give O’Sullivan those kills.

“She’s doing everything she can to be the best and do whatever she can and whenever she can,” Teter said. “My job for her is to put up the best ball I can so she can put the balls down.”

O’Sullivan said it took time to develop her skills leading up to the beginning of the season.

“I’ve been working all spring and summer to build on techniques for the season,” O’Sullivan said. “Just being prepared really has helped me so far.”

The Scarlet and Black (6-3) gained depth this past weekend with junior setter Gabi Peoples and junior outside hitter Erin Gilchrist returning to action. 

“It was nice to have Gabi back in there,” she said. “She’s been a leader and somebody that has always been important to who we are. The more things we can do, the more opportunities we have to adjust to what’s going on on the other side of the net.” 

As depth continues to develop, non-conference play rolls on and Collins-Parker said she likes the team’s level of trust.

“We’re playing tough teams that are preparing us for conference and we’re competing well against all of these teams,” she said. “That’s what the goal is every season: To get some wins, to feel good about who you are and to raise the level of competition every time you go out.”  

The Aztecs will face Long Beach State on Sept. 19 at Peterson Gym and will take a 10-mile trip to visit the University of San Diego on Sept. 20.

Collins-Parker said the team needs to stay confident as they take on the 49ers (3-6) and the Toreros (4-4).

“We’re always competitive with (USD),” Collins-Parker said. “They’re the gold standard for us in San Diego and where we want to be. Long Beach State is a team that is up and down. We know we have to play good to be in those matches.”

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