Volleyball drops two matches at SDSU/USD Invitational

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Andrew Finley

Noa Miller (19) prepares for a serve during the SDSU/USD Invitational.

by Daniela Ramirez, Contributor

San Diego State women’s volleyball is hopeful their early-season struggles won’t define the rest of their season.  The Aztecs had two losses against UCLA 3-0 (17-25, 18-25. 13-25) and USD 1-3 (25-20, 20-25, 20-25, 18-25) at the SDSU/USD Invitational.

The Scarlet and Black competed with ranked universities in the top 25 during 9/11 weekend. In honor of those who lost their lives on Sep. 11, 2001 a moment of silence was held before the first serve. 

For the past month, the Aztecs (1-7) have been competing against heavy competition with teams in the top rankings in college volleyball. 

UCLA (5-1, No. 19 AP poll) and USD (5-2, No. 21 AP poll) are non-conference opponents. Head coach Brent Hilliard said he felt good about how his athletes performed the past weekend against two of the top 25 teams in the country.

Despite back-to-back losses over the weekend, the players still have a growth mindset and are prepared mentally for their first conference match on Sep 23. against Nevada. 

Senior Victoria O’Sullivan is one of few players who has been on the team since her freshman year. The team consists of new players and has only been practicing together for two months. 

With a new group of athletes comes with its benefits. O’Sullivan says this team has a lot of potential. 

“This year’s team has the most talent I’ve seen,” O’Sullivan said. 

O’Sullivan also says she’s starting to get acclimated with her new teammates resulting in better communication on the court. 

Coach Hilliard is confident going into the conference. He says his athletes have great attitudes and use this as a learning experience to get better despite not seeing much success on game night.  

Aztec volleyball can keep up with the NCAA ranking teams. On Sep. 4, the Aztecs fell just short in a game against Pepperdine University, currently ranked No. 24 in the AP Poll. 

With a score of 25-18 in the fourth set, Aztecs were still competing well against Pepperdine. The team was just points away from beating most of the teams they competed against in the pre-season. 

Having the experience to go head to head with ranked teams should give the Aztecs an edge when it comes to the schools in the Mountain West Conference. 

The next home game will be held on Sep. 30 against New Mexico. 

For this young team, growing to be better motivates them to work harder every day and keeps their spirits high heading into league play.

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