San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Taylor Underwood becomes first Aztec in 25 years to record 30-plus kills in volleyball’s 3-2 loss

SDSU stumbled in the match against first place Air Force, after picking up a win at Wyoming
Christie Yeung
San Diego State’s Taylor Underwood (10) slaps hands with Heipua Tautua’a (2) during a break in action earlier this season at LionTree Arena in La Jolla, Calif. Underwood became the first Aztec since 1997 to record 30 or more kills in a match on Oct. 6 against Air Force.

San Diego State’s women’s volleyball team left Thursday’s contest heartbroken after a 3-2 loss against the first-place Air Force Falcons, with set scores of 25-23, 17-25, 20-25, 25-20 and 15-13.

Outside hitter Taylor Underwood had a career-high 31 kills, generating 33 points for the Aztecs  (7-9, 2-3 Mountain West Conference). This was the fourth consecutive match that Underwood recorded 10 or more kills and her third with two service aces. The last time an SDSU player recorded more than 30 kills was in 1997.

“I feel really great, but I could not have done it without my team,” Underwood said. “I can’t do it without a great pass or set, so a lot of it goes to them.”

Air Force (12-4, 4-1) dominated the first half of the first set, building a 17-12 lead. After regrouping during a timeout, the Aztecs battled their way back to tie 19-19. The Aztecs tied the set three more times, but could not grab the lead as the Falcons secured the set 25-23.

“We did not come out ready to play in the first game,” said head coach Brent Hillard. “I thought that first set was the one that caught up to us.”

The Aztecs shifted the momentum on their side during the second and third sets. In the second, Underwood generated 11 kills on 12 attacks and closed the set with a kill. In the third set, she added seven more kills as the Aztecs maintained the lead.

Victory was in the hands of the Aztecs, establishing an early 11-5 lead in the fourth set. However, the Falcons battled back to tie at 17-17 and then outscored SDSU 8-3 the rest of the way to force a fifth set.

The Aztecs took an 8-6 lead on an Underwood kill, then a service ace in the fifth set. Three attack errors by the Aztecs gave Air Force the advantage, and an Ella Tschuor kill ended the set and game 15-13 for the visitors.

SDSU dominated the game offensively, generating 77 kills compared to the Falcons’ 61. Additionally, the Aztecs led the game in points, digs, assists and aces. Errors became the ultimate factor, as the Aztecs had 28 errors compared to 17 by Air Force.

Despite the loss, the team had optimism about their overall performance and effort in the match. “We were able to fight really hard,” Underwood said. “If we can take our performance from today and move on, we can come back stronger on Saturday.”

The loss came after a 3-1 victory at Wyoming on Sept. 30 with set scores of 17-25, 27-25, 25-21 and 25-16.

After dropping the first set the Aztecs led the majority of the second set, totaling 18 kills. Underwood clutched six kills in the set, including delivering a kill to seal the set point.

SDSU took advantage of Wyoming’s attack errors during the third set. Outside hitter Madison Corf delivered back-to-back blocks to help increase the Aztecs’ lead to 24-19 as the Scarlet and Black eventually won the third set.

After two neck-and-neck sets, the Aztecs controlled the fourth set with 11 kills and only six errors — the lowest out of the sets for SDSU. Wyoming had 10 errors in the set — the most of all four sets.

Late in the fourth set, outside hitter Heipua Tautua’a delivered back-to-back-to-back kills, with setter Fatimah Hall assisting on two, which increased the Aztecs’ lead to 23-13. After Wyoming went on a three-point run, two Cowgirl attack errors cemented the win for SDSU.

Underwood ended the Wyoming match with 15 kills, while Tautua’a and middle blocker Julia Haynie both had 10 kills a piece to power the SDSU offense.

The Aztecs complete their two-match homestand facing New Mexico (11-5, 3-2) on Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. before traveling to Fresno to face Fresno State (8-8, 2-3) on Oct. 12 at 6 p.m.

About the Contributors
David Rosas, Staff Writer
Christie Yeung, Photographer
Born in Hong Kong, Christie Yeung is a first-generation transfer student who majors in journalism at San Diego State University. Prior to arriving at SDSU, she served as the Gaming/Tech Editor, Features Editor and Managing Editor of SAC Media at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California where she was placed in on-the-spot competitions such as fourth in News photo, second in Portrait photo, first in Sports photo, first in Social Media and second in News writing, along with a meritorious mention in the Enterprise News Story/Series category from Journalism Association of Community Colleges. She was also awarded second in Best Breaking News Stories by the California College Media Association. During her free time, she likes to watch European soccer games, read, listen to Cantonese-pop music and play video games and Dungeons & Dragons with her online friends. She also has a sweet tooth and cannot turn away anything with Nutella in it.