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

Women’s volleyball stops skid, tops second-place Boise State in four sets

Three double-digit kill performances by Underwood, Labno and Haynie helped break a four-match losing streak
Daniel Vasquez
San Diego State middle block Amber Keen (4) tries a tip against Boise State’s Anabel Kotzakov (18) and Chey Day (8) on Thursday, Oct. 19 at Aztec Court at Peterson Gym. The Aztecs topped the Broncos 3-1.

The San Diego State women’s volleyball team defeated Boise State 3-1 in Thursday’s contest, with set scores of 21-25, 25-22, 25-16 and 25-22.

A solid offensive performance saw three Aztecs (8-12, 3-6 Mountain West Conference) earn double-digit kills. Opposite hitter Taylor Underwood led the team with 13 kills and 16 total points. It was also Underwood’s eighth consecutive match with double-digit kills.

Outside hitter Mikela Labno earned 12 kills, and middle blocker Julia Haynie recorded 10 kills, making it her second consecutive game with double-digit kills. Behind the trio was outside hitter Campbell Hague, who recorded seven kills.

Setters Fatimah Hall and Sarena Gonzalez generated the attacking opportunities for the Aztecs. Hall led the Aztecs with 25 assists, and Gonzalez recorded 22 assists along with 10 digs. Outside hitter Heipua Tautua’a had a season-high 20 digs in her return after missing two games.

“It is just so rewarding,” Hague said. “These past couple of weeks we have gone through it with people being out, and being able to respond that well and win, it was great.”

The Aztecs’ only defeat occurred in the first set. The Aztecs could not take advantage of errors by the Broncos (10-9, 6-3) and recorded eight kills on 33 attempts in the first set. The Broncos had nine attacking errors and four service errors, but managed to run away with the set 25-21.

The Aztecs quickly established their offense in the second set, recording 20 kills on 47 attempts. Labno accounted for six of those putaways and Underwood accompanied her with five kills.

The momentum carried into the third set. The Aztecs never trailed and collected three blocks during the set.

Midway through the set Underwood had the crowd roaring after earning a solo block on an attack opportunity from Broncos’ kill leader Paige Bartsch, creating a 13-9 lead. The Aztecs outscored the Broncos 12-7 from that point giving them a 25-16 set win.

The Broncos began the fourth by taking advantage of the six errors committed by SDSU. It resulted in the Broncos taking a 12-8 advantage, but the Aztecs rallied back, scoring six straight points to take a two-point lead. Hall had a pair of service aces during the stretch with one tying the game 12-12, and the other giving the Aztecs the 14-12 lead.

The Aztecs closed the set outscoring the Broncos 11-10. Boise State kept it close in the late stages of the set with the score at one-point being 23-22. However, a Labno kill and a Broncos attack error sealed the win for the Aztecs.

The SDSU defense was the highlight of the match, getting a season-high 72 digs and holding Boise State to a .170 hitting percentage. A 25-kill performance from Bartsch kept the Broncos in the game, but attack and service errors plagued the Broncos.

Both Hall and Gonzalez earned credit for the Aztecs offensive performance, getting recognition from head coach Brent Hilliard for their performance.

“The setters did a good job making sure that it wasn’t just Talyor Underwood,” Hilliard said. “We moved it around and we were able to take advantage of it.”

This was the only matchup between SDSU and Boise State this season. Boise State and Utah State are the only two teams in the conference that the Aztecs will face once.

By breaking a four-match losing streak, the Aztecs hope to build off their win heading into their next matchup.

“It was nice to be able to beat a team that’s up top of the conference,” Hilliard said. “It gives our team confidence, and we’ll be ready to go into Saturday.”

Up next for SDSU is a road trip to Logan, Utah, where the Aztecs will face conference leader Utah State (15-5, 8-1) at noon on Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Wayne Estes Center.

About the Contributors
David Rosas, Staff Writer
Daniel Vasquez, Photographer