Aztecs can’t Find Momentum

by publicationarchive

By Willie Bans, Senior Staff Writer Coming off two consecutive road tournaments in which it wasswept, this is not the way the San Diego State women’s volleyballteam wanted to respond when it returned home to play Loyola MarymountTuesday night.

Unfortunately for the Aztecs (0-11), they were mostly flat,never establishing a rhythm throughout the match and ending the sameway they have all season – with a loss. This time they wereswept 3-0 (30-22, 30-18, 30-17).

“We played poorly. We didn’t execute,” sophomore outside hitterMelissa Stapley said. “I don’t know if it’s that we’re scared, butthere’s a lack of intensity out there.”

SDSU seemed overmatched from the start and had no answer forLMU’s (8-4) offense, which finished with a season-high hittingpercentage of .467 for the match. In comparison, the Aztecs finishedwith a .071 hitting percentage, with their game-low .000 coming inthe third and final game.

“It was not good,” head coach Mark Warner said. “The lack ofpassing and bad servicing is keeping us from winning.”

Sophomore outside hitter Melanie Greene led SDSU with ninekills while junior outside hitter Ashley Bowker and Stapley were nexton the list with four apiece.

“We played the first game tough, but they came back and servedus even tougher,” Warner said.

A week ago, the Lions were ranked No. 20 in the nation beforebeing swept at the North Carolina Classic.

Freshman libero Aime Cordero led the SDSU defense by postingsix digs. Freshman middle blocker Lindsey Mahan was tops in theblocking category with three.

However, the Aztecs had no answer for LMU’s offense. ThreeLions finished in double figures, led by Kelli Nerison’s 15 kills andeight blocks. They were close in getting twice as many kills as SDSU,generating a 55-30 gap.

“When the other team beats you up, it’s hard to be intense,”Warner said.

An 0-11 non-conference record isn’t exactly the ‘tuneup’ onewould want before starting the conference schedule.

But that’s the situation the San Diego State women’s volleyballgame faces going into tomorrow night’s match at UNLV (5-4).

“With our record, we’ve been feeling like we’ve had to win, andwe get scared,” Stapley said. “It’s showing in our hitting andserving – it’s not coming together yet.”

The Rebels have three players averaging more than three killsper game: Lauren Miramontes (3.78 kpg), Maria Aladjova (3.75 kpg) andBrittani Lumsden (3.17 kpg).

But Warner said he is going to take senior captain KaraMoriarty – the lone returning starter from last year’s squad- on the trip and will most likely play her.

“People are going to think that’s the magic answer, but it’snot,” Warner said, referring to Moriarty’s probable return from anabdominal strain that’s kept her out since the season opener. “We allneed to step up.”