Volleyball’s road woes continue with two losses

by Jack Haworth, Staff Writer

Playing on the road can give teams a huge disadvantage. Whether it is the hostile crowd, unfamiliar court, or just tough opponents, the San Diego State volleyball team has only won one of their eight games away from Aztec Court at Peterson Gym.

“Our goal this season is just to learn and get better as the season goes on since we are such a young team,” SDSU head coach Deitre Collins-Parker said.

The Aztecs learned the tough way during their two-game road trip that concluded over the weekend. They dropped both of their Mountain West Conference games to University of Wyoming and No. 7 Colorado State University which sent their overall record to 5-8, and their MWC record to 1-2.

Last Thursday, SDSU lost in four sets to the Wyoming Cowgirls (27-25, 20-25, 13-25, 20-25). The Aztecs came out strong by coming back to win the first set while hitting a solid .372.

Unfortunately for SDSU, that would be the only set victory for the entire road trip. For the rest of the match against Wyoming, the Aztecs hit a measly -.008 and lost three straight to the Cowgirls.

“We started out competing well but they made some adjustments as the match went on and we just faltered in the end,” Collins-Parker said.

Junior outside hitters Halle Aiken and Ciara Brown led the Aztecs by recording 13 kills apiece. In addition to their performance, freshman setter Courtney Eckenrode ended the match with 39 assists, two blocks and five digs.

One downfall of SDSU this year has been being able to adjust to the opponent’s mid-game adjustments. The Aztecs have typically started matches well, but as the game goes on, the opponents seem to gain the upper hand.

“Adjusting to our opponent’s adjustments is something we are constantly working on,” Collins-Parker said. “It is just a learning process as the younger players continue to grow and mature in the game.”

After Wyoming, the Aztecs traveled to Fort Collins, Colorado to take on the number seven ranked Colorado State Rams. Collins-Parker believed this would be the SDSU’s biggest challenge ,and that certainly proved to be true.

SDSU lost in three straight sets to the Rams despite putting up a strong fight in the match (25-22, 25-21, 25-16). The win improved Colorado State to an impressive 16-1 and 4-0 in MW competition.

While the Aztecs did their best to stay close in the first two sets, the Rams finally broke the Aztecs in the third and final set by hitting an incredible .528. Meanwhile, the Aztecs hit .207 throughout the match.

Eckenrode continued to be a bright spot for the Aztecs by recording 33 assists as well as hitting a personal season-best .429. Senior right-side hitter Chaiymin Steel also put in a good performance with 12 kills.

SDSU will be looking to get back on the right foot at home where they have only lost once this year. Their two game home stand begins at 6 p.m this Thursday against New Mexico at Aztec court.